A win and some help.
Unfortunately for the German side, neither would come to fruition as Juventus defeated the Bundesliga side 2-0. If there is any consolation for Leverkusen, it’s that Atlético won their game by the same scoreline, so any result would have been in vain.
In this tactical analysis, we’ll take a look at how Juventus’ heavily rotated squad managed to earn three points. This analysis will show that Leverkusen’s wing play created chances, but was ultimately stopped by Juventus’ defensive tactics.
Peter Bosz lined up Leverkusen in a 4-4-2, with the Finn Lukás Hrádecky in net, Lars Bender at right-back, Daley Sinkgraven opposite him and the combination of Aleksandar Dragovic and Sven Bender in the middle. In the midfield, Karim Bellarabi stayed wide right while Kerem Demirbay and Charles Aránguiz played centrally. Moussa Diaby was the left midfielder, but he would slide more centrally, as did the German wunderkind, Kai Havertz, who started at forward with Lucas Alario.
Maurizio Sarri set Juventus out in a 4-3-1-2, starting Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon in goal. His defence was heavily rotated, featuring Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio out wide with Merih Demiral and Daniele Rugani earning the start centrally. Miralem Pjanic played his standard deep-lying playmaker role, flanked by Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot. Federico Bernardeschi played beneath the two strikers, Gonzalo Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bayer Leverkusen’s wing play
Playing in a wide 4-4-2, Leverkusen set out to progress through the wings. With the Juventus line of three midfielders starting from narrow positions, Leverkusen was able to play into their midfielders, who then had time to turn upfield and run at the Juventus outside-backs. Of the 29 dribbles they attempted, Leverkusen managed to win 19 of them (66%). This tactic was especially effective in the first half, leading to 13 of their 14 shots.
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