Tottenham Hotspur – Borussia Dortmund: Pochettino’s Tactical Edge Results In Great Second Half By Spurs (3-0)
Put aside many of the things Spurs did so well without the ball, and one could still argue that Dortmund were architects of their own downfall. The lacking threat in behind, the swelling of players around the ball and their inability to remotely deal with Spurs’ man-marking approach made escaping and creating chances an impossible task.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Both managers injected their sides with a whole host of changes, both on the personnel front as well as the tactical front. Mauricio Pochettino swapped out four of the players that featured in a 4-4-2 diamond in Sunday’s win over Leicester City. This new eleven surprisingly featured Jan Vertonghen at left-wing-back as the Argentinian manager opted for a 3-4-2-1.
Off the back of slightly contrasting form – winless in three, including a cup exit – Dortmund coach Lucien Favre made four changes as well. The likes of Maximilian Philipp and Raphaël Guerreiro were taken out of the attack whilst Łukasz Piszczek and Julian Weigl departed the defense. The changes, which resembled the looks of a squad currently being very thinly stretched, were implemented alongside a system change. Favre’s beloved 4-2-3-1 became a 4-3-3 formation, as Dortmund’s manager presumably did not feel comfortable in having either Mahmoud Dahoud or Thomas Delaney fielded as the number ten.
The two teams’ starting elevens, depicted in Tottenham's possession.
Contrasting approaches hand Spurs the edge
Pochettino had clearly anticipated Dortmund’s setup. Even though Favre does not usually set his side out in a 4-3-3 formation, it is not untypical for their two holding . . .