LATEST ARTICLES

Borussia Dortmund Werder Bremen Bundesliga Tactical Analysis

BVB continue to impress

This post initially featured on our dedicated analysis site for football around the globe, totalfootballanalysis.comBorussia Dortmund extended their lead to nine points heading into...
Christian-Pulisic-Borussia-Dortmund-Tactical-Analysis-Analysis-Statistics

Why selling Christian Pulisic should not be feared

As the Winterpause fast approaches, the site that is Borussia Dortmund sitting atop the Bundesliga table comes with pure adulation. Pinching yourself to wake...
Borussia Dortmund V Freiburg: Bundesliga Tactical Analysis

Borussia Dortmund Cruise Past Freiburg

Borussia Dortmund beat Freiburg 2-0 at home to go yet another game unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season. The win came after securing progression...
Borussia Dortmund V Freiburg: Bundesliga Tactical Analysis

Borussia Dortmund Qualify For Champions League Knockout Rounds

This match analysis was first featured on our dedicated analysis site, totalfootballanalysis.com.Borussia Dortmund successfully completed their qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockout round,...
Borussia Dortmund successfully completed their qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockout round, after winning a point against Club Brugge this past Wednesday(28/11). The match was always going to be a tough battle for Lucien Favre and co. considering how difficult Brugge were to break down in the reverse fixture. Lineups: Borussia Dortmund(4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo; Witsel, Dahoud; Pulisic, Reus, Guerreiro; Alcacer Club Brugge(4-4-2): Horvath; Mata, Poulain, Mechele, Denswil; Vormer, Nakamba, Amrabat, Dennis; Wesley, Vanaken Compact Brugge Control Early Exchanges: Brugge coach Ivan Leko changed his side's formation from the previous game to a 4-4-2. It was most likely due to personnel changes that he was unable to set his side up in the 3-5-2 shape that worked so well in the reverse fixture. Lucien Favre anticipated the challenge of having to attack a well-organised dense defensive unit and utilizing the full width of the pitch was one of the ways he sought to combat this. He played two left-footers on the left wing for the first time this season with Diallo and Guerreiro, while Piszczek and Pulisic provided full width on the right. Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Thomas Delaney in the starting line-up, which meant that Favre also sought the distribution skills Dahoud, which was one of the reason's Dortmund snuck in a late winner in Belgium. The game began well for the visitors as they defended using a position-oriented zonal marking system in deep midfield. They sought to remain in positions in relation to their teammates and shift towards the ball while waiting for an opportunity to press. Although a relatively passive approach to defending it worked against a Dortmund side that lacked tempo in their passing. Brugge, knowing that Dortmund's main attacking focus would be creating space in behind their midfield lines, remained compact horizontally and vertically. Wesley and Vanaken blocked passing lanes into any Dortmund midfielder positioned in the centre, within Brugge's defensive block. This ensured that Dortmund were forced to play in the wide channels as they had no access to the interior. They ended up passing laterally whilst in possession for long periods of time, which was just what Brugge had aimed for. Zagadou attempts to play a vertical pass to Guerreiro, who's positioned right behind Brugge's midfield line Vormer intercepts the pass. This is an example of how Brugge used their cover shadows to block or intercept passes into the centre using their cover shadows Diallo attempts a pass to Alcacer who drops deep to receive a pass Alcacer loses possession after failing to control the pass. Firstly the pass was overpowered but he was also under immediate pressure front and back. Secondly he has no immediate support around him which decreases his range of options. Brugge successfully managed to isolate any players located in the central areas, which forced Dortmund to channels their attacks elsewhere Could Dortmund have done more to find space in behind Brugge's midfield line? Certainly. Firstly they should've advanced up the pitch much quicker than