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Battle of Minds: A Tactical Breakdown of Bournemouth vs Brentford

Brentford vs Bournemouth – A tactical analysis: Background before the game

Managers in Premier Legaue do often share admiration for one other time to time but with Andoni Iraola and Thomas Frank both shared fondness for each other’s game model ahead of the clash.

Thomas Frank (Brentford) before the game (via BBC): “He’s started to be more aggressive. They are pressing more forward. I like that; I think it looks promising. They could have got more from the games they’ve played; there’s been some solid performances against three very good teams”

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Andoni Iraola (Bournemouth) before the game (via Daily Echo): “Brentford under Thomas Frank a ‘good reference.They are very good in small details, in set-pieces, in attacking the spaces”

1st Half: Bournemouth’s game between Lines, Brentford’s midblock focus and press

battle of minds a tactical breakdown of bournemouth vs brentford



Pic 2,3,4: Bournemouth’s settled possession and Brentford’s OOP (out of possession) plans and offensive transition.

Both coaches words as mentioned above in pre match interview rang true as Iraola’s 4-2-1-3 with Ryan Christie had them playing on front foot by stretching Brentford’s backline and finding space for Christie to play through to Justin Kluivert which aided to create options for overlap with Kerkez or Christie underlapping Kluivert.

Brentford meanwhile stuck true to their plan: A 1st line of pressure (pic 3) that focuses on winning the ball in wide areas is followed by being more conservative in a 4-4-2 block followed by focus on using space behind lines by having Wingers make diagonal runs behind CB’s ( pic 4).


Pic 5: Brentford knew how to find space between FB-CB’s in offensive transitions.

Despite Brentford’s goal being an outcome of brilliant set piece routine, their overall offensive transitions play was great, with the aim of finding spaces between CB-FB, especially on the left for Mbeumo when Kerkez would bomb forward to overlap often and this forced Bournemouth to drop Billing deep as a stopper despite which Brentford has Wissa hit the post.

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2nd Half: Brentford’s Missed Chances, Bournemouth making most out of a mistake


Pic 6: Brentford’s settled defensive structure 5-4-1

Thomas Frank’s strategy from onset of 2nd half was clear: Wait for Bournemouth to make the move, with Iraola taking the initiative by numerically matching the 5-4-1 block of Brentford and have balls into box by isolating the far side (opposite side of the ball) Full back. Brentford as a consequence of this hit the post 2 times once again in 2 successive offensive transitions. But it was only the error of their own maling that ensured Bournemouth took the lead in their home ground.


Pic 7: Poor communication in backline led to playing a pass directly to opponent

Brentford’s day started with scoring off a set piece goal and subsequently conceding a goal on a brilliant offensive transition of Bournemouth, who just had to capitalize the maximum on Brentford’s poor mistake. But ultimately another Error ended the day positive for Brentford.

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GIF 1: Mbeumo holds off to finish past Neto to equalize

The game ended with Mbeumo, who had a great game being a menace to Bournemouth all day finally found the reward for his efforts scoring the equalizer by brilliantly holding off and finishing past Neto.


It was a game of missed chances for Brentford while for Bournemouth, it was one brilliant move from Mbeumo that separated them from getting all 3 points. Both Iraola and Thomas Frank’s views ahead of the game showed as we analyzed the game, and next meeting between these sides will be another interesting clash to look at.

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