PSV Eindhoven – FC Barcelona: Messi decides a close-fought, high-tempo game that Barcelona failed to control (1-2)
PSV successfully implemented a game plan with aggressive pressing and direct play towards their commanding striker Luuk de Jong, preventing Barcelona from controlling the game. This forced the Spanish champion into an uncomfortable high-tempo game, which exposed their problems when transitioning from attack to defense. However, trading punches against Lionel Messi often ends up badly…
Tactical analysis and match report by José Perez.
PSV Eindhoven completely dominate the Dutch Eredivisie (13 wins in 13 games, averaging a little over 3,5 goals scored per game). However, Mark van Bommel’s side were completely outclassed so far in this season’s Champions League, a tough group consisting of Tottenham Hotspur, Internazionale, and Barcelona quickly throwing them to the last place of the table.
With little to lose, van Bommel decided to go all out against Barcelona and embraced a game plan that aimed to trade punches. His team featured the same starting eleven used last time against Barcelona, but with a different game plan and shape. They key difference being the position of striker Luuk de Jong, who played in a deeper role. This adjustment turned PSV’s shape into a 4-3-1-2 when pressing, a 4-4-2 when defending in a deep block A defensive block is the compact group of defenders that defends a particular zone, either their own half in a medium defensive block, or the zone around their own box in a deep defensive block. and a 4-2-2-2 in possession. Wingers Hirving Lozano and Steven Bergwijn would . . .