Bayern 1-1 Man City | Tactical Analysis

Bayern were superior to Man City in the second leg but again failed to finish their chances.

FC Bayern

In possession

We see Bayern with a very aggressive structure in possession 2-4-4 and City pressing in a 4-2-4. The key in the build up was the height of the full backs. Bernardo Silva and Grealish jumping on the center backs, leaving the full backs free, allowing Sommer to pass to Cancelo and Pavard. Akanji was very brave when the ball went to the wing, winning the duels against Cancelo, not allowing Bayern to progress, but the problems were on the other flank.

An example with this long ball to Pavard who has time to control without being pressed by Grealish or Aké.

When Bayern reached the middle of the pitch the problems were even greater, as Grealish jump on Upamecano, creating a 2 on 1 with Coman and Pavard against Aké.

In this play Pavard attacks Grealish’s back with Aké inside and no one comes out to intercept the pass.

In addition to these advantages every time there was a long ball for Coman, Aké suffered in the duel because of the speed of the Frenchman, who played a great game.

Another player who took advantage of City’s problems on the wing was Choupo-Moting, dropping to receive with his back to goal, generating superiority in that region.

In the final minutes of the first half Guardiola corrected Grealish’s positioning, moving him to cover Pavard, not pressing Upamecano and chasing the right winger when he attacked the space. In the second half he continued to maintain that position.

When Bayern didn’t progress down the right flank, the alternative was long balls against City’s defensive line, with 4 vs 4 situations because of the high pressing. That was exactly what Bayern wanted. Lure them into pressing and exploit that space in behind. When Guardiola’s side lost the aerial duel, a transition with a lot of space started in which City suffered a lot, with Stones playing a great game showing his speed and doing an amazing job defending inside the box. There were transitions in which Bayern had up to 5 players against City’s 4 defenders but the Germans’ finishing was again very poor, despite getting into the box with plenty of players to finish.

Manchester City

In possession

When City had possession Bayern used a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the block being narrow to prevent passes to the double pivot. When Bayern pressed high they accumulated up to 5 players, with a midfielder pressing De Bruyne or Gundogan, not allowing City to build up. When they had the ball in the middle of the pitch, Tuchel’s mid block remained narrow, blocking the passing lines to Stones and Rodri, not finding any solution to progress.


In the second half, with more space, came Haaland’s goal. A long ball for the Norwegian and De Bruyne received the ball in transition with no one covering him. He carries the ball and Haaland runs to the exact same spot he always runs to, to receive on his left foot and finish. Upamecano defended as if he didn’t know Haaland classical move trying to cover a possible run to his back, giving plenty of space to the striker. The Frenchman lost the 1-on-1 when he slipped and Haaland scored the goal.

Good game from Bayern but as in the first leg Upamecano’s mistakes prevented them from fighting for the win.

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