It has been nearly a 12 months since Lionel Scaloni assembled the Argentines to play for the nationwide group. Lastly, the younger supervisor was given the prospect to develop the group as they confronted Ecuador at Alberto José Armando. The sport was not a global pleasant however reasonably an official match – 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL).
With Lionel Messi’s early penalty, Argentina sealed their first win in 2020 as Ecuador couldn’t stage issues up even having improved within the second half. This tactical evaluation dissects the techniques of Scaloni and Gustavo Alvaro.
Manchester Metropolis star Sergio Agüero was not known as up due to harm whereas Paris Saint-Germain’s Ángel Di María didn’t make it into the squad record. Evidently, the group had some new faces within the lineup. Shirt quantity 11 was taken by Lucas Ocampos, and Lautaro Martínez performed because the striker. Nicolás Otamendi’s accomplice was Lucas Martínez.
Some Ecuador gamers had been enjoying in European leagues, and perhaps the largest star was Enner Valencia, who was a West Ham United participant. Their midfielder Carlos Gruezo was enjoying at Augsburg, whereas full-backs had been enjoying in La Liga and Serie A, respectively.
Argentina opened the form to assault
With gamers possessing greater particular person high quality and enjoying for larger groups, Scaloni wished his group to play out from the again. The dynamic strategy was fascinating, because the group had been establishing performs asymmetrically given Messi was a free participant. The under techniques board is the transient model of Argentina’s setups.
Regardless of having Leandro Paredes because the pivot, one other two midfielders – Marcos Acuña and Rodrigo De Paul – had completely different duties. De Paul was extra like one other pivot in entrance of the centre-backs, diagonally dropping into areas as a further choice to progress performs. Acuña, who not too long ago turned a Sevilla participant, was extra like a left-winger who attacked the huge zones. Nonetheless, it may need been a suboptimal choice for the reason that zone was overcrowded when Nicolás Tagliafico additionally pushed greater to assault.
For gamers within the entrance line, Martínez might drop into areas behind the midfield, whereas Messi could possibly be in every single place when he was roaming. One other participant to assault huge was Ocampos, who was supported by Gonzalo Montiel. Gamers on the correct would rotate when Messi took one in every of their positions, as both Ocampos or Montiel moved correspondingly.
On this sport, the Argentina aspect confronted an opponent defending with a 4-1-4-1 form. It was extra of a zone-oriented strategy and the engagement line was close to the midway line. Subsequently, Scaloni’s aspect ought to be capable to open the form and management the tempo of the sport. The second line of the defence often stepped up when the ball was in the identical vertical zone, however the communications between wingers and midfielders had been very important.
On this instance, Ecuador’s proper midfielder Alan Franco stepped as much as strain Paredes, and Valencia ought to keep on the centre. This was why the group wanted De Paul to drop within the build-up, because the Udinese midfielder all the time affords himself because the leeway to flee from the block.
Nonetheless, it appeared Ecuador additionally tailored to the dropping actions of De Paul as the sport went on. On extra events, the winger caught the midfielder early and Argentina practically conceded a chance earlier than the break.
The under picture is an instance of it. It was Ángel Mena to press as an alternative of the midfielder in the identical vertical zone. This tweak helped the defending group to press in a greater angle, as De Paul would examine Moisés Caicedo’s place within the above picture. Nonetheless, it was troublesome for him to see Mena’s press, because the left-winger was at his blindside if De Paul entered the areas diagonally.
Nonetheless, the approaches weren’t efficient sufficient on this sport. One of many causes was the verticality concerned within the build-up, however the receiver was often with out the assistance of the third man. The opposition was aggressive to maneuver in entrance of the receivers to intercept the ball, or at the least pressuring from the again, not letting him flip.
One more reason was the group form – the gamers lacked proximities to attach with one another. Sure, the group occupied each vertical zone and made the pitch very huge within the offensive phases. But, the entrance line was flattened, which implies the gamers weren’t producing sufficient passing angles to play fast mixtures. The circulate of the passes was predictable for the defence.
Argentina attacked with numbers on the correct flank extra as a result of Messi was right here. On the weak aspect, Acuña lacked qualitative superiority to create dynamics in 1 v 1 conditions. Additionally, the zone was congested as Tagliafico seldom select an efficient operating path when attacking.
The above instance exhibits the issue when the form was flat. The receiver Montiel didn’t have good choices whilst a passing triangle was fashioned. Ecuador did properly to shut the huge areas with excessive problem depth and created a 4 v 3 numerical superiority on this zone. Extra importantly, passing lanes to Messi had been shut as properly.
Even when Montiel tried a troublesome one-two with De Paul, the opponent had already learn it early and squeezed these areas. It was a possession turnover. Regardless of having a stable build-up section, Argentina’s structural difficulty hindered the group from creating many high quality possibilities within the closing third.
Scaloni had an fascinating drawback – use Messi successfully. Everyone knows Messi doesn’t defend so much at his membership, and it was troublesome for a group to outlive with out urgent. Given the constraints of Messi, Argentina extra typically set a excessive block to defend in a 4-3-3, however the Barcelona star needs to be praised for urgent greater than common on this sport.
To accommodate the people, the defensive workload of the second line was elevated. Firstly, the primary line of Argentina should be versatile, as the opposite two gamers must type the three-man line with Messi. For instance, When Messi stayed on the striker place, the opposite two ought to function as wingers quickly. A very powerful factor was to maintain this line slender which averted Ecuador’s first ball to enter this zone.
Because the opponent additionally stretched very huge within the build-up, the Argentina second line should reply by shifting the huge midfielders. Acuña and De Paul had been the gamers to press the centre-backs, as an alternative of the wingers. On this picture, Argentina saved the primary line slender whereas Acuña was approaching the centre-back.
