Real Sociedad – Atlético Madrid: La Real Break Lines And Exploit Space To Hand Atlético First Defeat Of The Season (2-0)

Diego Simeone switching Atlético Madrid back into a 4-4-2 formation has made the team an effective pressing side. However, Real Sociedad countered that by pulling players out of position, breaking lines, and relying on a certain Martin Ødegaard.

Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.

The derby defeat to Athletic Bilbao left a sour taste in Real Sociedad’s mouth after a positive opening to the season. Playing in a 4-3-3 formation, Imanol Alguacil has built a technical, ball-orientated team, whose progression on the ball is revolved around the movements of Martin Ødegaard, as well as interchanging with Adnan Januzaj on the right-wing. 

With Atleti on their minds, La Real started a more direct version of their 4-3-3 formation; Alexander Isak and Portu replaced Willian José and Januzaj, respectively. Nacho Monreal made his first start back in the Spanish top-flight.

La Liga has already seen the big clubs drop points – apart from one – prior to this fixture. Atlético Madrid’s new look under Diego Simeone had seen them take every available point up until this match, despite conceding twice in the first twenty minutes against SD Eibar in the previous game.

Following big money sales, as well as the loss of Atlético’s longest serving players, Simeone looked to hit the new era with a new look. Atlético have played both 3-1-4-2 and 4-4-2 diamond shapes in their first matches, which has seen them take the fewest shots in La Liga – though those shots have been of high quality. They reverted to their flat 4 . . .

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