A Closer Look at the Wide Areas in El Clásico
Barcelona excelled in these moments while old habits resurfaced for Real Madrid
Sunday’s Clásico was over by half time with Barcelona scoring 3 goals before the break.
There were many takeaways from the game, but this post is going to look at both teams’ performances in wide areas.
Barcelona thrived in these moments while Real Madrid struggled.
Mind the Gap
Madrid have had defensive lapses against the top teams in Europe for a couple of seasons now. Sunday was no different.
They often sent two to pressure the same Barcelona player in wide areas, and Barcelona punished them.
Madrid were in a tough situation on their left side: send one against Barcelona’s Caroline Graham Hansen and likely get beat or send two to try and stop her.
They often decided to send two and still got beat. This allowed Barcelona to find split passes and numerical advantages in the half space closer to goal.
Barcelona is the best team in the world at manipulating teams when they have possession.
They were able to attract Madrid with possession in wide areas and then exploit the space they really wanted to attack in the half space areas.
Three following two frames are from the same sequence.
Madrid Struggle to Find Solutions
When Madrid had possession in wide areas in the attacking or midfield third, they struggled to find a way forward or closer to goal.
Barcelona was organized defensively in these moments, but Madrid lacked dynamism, creativity and desire in their movements and positioning. They often left players isolated.
The following two frames are from the same sequence.
Almost no team will be able to match or mimic Barcelona’s setup.
If Madrid’s plan is to isolate players wide, then they need the player profiles in the wide areas to take defenders on with the dribble and the player profiles in the box need to read the cues from the wide players, have good movement, and position themselves well.
That seems to be their game model; however, the pieces have not come together since the team’s inception.
Photo: @FCBfemeni Twitter/X