The match between Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 set an example for how different two halves can be. In the first half Dortmund completely dominated Mainz, who defended in a 5-3-2. With half-space combinations as well as chipped balls behind the backline, Dortmund created chances en masse.

In the second half however, Mainz changed their formation to a 4-3-1-2 and made Dortmund struggle with their high press. The following tactical analysis will examine the different approaches of either side and the reasons for two different halves.

Lineups and formations

Borussia Dortmund started the match with their typical 4-2-3-1 formation under Lucien Favre. The Swiss coach still had to replace the injured full-backs Achraf Hakimi and Łukasz Piszczek as well as attacker Paco Alcácer. Therefore, Favre lined up Marius Wolf as a right-back, centre-back Abdou Diallo at left-back, and Mario Götze in attack.

Borussia Dortmund Mainz Bundesliga Tactical Analysis
[Credit: Wyscout]
Mainz on the other hand started the match with a different formation than in their recent games. Sandro Schwarz set his side up in a 5-3-2 in defence. As their wing-backs pushed up the pitch, Mainz played in a 3-5-2 in possession. With the strike duo consisting of Karim Onisiwo and Jean-Philippe Mateta, Mainz wanted to threaten Dortmund’s goal up front.

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