Let’s analyze the final of the Spanish Super Cup between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. We start by looking at this situation, Barça’s main weakness throughout the match was the ease with which Real Madrid played passes in midfield. Here we can see how the first line does a poor job, the second is very far and the defensive line is going to have many doubts about how high they should be.

We can see here another problem FC Barcelona, the defensive line dropping too deep, the midfielders didn’t arrive in time to give support, and therefore superiorities could be generated to progress.

We can see this here very clearly, with Madrid in possession, poor press, having Real players time to make the best decision, either to play with a short pass or throwing a long ball. Real Madrid with two players against three of Barcelona’s back line being the defenders too passive. Here Koundé is clearly going to be the player who has to follow Bellingham, Christensen too passive and Balde covering Rodrygo.

This is what happened in all of Real Madrid’s dangerous attacks, a player in the middle of the field receiving comfortably, a long ball and Real Madrid with three players against Barca’s defensive line. Balde is out of position and therefore the three of Real Madrid are going to run against Barça’s 3. In this one , there are two Real Madrid players Bellingham and Vinicius overloading Araujo and if Koundé isn’t quick, Real Madrid will have superiority.

That’s what happens in the first goal, a 1v1 situation is going to be generated but the first thing to comment on is how easy it is for Madrid to link-up, we see how Tchouameni delivered the ball to Kroos and Kroos for Bellingham. Christensen is going to jump because Barça’s midfield isn’t closed enough to cover these passes, freeing up Vinícius. Koundé sees Vinícius in behind, so the first thing the frenchman is going to do is take two steps back.

Araújo is going to move narrow so that if the pass goes in the gap between center back and fullback he can intercept the pass. Koundé realizes that Bellingham is going to release the ball, so he tries to intercerp the pass with an anticipation. Vinícius attacks space, poor decision by Koundé, Balde is too far away to help, Araújo very passive as he has to cover the Real Madrid player who is wide. Another very important error in the goal that perhaps goes more unnoticed is the goalkeeper’s position. If you are going to try to defend with a very high line, it is essential that the goalkeeper is close enough to his back line. Here there is too much space between the defensive line and the goalkeeper, we don’t see Iñaki Peña at any time during the play when the ball has traveled many meters, Vinicius has started the run, and Iñaki Peña is still very passive. Bad positioning and then he tries to get out, but it’s too late, Vinícius having a lot of time to decide where to dribble past Iñaki Peña, moving to the right side, with the goalkeeper being unable to save the goal.

In the play of the second, we see Barcelona’s problems defending with the line so high. Carvajal in possession, in this one the ball will not have to pass through the middle of the field as in the play for the first goal and Barcelona, by Xavi’s decision, defends with a very high defensive line, but the players that Barça has aren’t able to defend this risky situations. Christensen decides to jump on Bellingham, Sergi Roberto is very far from Carvajal and therefore the right back will have time to decide where to send the ball. Araújo, Koundé, Christensen and Balde each at a different height, horrible defensive positioning and from here the problems begin as the player who is going to throw the pass isn’t under pressure, givinh him time to think and take the best decision, the defensive line pushes allowing the pass in behind. Koundé is going to try to trap Rodrygo offside, Carvajal reads it perfectly, throws the long ball and Rodrygo places moves in behind Christensen. The Danish footballer will not have time to go back, Koundé is very far away and Araujo, having taken two steps forward will lose the run with Vinicius. And from here the play is completely unbalanced, Vinicius is going to start his run very comfortably, Araujo can’t match his speed, and Rodrygo gives the pass for Vinicius who scores the second goal.

The play in which Real Madrid got the penalty for the third goal is also very important, we can see here how Barcelona is trying to press but once again the first line of pressure with two players, the distance between the first and second line is too great so Real Madrid will not have any difficulty getting out of this press. We see it here as the ball after 10 seconds the ball is on the other side and the distance between the first line of pressure and the defensive line is too great, there is a lot of distance between them and also once again the defensive line is dropping too much as soon as the play is switched. In this case we see how Real Madrid has no threat, despite this, Barcelona’s back line is retreating and the midfielders are far from the defensive line creating spaces.

We can see here how a player receives with a lot of time to throw the cross and from the other side there is a very poor defense of the box, Araujo is covering Vinicius from the outside instead of inside, which implies that if the cross is good he won’t be able to defend him, so he ends up committing the penalty.

And in the fourth goal we see Barcelona’s horrible counterpress. one of Barça’s main strengths last season. Once again they do it really badly, there is not enough aggressiveness nor are the passing lanes covered. When Valverde receives, several Barcelona players forget to make the defensive transition and Christensen is going to be very slow in the duel with Valderde. The distance between the two is very important, but Valverde wins the race anyway, the Uruguayan demonstrating his great physique.

Barcelona is going to have to defend a three against three inside the box. Araújo, Koundé and Gundogan against the three from Real Madrid who are Vinicius, Rodrigo and Bellingham. Valverde gives the pass to Vinicius, because Christensen gives Valverde too much time and space to think. In the 3v3 inside the box, Barça lacking intensity and with 8 players plus the goalkeeper defending, Rodrygo ended up scoring Real Madrid’s fourth goal.

Many problems for Xavi’s team, especially when they are out of possession, in the defeat against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Sup.

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