they did. They spent too much time building up conservatively, which allowed Brugge to get organized into their defensive block. Secondly, they could've utilised the far spaces more often than they did. When building up on the left for instance, the far side was often underloaded. Instead of switching play laterally they could've used the diagonal passing range of Dahoud. Or had they had access to space by increasing the speed of their build-up play, they would've been able to create connections between their forwards to switch-play, combine and create goalscoring chances. Reus and Pulisic both had great chances to score but they came from a long pass from deep and a Brugge error in which they failed to clear possession. However, Dortmund's primary attacking strategy ultimately failed in the first half. Dortmund Fail To Utilise Possession In Second Half: As Brugge's pressing intensity diminished towards the end of the first half, Dortmund had more and more access to valuable attacking zones. In the second half, however, Brugge's pressing intensity almost dropped and there was very little pressure on Dortmund while they had possession in midfield. The first thing this allowed Dortmund to do, was add an extra player to attack. Dahoud, in particular, was now free to support the forwards in and around the final 3rd rather than acting as a second deep-lying playmaker which he did in the first half. Alcacer's shot early in the first half displayed how much more effective Dortmund could be when they created an extra man with good positioning. Compactness, connection, combinations. Dahoud's advanced positioning allows Dortmund to create a shot opportunity for Alcacer after a sequence of passing and attacking open spaces Brugge's lack of intensity meant that they struggled to create good cover during Dortmund's passing sequences. They did so well in the first period and maintained defensive balance on the far side. But in the second half, they gave Dortmund the opportunity to attack openings that they had so brilliantly defended in the first half. Wesley and Vanaken no longer put pressure on Akanji and Zagadou and were unable to consistently block passing lanes into central areas. Although they defended relatively passively in the first half, they still had good control over space in their own defensive zones. Now, however, Dortmund had complete control over the ball and space in Brugge's half. Notice how high agadou played at times. Wesley(on his right) applies absolutely no pressure and Zagadou is basically left with a 1v1 situation in midfield with options around him. Brugge's drop in intensity and intent allowed Dortmund to use several openings to create opportunities Dortmund's inability to utilize the large amount of possession they had was down to the movement and quality of their actions. With access to the half space and an extra man in attack, they managed on several occasions to get into valuable areas in and around the box. Unfortunately, they were slow and predictable especially in crossing situations where they should've been more creative. Jadon Sancho's introduction in the 72nd minute perhaps happened too late because he was unable to have an impact on the game. Paco Alcacer struggled to provide a clear reference in attack and did little to trouble Brugge's backline and most of the attacking burden was placed on Reus. Pulisic and Guerrerio and eventually Sancho lacked the quality to change the match. Although many promising situations arose in the final 3rd, Brugge almost always recovered, with Dortmund's attacks constantly breaking down at the final moment. Conclusion: The game ended in a 0-0 draw, which was satisfactory for Dortmund but the persistent theme of opportunistic attacking against highly organized defences is Dortmund's biggest weakness currently. Should they continue their winning ways in the Bundesliga until the end of January, it's highly unlikely that their title challenge will be threatened by any of their other rivals. However, what is also unlikely is further progression in the Champions League. There's been bare evidence in several games that the direct attacking style of Dortmund, can be easily nullified against compact and coordinated defences. Whether Lucien Favre find solutions to this problem remains to be seen. But anyway, it's on to the Freiburg game we go!

