Let’s analyze Real Madrid’s victory against Real Sociedad and how Ancelotti solved the problems his team had in the first half. Real Madrid had a problem in the build-up, they placed the full-backs very high to pin and have superiority against the first line of press, but until Valverde dropped down to receive, they weren’t able to progress.

We can see it here, Valverde with the ball and Carvajal very high generating superiority. 3v2 with the Uruguayan looking for the players who attack the space, with a long pass

The other problem for Real Madrid in the first half, and which is the big doubt about Ancelotti’s diamond, is the support on the flanks. Especially Kroos with Fran García vs Kubo. Every time Real Sociedad switched a play from the left wing, Real Madrid didn’t have time to defend the other side, as in the play of the first goal.

In the second half, Fran García managed to control Kubo, forcing him to receive with his back to goal and with poor body orientation. In situations in the final third, Kroos and Tchouaméni were closer, waiting for Kubo’s move cutting inside to block the cross.

The path to the comeback was in the position of Valverde and Carvajal in the build-up, scoring Madrid both goals with possessions in that area, trying to take advantage of the height of Real Sociedad’s defensive line. With the threat of Carvajal and Fran García, Real Sociedad had to defend deeper, in a low block that unprotected the edge of the box, as in Valverde’s equalizer.

In the decisive goal, Carvajal again very high at the start of a long possession. 30 seconds later, the play goes back to that area, with Valverde completing a one-two pass with Carvajal to cross.

The ball ends up on the left flank, Fran García has 2 players who can stop his progression, but Kubo is very poor giving support, allowing the left-back’s push. In the box 2 Real Madrid’s players with a bad defensive work by Real Sociedad. Joselu, who is the main aerial threat, receives the cross and scores the goal in the gap between Le Normand and Tierney.

Another example that in Ancelotti’s diamond the full-backs are the most important players, being the weakness in the defensive phase and the main strength in the attack

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