Shakhtar Donetsk – VfL Wolfsburg: Shakhtar Tame Wolves With Dribbling Masterclass (3-0)
Wolfsburg began the game with intent, pressing from their 4-4-2 shape to force Shakhtar Donetsk into uncomfortable situations. However, the hosts grew into the game, showing how powerful dribbling is as an offensive tool to take apart their opponents in the dying embers of the game.
Tactical analysis by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
Shakhtar Donetsk entered this clash brimming with confidence. Winning seven and drawing two from their last nine games, they claimed the league title at a canter. Coming into this tie 2-1 from the first leg, the home team looked to mirror this strong vein of form to move forward into the quarter-finals.
On the other hand, Wolfsburg faltered towards the end of the league season. The guests threw away qualification to the group stages of the Europa League on the final matchday, picking up only four points from their last four games. Progression into the last eight would be vital to ease pressure on the side after this underwhelming conclusion.
The confirmation of the title with five games to spare offered manager Luis Castro chances to rotate his team frequently in the run-up to this match. As such, he opted to deploy the home team in their usual 4-2-3-1 shape, bringing back the likes of Taison, Júnior Moraes, and Marlos into the side.
Glasner likewise deployed his side in their standard 4-4-2 formation. The lengthy break since the end of the league season let the manager select arguably his best starting eleven. The major absentee from the team was dynamic right back Kevin Mbabu, who had tested positive for coronavirus.
An aggressive . . .