Borussia Dortmund Continue Undefeated Bundesliga Run

This post originally featured on our dedicated analysis site for football around the globe, totalfootballanalysis.comWith just over a third of the Bundesliga season completed,...
Borussia Dortmund successfully completed their qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockout round, after winning a point against Club Brugge this past Wednesday(28/11). The match was always going to be a tough battle for Lucien Favre and co. considering how difficult Brugge were to break down in the reverse fixture. Lineups: Borussia Dortmund(4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo; Witsel, Dahoud; Pulisic, Reus, Guerreiro; Alcacer Club Brugge(4-4-2): Horvath; Mata, Poulain, Mechele, Denswil; Vormer, Nakamba, Amrabat, Dennis; Wesley, Vanaken Compact Brugge Control Early Exchanges: Brugge coach Ivan Leko changed his side's formation from the previous game to a 4-4-2. It was most likely due to personnel changes that he was unable to set his side up in the 3-5-2 shape that worked so well in the reverse fixture. Lucien Favre anticipated the challenge of having to attack a well-organised dense defensive unit and utilizing the full width of the pitch was one of the ways he sought to combat this. He played two left-footers on the left wing for the first time this season with Diallo and Guerreiro, while Piszczek and Pulisic provided full width on the right. Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Thomas Delaney in the starting line-up, which meant that Favre also sought the distribution skills Dahoud, which was one of the reason's Dortmund snuck in a late winner in Belgium. The game began well for the visitors as they defended using a position-oriented zonal marking system in deep midfield. They sought to remain in positions in relation to their teammates and shift towards the ball while waiting for an opportunity to press. Although a relatively passive approach to defending it worked against a Dortmund side that lacked tempo in their passing. Brugge, knowing that Dortmund's main attacking focus would be creating space in behind their midfield lines, remained compact horizontally and vertically. Wesley and Vanaken blocked passing lanes into any Dortmund midfielder positioned in the centre, within Brugge's defensive block. This ensured that Dortmund were forced to play in the wide channels as they had no access to the interior. They ended up passing laterally whilst in possession for long periods of time, which was just what Brugge had aimed for. Zagadou attempts to play a vertical pass to Guerreiro, who's positioned right behind Brugge's midfield line Vormer intercepts the pass. This is an example of how Brugge used their cover shadows to block or intercept passes into the centre using their cover shadows Diallo attempts a pass to Alcacer who drops deep to receive a pass Alcacer loses possession after failing to control the pass. Firstly the pass was overpowered but he was also under immediate pressure front and back. Secondly he has no immediate support around him which decreases his range of options. Brugge successfully managed to isolate any players located in the central areas, which forced Dortmund to channels their attacks elsewhere Could Dortmund have done more to find space in behind Brugge's midfield line? Certainly. Firstly they should've advanced up the pitch much quicker than they did. They spent too much time building up conservatively, which allowed Brugge to get organized into their defensive block. Secondly, they could've utilised the far spaces more often than they did. When building up on the left for instance, the far side was often underloaded. Instead of switching play laterally they could've used the diagonal passing range of Dahoud. Or had they had access to space by increasing the speed of their build-up play, they would've been able to create connections between their forwards to switch-play, combine and create goalscoring chances. Reus and Pulisic both had great chances to score but they came from a long pass from deep and a Brugge error in which they failed to clear possession. However, Dortmund's primary attacking strategy ultimately failed in the first half. Dortmund Fail To Utilise Possession In Second Half: As Brugge's pressing intensity diminished towards the end of the first half, Dortmund had more and more access to valuable attacking zones. In the second half, however, Brugge's pressing intensity almost dropped and there was very little pressure on Dortmund while they had possession in midfield. The first thing this allowed Dortmund to do, was add an extra player to attack. Dahoud, in particular, was now free to support the forwards in and around the final 3rd rather than acting as a second deep-lying playmaker which he did in the first half. Alcacer's shot early in the first half displayed how much more effective Dortmund could be when they created an extra man with good positioning. Compactness, connection, combinations. Dahoud's advanced positioning allows Dortmund to create a shot opportunity for Alcacer after a sequence of passing and attacking open spaces Brugge's lack of intensity meant that they struggled to create good cover during Dortmund's passing sequences. They did so well in the first period and maintained defensive balance on the far side. But in the second half, they gave Dortmund the opportunity to attack openings that they had so brilliantly defended in the first half. Wesley and Vanaken no longer put pressure on Akanji and Zagadou and were unable to consistently block passing lanes into central areas. Although they defended relatively passively in the first half, they still had good control over space in their own defensive zones. Now, however, Dortmund had complete control over the ball and space in Brugge's half. Notice how high agadou played at times. Wesley(on his right) applies absolutely no pressure and Zagadou is basically left with a 1v1 situation in midfield with options around him. Brugge's drop in intensity and intent allowed Dortmund to use several openings to create opportunities Dortmund's inability to utilize the large amount of possession they had was down to the movement and quality of their actions. With access to the half space and an extra man in attack, they managed on several occasions to get into valuable areas in and around the box. Unfortunately, they were slow and predictable especially in crossing situations where they should've been more creative. Jadon Sancho's introduction in the 72nd minute perhaps happened too late because he was unable to have an impact on the game. Paco Alcacer struggled to provide a clear reference in attack and did little to trouble Brugge's backline and most of the attacking burden was placed on Reus. Pulisic and Guerrerio and eventually Sancho lacked the quality to change the match. Although many promising situations arose in the final 3rd, Brugge almost always recovered, with Dortmund's attacks constantly breaking down at the final moment. Conclusion: The game ended in a 0-0 draw, which was satisfactory for Dortmund but the persistent theme of opportunistic attacking against highly organized defences is Dortmund's biggest weakness currently. Should they continue their winning ways in the Bundesliga until the end of January, it's highly unlikely that their title challenge will be threatened by any of their other rivals. However, what is also unlikely is further progression in the Champions League. There's been bare evidence in several games that the direct attacking style of Dortmund, can be easily nullified against compact and coordinated defences. Whether Lucien Favre find solutions to this problem remains to be seen. But anyway, it's on to the Freiburg game we go!

