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How Barcelona beat Real Madrid in Spanish Supercopa with lon

ผู้เขียน: แหล่งที่มา:ต้นฉบับ 2023-01-18

How Barcelona beat Real Madrid in Spanish Supercopa

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How Barcelona beat Real Madrid in Spanish Supercopa with long balls and the perfect press

Burley: Barcelona made Real Madrid an embarrassment (1:27)

Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop react to Barcelonas perfect performance in their 3-1 win over Real Madrid. (1:27)

If you visit Rio Ferdinands social media accounts,youll discover himsharing a clip from Sundays Spanish Supercopa final, in whichBarcelonadismantledReal Madrid3-1 to win Xavis first Camp Nou trophy as a coach. The world-class formerManchester Unitedsweeper announces, The Xavi impact is here. I know what this feels like. Respect, adding a series of distraught, crying emojis.

Hes referring to an undulating 44-pass move that included every single one of Barcelonas players while the theBlaugranaare 3-0 up with 14 minutes left. ESPNs own Steve McManaman (a formerBlancohimself) yelps: Madrid arent even laying a glove on them! The metronomic, shuttled possession ends only whenRodrygo, understandably frustrated, scythes throughSergio Busquetsfor a foul.

-Report: Barcelona thrash Real Madrid

-Reaction: Gavi stars as Barca win Spanish Supercopa

-Highlights: Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid (U.S. only)

The inference is that Ferdinand recognises and empathises with what Carlo Ancelottis men in white were going through. After all, he himself lost twoChampions Leaguefinals in the space of 24 months to Pep Guardiolas Barca, who, as Sir Alex Ferguson memorably put it, would pass you to death.

The irony, though, is that for the rest of the match -- particularly in some of the ways Barcelona picked apart the tired, sluggish Spanish champions -- was a very distant cousin of that Guardiola side. Put frankly, several of Xavis clever ideas would have been completely forbidden under the stern, philosophically unbending man whos now in charge atManchester City.

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After the match, Barcelonas coach admitted: The thing Ill take away from this which satisfies me even more than lifting a trophy is how we won. Well, here are three of the how from Sunday.

Football is a constantly revolving hotbed of tactical concepts -- well-established but underused or even forgotten ideas that get dusted down and applied until too many people figure them out and they go back on the shelf. Worst of all for those who like to innovate and thrill, the amount of computer- and video-based tools available to analyse and break down systems of play means that whatever a particular team is doing to impose themselves will, after not too long, face counter-remedies and asphyxiating strategies popping up on an increasingly regular basis.

So the context for watching Marc-Andre ter Stegen launch the ball long on Sunday, either from goal kicks or from open play, needs to take into account that rivals no longer use the same strategies to oppose this Barca team -- who dont have the calibre of players of a young Xavi, Busquets, Andres Iniesta, David Villa,Gerard Pique,Dani Alvesor Carles Puyol. Nevertheless, its a stone-cold fact that back in the day, it would have been a cause of shock, horror, dizzy spells and temper tizzies among the coaching staff, players, media and fans if a defender or keeper had been hoofing the ball down the pitch as Barcelona did againstLos BlancosinSaudi Arabia.

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Please be clear: This is not a criticism -- its a simple fact. And its written with respect.

Last weekend, after beatingAtletico Madrid1-0 in the Spanish capital, Xavi appeared on ourLaLigaTV postmatch programme, and I asked him about how the German keeper had been ordered, mid-match, to kick long and look to play the ball over Reinildos head forOusmane Dembeleto chase. Not sounding wholly enchanted with the question, the Barcelona coach answered. You have to seek the space where it is, Xavi said. When Atleti pressed us so high up the pitch, the space was in behind. and so we looked for that occasionally.

Sunday night against Madrid saw a significant extension of this idea. Madrid neither pressed as high nor were as athletically sharp as Atleti, which meant Barcelona didnt have gaping space in behind into which they could launch the ball. And yet Ter Stegen still kicked long as a tactic -- and it worked.

What emerged was that Barcelona had been asked to challenge aerially against a taller, bigger side, and then to pounce on Madridifthey won possession. What that often looked like was man-of-the-match Gavi (5-foot-8) leaping up againstEder Militao(6-foot-1).

One such example was in the 41st minute, when Ter Stegen thumped a free kick upfield and Gavi first beat Militao to the header and then, afterAntonio Rudigerheaded it back up-field again, the 5-foot-8 Barcelona midfielder sprinted, jumped and beatKarim Benzemato the ball. But competing aerially, while important, wasnt the key point of what Xavi asked his team to do.