Ecuador had been attempting to not fall into these traps. They performed numerous lengthy balls to attempt to build-up across the Argentina block. This implies they weren’t precisely going into areas of the block, however outdoors of it, the place extra areas had been obtainable for the gamers.
The vertical compactness of Argentina’s strains would possibly want to enhance, because the weak spot of the 4-3-3 block was uncovered at the moment – not sufficient horizontal protection. Subsequently, the opponents had been in a position to entry huge areas to assemble the assault. The under awkward form was a results of the defensive strategy as defined within the above evaluation. When Acuña stepped up, Paredes should additionally alter his positions to supply the defensive cowl. One other participant to hitch the press was Tagliafico, who ought to shut the huge possibility as quickly as attainable. Ideally, the opponent couldn’t escape on this zone.
Nonetheless, higher execution was wanted. Acuña was late on the ball under, whereas Tagliafico was late to his goal. The problem was the realm that wanted to be defended – it was too giant. It appeared the gamers weren’t ok to defend in big areas but, perhaps some changes had been wanted to enhance on the urgent.
Alexander Domínguez, the Ecuador goalkeeper, was tasked to play numerous lengthy balls towards Argentina. The goal can be both Valencia or hitting the huge areas. It was the primary tactical strategy of the group. The under instance was a variation from a aim kick, because the ball was performed by the centre-back as an alternative.
A very powerful was the positioning of the huge gamers. Each of them had been behind the Argentina five-man block under. If the lengthy balls had been efficiently performed, Ecuador might get rid of half of the outfield gamers, dealing with the backline instantly. Nonetheless, they didn’t handle to play these passes correct sufficient that day.
Changes and variations within the second half
Maybe Alvaro was not glad together with his group’s efficiency since techniques of Ecuador modified so much within the second half. Defensively, they had been rather more aggressive, pushing the engagement line greater with extra males to press the opposition backline.
Valencia wanted to defend extra from the primary line. Within the second half, he did an incredible job by reducing the hyperlinks between the centre-backs. If he was doing the job from the primary line, Ecuador solely wanted to defend in both vertical half, which saved power and was simpler to defend.
In the meantime, the second line ought to be part of the primary line to press the huge passes early. With the excessive depth to strain the opponent, the Argentines didn’t have a lot time to assume. Extra lengthy balls had been compelled after the break as Ecuador regained numerous possession at their backline given their stronger bodily power towards the opponents.
On this instance, the winger pressured Tagliafico whereas Valencia went for Otamendi. Paredes was additionally unavailable due to the shadowing work of the midfielder. It was a very good signal for the group because the entrance gamers had been defending collectively as a unit.
Argentina took nearly half an hour to adapt to the adjusted urgent system of the opponent. Generally they wanted wall passes to soak up strain or flow into the ball, which might break the defence. The dropping motion of De Paul was not working pretty much as good because it was within the first half.
Right here, even Valencia supposed to maintain the ball within the left vertical half of the pitch however Argentina gamers cleverly responded through the use of Paredes as some extent to soak up strain. He might both return the ball or switch it to a different centre-back, who was unmarked.
Beneath is an instance of eventualities when Ecuador had been forcing an extended go. They dedicated many gamers to overload this vertical half – at the least six yellow shirts had been on this crowded area. The defenders didn’t must defend big areas because the lengthy ball was compelled into this zone, given the pressuring efforts of gamers within the first line.
The Argentina construction was free for the reason that group was unable to regulate the tempo and the gamers didn’t have the time to regulate their positions. Consequently, the receiver was trapped by 4 yellow shirts, which was a troublesome state of affairs to flee.
Offensively, Alvaro and his workers instructed the group to play a bit in another way, although the ideas had been the identical. Ecuador had been nonetheless attacking the flanks, however now they dedicated extra numbers. The complete-backs pushed into superior positions earlier, and the group was particularly attacking areas behind the full-backs.
Argentina tried to regulate huge areas with full-backs urgent early however Ecuador capitalised on this tactic to use areas behind them, particularly Tagliafico. By inverting the right-winger and inspiring dropping actions, Tagliafico was all the time pulled out of place, leaving the huge zone with out defenders. At these moments, the Ecuador right-back Ayrton Preciado should entry these areas together with his runs. On many of the events, Otamendi was compelled to cowl these zones, or Acuña dropping as a false wing-back to create a again 5. Ecuador gained extra management of the sport with this strategy, however the deliveries might’ve been higher.
Beneath is one other instance of how Ecuador attacked the flanks. Due to the slender wingers, a numerical overload was additionally created on the centre. This implies Argentina had been compelled to put extra gamers centrally on the expense of leaving huge zones free.
Since Ecuador weren’t too good at enjoying fast mixtures or penetrating on the centre, they relied on diagonal balls to flanks to entry the ultimate third. Beneath is without doubt one of the routines the place the midfielder with areas ought to distribute the ball huge. Just like the above circumstances, the go was not ok to transform into 1 v 1 conditions, not to mention alternatives contained in the penalty field.
It was simply the primary sport and a few gamers had been clearly not 100% match sufficient to play. For instance, Paredes’ efficiency stage was under par as he might have managed transitions higher to assist the group dictate performs. Ocampos had an honest probability after the break however didn’t seize it. Scaloni will in all probability demand extra from his gamers.
Ecuador weren’t fairly within the sport within the first half however they had been so much higher within the second half. The change of how they bought entry to open areas was good, and so they saved the depth till the final minute of the sport. One other half to be talked about had been their transition performs, as Alvaro’s males did properly sufficient to hit areas behind the midfield throughout possession turnovers. Nonetheless, extra high quality within the closing third was wanted to create extra harmful possibilities.