Tactical analysis Barcelona Manchester United 3-0 Champions League

FC Barcelona – Manchester United: Dominant Barcelona stroll into Champions League semi finals (3-0)

Despite very brief hope for Manchester United with a promising first five minutes, Barcelona would go on to completely dominate this second leg. Two first half goals from Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a comfortable cushion, and they went on to give a lesson in controlling a game with possession.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.

After a somewhat off-colour performance at Old Trafford, Barcelona made just one change from the first leg. It was one of the better performers from the first leg, Nelson Semedo, who was replaced at right-back by Sergi Roberto. Ernesto Valverde’s side still nominally lined up in a 4-3-3 starting formation.

After fielding a 3-5-2 formation in the first leg, Ole Gunnar Solskjær decided to return to the 4-3-3 shape he has used in various games during his spell at United so far. The formation could also be interpreted as a 4-3-1-2 depending on one’s interpretation of Jesse Lingard’s role as the central attacker who drops between the lines when United are in possession.

Lingard was flanked by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on either side, although the three forwards were relatively interchangeable. Behind them was the midfield three that also started the first leg. Meanwhile in defense, Victor Lindelöf found himself filling in at right-back, while Ashley Young moved to the left side of defense.

Barcelona in possession.

United start quickly

United were . . .

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Josh Manley (20) is a student and aspiring coach. Heavily interested in tactics and strategy in football. Watching teams from all top European leagues, but especially Manchester United and Barcelona. [ View all posts ]

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