Thursday, 18 February 2016


now yesterday roma played real madrid at stadio olympico . before i write about the game i want to talk about zidane's real madrid and spaletti's roma . are madrid better under zidane than it was under rafa benitez then the answer is no . i dont think so . i will explain that in the game . while under spaletti roma has indeed improved . their defensive structure is far better . they move the ball better but it can be said that they havent got a worthy opponent who would test them . they had a match against juventus two weeks ago but juventus were cagey and never really tested roma fully . roma are playing out from the back they are moving the ball better but still there are certain problems which needs to be addressed like dependebility on certain individuals for scoring goals .
now roma started with the 4-2-1-3 formation or we can say that they started with the 4-5-1 formation . spaletti started without a recognised striker and used perotti as the no.9 while salah and al sharaway were alongside him .while nainggolan was just behind these front three. vainqueur and prajnic were in front of the back four . the back four consisted of florenzi,rudiger,manolas and digne. while real madrid too had the same formation but it was a sligthly tweaked one . it may looked like 4-3-3 but i would say that it was 4-4-2 with ronaldo staying up top with benzema even though he operated from the left but still it was more of 4-4-2 than 4-3-3 . madrid may had shown 4-3-3 on the paper but they played like 4-4-2 . now benzema was uptop with ronaldo alongside him while kross and modric were in the middle with isco and james on the wings . the back four consisted of carvajal,varane,ramos and marcelo .
 the game started with a decent pace with madrid on offense and roma sitting back and hitting back on counter . roma were comfortably playing very deep because of the fear of the pace of benzema and ronaldo . plus rudiger and manolas dont have that great pace . while under spaletti roma are a bit better they have a good shape to the team on defense . they started by closing ronaldo and james not being allowed time on the ball . florenzi and digne were tight on ronaldo and james giving them no time on the ball . i had said this even in the juventus game that roma allows time and space between the lines (hole) but madrid were not able to exploit that . there are reason's for that .
 halguera had come heavily on zidane and isco this week in press and i think he is right . now what is the difference between zidane's madrid and that of benitez's madrid . well the first off difference is that ronaldo is seeing lot of the ball and everthing is going through him . he is helping his team to bring the ball up . he is coming deep to move the ball up . his touches has increased and he is more involved in the game than before . but the thing that is wrong is the offense . on madrid's offense how many players are involved in a move then the answer will not more than two or three . are they trying to work a zone and take the ball deeper in opposition's box then the answer is not . instead when it reaches the box they are happy to cross it . arent zidane's tactics a bit similar to ancelotti to whom he was an assistant then i would say that he definitely taken some element from that . they are moving the ball from one flank to another . they are trying to exploit the space that is created on opposite  flank when one flank is worked on . the shocking statistics is the number of touches that ronaldo had and the no. of touches that players like james and benzema had . i think benzema was not very much involved in the first half . i had said that madrid were not able to explore the  time the space that they had in the hole that was offered by roma in the first half . the reason for this because they didnt had anybody fromt the midfield to go beyond benzema . they dont have a proper no. 10 .
 is roma under spaletti better than the previous manager the answer is a tad better . they are playing more like a team . they still lining up the same way that they were under the previous manager . they are still dependent for goals on salah and now al sharaway . but the difference is the ball movement . before they would just try to get the ball to salah but instead they are moving the ball better . they are passing it better . but still there offense is one dimensional and there needs to be some improvement on that.
 the game had a good pace to it . roma were sitting back and allowing to come and absorb the attack and hit them on the counter. in the first half majority of the attacks were from the left since ronaldo was on that side . madrid were a bit hesitant about salah's pace so they played deep . they let him in front of the ramos and varane rather than trying to play very high defensive line. ramos was always a yard goalside of salah . now the first goal came because of florenzi's mistake . in earlier matches too florenzi was criticized about his position on defense . here too instead of him on ronaldo had he chosen to let ronaldo and then taken proper actions like showing him outside or getting close to him on the run and dislodging him  off the ball which he had done earlier in the match . instead he tried to close him down which allowed ronaldo the space to run and then florenzi helping him by going down too early and allowing ronaldo  a shot on goal  which too a lucky deflection .
after the first goal roma's players hear dropped a little they started to make some erractic passes . spaletti tried to change the system when he bought dzeko for alsharaway and it worked a bit . they now had a target in the box and it did cause some problems for roma but madrid started pressing roma high up the pitch and most importantly the midfield getting caught high up the pitch so there was space in front of the back four and benzema or ronaldo could pass to each other piercing the back four on the run. the second goal was a resultant of that.
 even though madrid were the dominant one and won the match comfortably zidane still has a long way to go . he still needs to get more player on the offense to make the team more complete and the offense more effective .