A Preview of Borussia Dortmund’s Next Two Games

After a brilliant 3-2 comeback against Bayern Munich last weekend (10/11), Borussia Dortmund resume their quest next weekend for the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions...
Jadon Sancho Borussia Dortmund Tactical Analysis Statistics

Jadon Sancho, Lucien Favre, and Structured Football

This post originally featured on our dedicated Total Football Analysis site, totalfootballanalysis.com After dribbling towards the top of Bayer Leverkusen’s 18-yard box, Christian Pulisic hit...
Borussia Dortmind Bayern Munich Bundesliga Tactical Analysis Statistics

Alcacer’s Winner Moves Dortmund Seven Clear Of Bayern

This article originally featured on our dedicated tactical analysis site for football around the world, totalfootballanalysis.com The clash between the two German giants kept faith...
Borussia Dortmund successfully completed their qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockout round, after winning a point against Club Brugge this past Wednesday(28/11). The match was always going to be a tough battle for Lucien Favre and co. considering how difficult Brugge were to break down in the reverse fixture. Lineups: Borussia Dortmund(4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo; Witsel, Dahoud; Pulisic, Reus, Guerreiro; Alcacer Club Brugge(4-4-2): Horvath; Mata, Poulain, Mechele, Denswil; Vormer, Nakamba, Amrabat, Dennis; Wesley, Vanaken Compact Brugge Control Early Exchanges: Brugge coach Ivan Leko changed his side's formation from the previous game to a 4-4-2. It was most likely due to personnel changes that he was unable to set his side up in the 3-5-2 shape that worked so well in the reverse fixture. Lucien Favre anticipated the challenge of having to attack a well-organised dense defensive unit and utilizing the full width of the pitch was one of the ways he sought to combat this. He played two left-footers on the left wing for the first time this season with Diallo and Guerreiro, while Piszczek and Pulisic provided full width on the right. Mahmoud Dahoud replaced Thomas Delaney in the starting line-up, which meant that Favre also sought the distribution skills Dahoud, which was one of the reason's Dortmund snuck in a late winner in Belgium. The game began well for the visitors as they defended using a position-oriented zonal marking system in deep midfield. They sought to remain in positions in relation to their teammates and shift towards the ball while waiting for an opportunity to press. Although a relatively passive approach to defending it worked against a Dortmund side that lacked tempo in their passing. Brugge, knowing that Dortmund's main attacking focus would be creating space in behind their midfield lines, remained compact horizontally and vertically. Wesley and Vanaken blocked passing lanes into any Dortmund midfielder positioned in the centre, within Brugge's defensive block. This ensured that Dortmund were forced to play in the wide channels as they had no access to the interior. They ended up passing laterally whilst in possession for long periods of time, which was just what Brugge had aimed for. Zagadou attempts to play a vertical pass to Guerreiro, who's positioned right behind Brugge's midfield line Vormer intercepts the pass. This is an example of how Brugge used their cover shadows to block or intercept passes into the centre using their cover shadows Diallo attempts a pass to Alcacer who drops deep to receive a pass Alcacer loses possession after failing to control the pass. Firstly the pass was overpowered but he was also under immediate pressure front and back. Secondly he has no immediate support around him which decreases his range of options. Brugge successfully managed to isolate any players located in the central areas, which forced Dortmund to channels their attacks elsewhere Could Dortmund have done more to find space in behind Brugge's midfield line? Certainly. Firstly they should've advanced up the pitch much quicker than they did. They spent too much time building up conservatively, which allowed Brugge to get organized into their defensive block. Secondly, they could've utilised the far spaces more often than they did. When building up on the left for instance, the far side was often underloaded. Instead of switching play laterally they could've used the diagonal passing range of Dahoud. Or had they had access to space by increasing