Real Betis – Real Madrid: Madrid Triumph In A Tactically Intriguing Tale Of Two Halves (1-2)
Quique Setién declined to return to a back five after drawing with Sociedad, allowing Real Madrid to cause mayhem with their high press and counterattacking skill. Things swung Betis’ way in the second half, before one of their former stars came back to snatch their souls at the death.
Tactical analysis by Om Arvind.
There should have been no debate as to whether Real Madrid had gotten worse under Santiago Solari, but not all fans had been convinced. Narrow victories in the league and morale boosting wins in the Club World Cup and Copa del Rey had blinded many to Madrid’s poor process and horrible underlying numbers.
And then came the loss against Real Sociedad.
Ironically, though Madrid probably deserved to get a result from that game, the 2-0 loss finally turned most Madridistas against their manager. As a result, all the pressure was on Solari coming into his first big test in LaLiga – Real Betis.
The Real Madrid manager reacted to the challenge by making drastic changes. He ditched his 4-3-3 formation for a 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 structure. Youngster Vinícius Júnior started up top next to Karim Benzema, Nacho became the extra man in the back line, and 22-year-old Sergio Reguilón replaced veteran Marcelo at left wing-back.
Real Betis manager Quique Setién also . . .