Real Sociedad—Atlético Madrid: Toothless Real Sociedad Get Slammed by Atlético Wall (0-2)

Real Sociedad struggled to create chances against a rock-solid Atlético who not only defend well but also attack with extreme efficiency. The home side displayed some brilliant possession football in the first half hour but could not turn their possessions into shots. Atlético slowly adjusted to their opponents to turn the tables, and then broke the deadlock through a set piece and killed the game with a second goal.

Tactical analysis and match report by José Pérez.

After an already great 2019-20 season, Real Sociedad execute their press-and-possess game plan even more effectively than before. They have become of the best three offenses in LaLiga, as measured by both goals and expected goals. However, the last month has been tough. With both LaLiga and Europa League games forcing them to play twice a week, fatigue has caught up and they have not won any of their last nine games.

The absence of star attacker Mikel Oyárzabal - injured for the last six games - plays a key role in this bad streak. La Real still move the ball well in the first two thirds, but things get murky in the final third The one-third of the pitch that is closest to the opposition’s goal. without Oyárzabal. To make matters worse, strikers Willian José and Alexander Isak are both suffering poor finishing streaks. 

And if your team lacks firepower, the last thing you want is to face Atlético. To optimize for wunderkind João Félix, Atlético have implemented the most possession-oriented game plan of the Simeone era. Kieran Trippier, Mario Hermoso and Koke are now the playmakers from deep . . .

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Jose Perez (29) writes and talks about anything football-related: players, tactics, analytics, the relationship between football and society. Whenever he is not working on high-power lasers, he tries to keep up with all big five European leagues, but focuses particularly on La Liga. Outside of Between the Posts, you can find him arguing with people and posting analyses on Twitter or answering questions on Quora. [ View all posts ]

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