the speed of their build-up play, they would've been able to create connections between their forwards to switch-play, combine and create goalscoring chances. Reus and Pulisic both had great chances to score but they came from a long pass from deep and a Brugge error in which they failed to clear possession. However, Dortmund's primary attacking strategy ultimately failed in the first half. Dortmund Fail To Utilise Possession In Second Half: As Brugge's pressing intensity diminished towards the end of the first half, Dortmund had more and more access to valuable attacking zones. In the second half, however, Brugge's pressing intensity almost dropped and there was very little pressure on Dortmund while they had possession in midfield. The first thing this allowed Dortmund to do, was add an extra player to attack. Dahoud, in particular, was now free to support the forwards in and around the final 3rd rather than acting as a second deep-lying playmaker which he did in the first half. Alcacer's shot early in the first half displayed how much more effective Dortmund could be when they created an extra man with good positioning. Compactness, connection, combinations. Dahoud's advanced positioning allows Dortmund to create a shot opportunity for Alcacer after a sequence of passing and attacking open spaces Brugge's lack of intensity meant that they struggled to create good cover during Dortmund's passing sequences. They did so well in the first period and maintained defensive balance on the far side. But in the second half, they gave Dortmund the opportunity to attack openings that they had so brilliantly defended in the first half. Wesley and Vanaken no longer put pressure on Akanji and Zagadou and were unable to consistently block passing lanes into central areas. Although they defended relatively passively in the first half, they still had good control over space in their own defensive zones. Now, however, Dortmund had complete control over the ball and space in Brugge's half. Notice how high agadou played at times. Wesley(on his right) applies absolutely no pressure and Zagadou is basically left with a 1v1 situation in midfield with options around him. Brugge's drop in intensity and intent allowed Dortmund to use several openings to create opportunities Dortmund's inability to utilize the large amount of possession they had was down to the movement and quality of their actions. With access to the half space and an extra man in attack, they managed on several occasions to get into valuable areas in and around the box. Unfortunately, they were slow and predictable especially in crossing situations where they should've been more creative. Jadon Sancho's introduction in the 72nd minute perhaps happened too late because he was unable to have an impact on the game. Paco Alcacer struggled to provide a clear reference in attack and did little to trouble Brugge's backline and most of the attacking burden was placed on Reus. Pulisic and Guerrerio and eventually Sancho lacked the quality to change the match. Although many promising situations arose in the final 3rd, Brugge almost always recovered, with Dortmund's attacks constantly breaking down at the final moment. Conclusion: The game ended in a 0-0 draw, which was satisfactory for Dortmund but the persistent theme of opportunistic attacking against highly organized defences is Dortmund's biggest weakness currently. Should they continue their winning ways in the Bundesliga until the end of January, it's highly unlikely that their title challenge will be threatened by any of their other rivals. However, what is also unlikely is further progression in the Champions League. There's been bare evidence in several games that the direct attacking style of Dortmund, can be easily nullified against compact and coordinated defences. Whether Lucien Favre find solutions to this problem remains to be seen. But anyway, it's on to the Freiburg game we go!

Atletico Madrid Vs Borussia Dortmund: In-Possession Issues

Borussia Dortmund succumbed to their first defeat of the season against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday (06/11), on UEFA Champions League matchday 4. Lucien Favre's...
Borussia Dortmund V Freiburg: Bundesliga Tactical Analysis

Build-Up Analysis: Borussia Dortmund vs Wolfsburg

Ahead of a big week for Borussia Dortmund, I'll be taking a look at their build-up play in the first half of the 1-0...