Both teams played a surprising number of long balls with relatively little success. Bayern improved significantly in the second half but still never exceeded 50% success rate. Real Madrid doubled their attempts at long passing in the second half hoping to spring a player as Bayern pushed forward.
We are used to seeing Ozil operate between the lines and set up office in and around the opposition penalty area. Although he floated at times his predominant position was wide on the right side for Real as you can see from his positioning when receiving passes.
Two seasons ago when saw snippets of David Alaba of Bayern Munich and he looked a promising but very raw young full back. At 17 it wasn’t that surprising. Putting Ozil up against him was clearly no accident but Alaba showed that he has improved leaps and bounds in the last 24 months. On Tuesday he had a 100% success rate with his tackles.
On the other side of the coin Bayern Munich also targeted the left side of the Real Madrid defence. Lahm and Robben combined well and Lahm schooled Coentrao on the winning goal. This illustrates the positioning of Lahm as an outlet for Bayern passes.
R – Franck Ribery was outstanding. He was a constant threat to Real Madrid and occupied and held of multiple defenders many times during the game. His passing was consistent and he also scored the first goal for Bayern Munich.
Some of the passing from players we expect more from was quite awful.
Centre backs often rack up impressive passing stats largely based around short balls being knocked back and forward. From Pepe’s graphic the short passing was not a problem but anything of distance was questionable.
Bastien Schweinsteiger is only just back from injury but nonetheless he was expected to exert a significant influence on the game. His passing statistics were poor and influence very limited. It was no surprise to see him make way for Thomas Mueller in the second half.
Benzema was the outstanding player for Real Madrid. His movement was crisp and inventive and he seems to now have a confidence that has so often been missing since his move to Real Madrid. The graphic shows his willingness to show for a pass in different areas of the field.
Any thoughts on what you saw on Tuesday?
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