Barcelonas players, to a man, were aggressive as soon as anyone made contact with the ball dropping out of the sky. They launched themselves after loose balls, 50/50 balls and (this will have given Xavi the most satisfaction) they unanimously believed that even if a Madrid player brought the ball down after a teammate had won an aerial challenge, he could still be successfully pressed and robbed. Militao, Rudiger,Luka Modric,Ferland MendyandToni Kroosoften had clean possession after Ter Stegen (orRonald Araujo) hoisted the ball downfield, but they were then either bullied off the ball or rushed into making a pass that gifted possession away again.

Modern football is very rapid and, in certain moments, you have to play direct, Xavi said after he and his team lifted the trophy. Even more so when you haveRobert Lewandowskiin your team.

Its miles away from what was Guardiolas formula when in charge, but its an adapted version of how vertically Barcelona played under Luis Enrique in 2014-15 when they won the Treble. Xavi bet that Madrid would be slow, off form and susceptible to being harassed -- even after having won aerial duels.

Carlo Ancelotti shares the reasons he believes cost Real Madrids 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Again, this is a distant cousin of the system Xavi played in at Barcelona. That idea of pressing in coordinated packs for a determinate number of seconds but then retrenching into a good defensive shape if you dont win the ball is a different concept from what was so successful against Madrid in this final. Its arguable that not only will there be teams who are much more press-resistant than the European champions were in Riyadh -- Manchester United next month, for example -- but that Madrid, once match-sharp and fully staffed, will be too.

However, on Sunday night, Xavis tactic banked on Ancelottis team being sluggish and unable to cope. Bingo.

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Its not the high, daring press from the front that Guardiola imposed, either; it was more like little explosions of pressure all over the pitch whenever an opponent is dopey, is given a bad pass or dallies. And it thrives on the ravenous hunger to compete for loose possession once the opponent is disrupted.

The first and third goals are examples. For the 1-0 goal, Rudiger, whod just taken a blow to the head fromThibaut Courtoiselbow when jumping to compete for a cross, looks dizzy. Barcelona can see that Madrids back four is hopelessly positioned: Mendy andDani Carvajalare practically on the opposing touchlines, while 25 metres separate Rudiger and Militao. They know that if they win possession, Madrid are desperately vulnerable.

Thibaut Courtois inadvisedly rolls the ball to Rudiger, whos not fully at the races yet. He then gives a horrible pass toEduardo Camavingawhen Mendy is totally open and easy to find. Busquets presses the French player, wins a 50/50 ball -- some refs might have blown for a foul -- and from there onward, Dembele pounces, first-time passes toPedri, who first-time passes to Lewandowski ... and thePolandcaptain takes two very quick touches to set up Gavi for 1-0.

That first goal was so rapid, one-touch, and thats something weve been working hard on and teaching them through videos, Xavi said.

Barcelona manager Xavi says Barcelona freed themselves and did their best after a victory in the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid.

The decisive third goal was similar.Dani Ceballos, pressed by Dembele, is a bit overambitious in his pass to Militao. Gavi is immensely quick to see that the Brazilian player is flat-footed, so he races across, wins a 40/60 challenge and from there onward its all simple, clean but quick passes until Pedri scores at the back post.

There was more irony in that the only time Madrid really tried to match that pounce-and-press action, it led to Barcelonas second goal. Busquets fedFrenkie de Jong, and theNetherlandsinternational let the ball run across his body so that the move stayed fluid and fast, but without doubt, it looked like he might be in danger of losing possession. Both Militao and Carvajal surged forward (Madrids midfield was missing) but got their timing and positioning wrong so that a lunge pass from De Jong threads Gavi into splendid isolation to lay the 2-0 goal on a plate for Lewandowski.

The press is a great art when it works, but a fine art. Not for the sluggish.

People can argue what they like, but this was only very occasionally a 4-3-3 formation -- another once-sacrosanct philosophy at Barcelona.

When attacking and in most phases in possession, Xavis team were set up in a 3-4-3 because the other three defenders held a line and Alejandro Balde played in midfield. Theres no question, though, that there were long periods in the second half when Barcelonas out-of-possession shape was 4-4-2.

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Firstly, thats not a sin if its the correct tactic. Secondly, there was a clear reason for Pedri being the one playing off Lewandowski in those phases. Dembele is taller and better in the air, and when Barcelona were required to compete for the ball played long by either keeper, the Frenchman stayed in midfield to add to Barcelonas jumping power.

All in all, it meant that Barcelona were quite narrow, very regularly didnt have two wingers stretching the pitch and didnt look, in terms of their tactical shape, like the majority ofBlaugranateams of the past 20 years. But, hey, so what? The tactics were smart, they were appropriate, they worked and Xavis team won.

In that clip he shared on Twitter, Ferdinand sawoldBarca and liked it. The rest of the match, we saw a distant cousin ofoldBarca -- but it worked.