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Champions League final Tactical Analysis Dortmund vs Real Madrid

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Dortmund vs Real Madrid – UCL Final Tactical Analysis

In the Champions League final, the clash between European heavyweights Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund led to a tactical chess match that ultimately determined the outcome of the coveted trophy. Though the match may have lacked the free-flowing excitement that many neutrals had hoped for, an analysis was undertaken to reveal the intricate strategies and crucial adjustments that proved decisive

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The first half was dominated by Dortmund’s fluid 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, with the left wing-back often tucking into midfield, creating a 3-4-3 shape. This tactical structure aimed to overload the central areas and exploit the lack of compactness in Real Madrid’s

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traditional 4-4-2 system. Dortmund’s shape allowed them to penetrate through the middle with ease, often bypassing Real’s midfield with a single incisive pass or dribble.

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Real Madrid struggled to cope with Dortmund’s shape, as their strikers failed to apply coordinated pressure, and the wingers lacked the necessary compactness to prevent Dortmund from penetrating through the middle. Dortmund exploited these spaces time and again, creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities in the first half through quick combinations and clever movement.

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Transition

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Real Madrid lost possession cheaply a lot of times during the first half which opened up their defensive shape easily for Dortmund to exploit. Players like Sancho and Sabitizer got into central spaces with time to exploit the weak defensive structure from Madrid and also created some big chances which they failed to capitalised onto.

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Ultimately, Dortmund dominated the half while also penetrating Madrid’s defensive line time and time again with balls from deep behind the central spaces or through line breaking passes which opened up the partnership of Rudiger and Nacho.

Madrid’s Adaptation

At halftime, Carlo Ancelotti recognized the need for change. In a crucial adjustment, he introduced the dynamic Jude Bellingham into the midfield and pushed Vinicius Jr. out wide, effectively creating a 4-5-1 formation. This change brought greater compactness and control to Real Madrid’s midfield, stifling Dortmund’s attacking threat and limiting their ability to penetrate through the center.

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With the game finely poised, the defining moments came from set-pieces and individual quality. Early in the second half, a Real Madrid corner kick led to a dangerous opportunity, foreshadowing their eventual winner. In the 73rd minute, the evergreen Toni Kroos delivered a precise corner kick that was expertly headed home by the aerial prowess of Dani Carvajal, whose outstanding leap and timing proved decisive.

Final Thoughts

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While the match may have lacked the excitement of end-to-end action, it showcased the importance of tactical adaptations and the role of individual quality in deciding high-stakes encounters. Real Madrid’s halftime adjustment, orchestrated by the masterful Ancelotti, proved critical in stemming Dortmund’s first-half dominance. Ultimately, it was the brilliance of Kroos and Carvajal that separated the two sides, as Real Madrid claimed their latest European triumph through a combination of tactical nous and world-class talent.

In a game where fine margins often decide the outcome, Real Madrid’s ability to identify and rectify their tactical shortcomings, along with their individual match-winners, proved the difference against a formidable Dortmund side. This Champions League final may have been a masterclass in tactics and game management, but it also served as a reminder of the impact that key personnel and moments of magic can have in deciding the grandest of stages.

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