Tag Archives for " Dortmund "

Dortmund v Arsenal-09-16-2014

HOW THE MATCH WAS WON by Keith Scarlett UEFA Champions League September 16, 2014 Signal Iduna Park Dortmund 2 v 0 Arsenal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan had enough chances, but Borussia Dortmund could not turn their superiority into more goals. Nevertheless, Dortmund kicked off their Champions League campaign with a resounding 2-0 win over Arsenal in

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How to Beat a Four-Man Midfield

By Stevie Grieve

Borussia Dortmund lost to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League Final, the 2014 German Cup Final, and lost Robert Lewandowski to their domestic rivals on a free transfer. They have however, now won the last 2 German Super Cups.

Jurgen Klopp has made some slight changes to his team and the structure and these slight changes worked perfectly against the 3-4-3 of Bayern Munich.

Positioning against the Bayern build-up phase


With Bayern playing a 3-4-3 formation, they have great width to circulate horizontally, so to counter this, Dortmund

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Dortmund v Bayern-05-17-2014

HOW THE MATCH WAS WON by Keith Scarlett German Cup Final Saturday, 17 May, 2014 Dortmund 2v0 Bayern Munich This match was one that Bayern Munich needed to really establish themselves at the top of German football. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, needed to prevent them from doing so because they themselves were in dire need

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Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund’s Counter Attacking – Part Four

By Stevie Grieve, author of Coaching the 4-2-3-1 and Attacking in the 4-2-3-1.  This is the final part of this article.  Part One can be seen here and Part Two here and Part Three here.

Dortmund Counter-Press Goal v Arsenal
Gegen-Pressen 1

Ramsey wins possession from a loose pass by Reus, but this is where Ramsey finds himself in danger, as Lewandowski has already transitioned to defense, and is pressing Arteta, blocking a forward pass and forcing the ball into Ramsey if he wants to play 1st time. Kuba has also transitioned and is in line with

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Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund’s Counter Attacking – Part Three

By Stevie Grieve, author of Coaching the 4-2-3-1 and Attacking in the 4-2-3-1.  Part One can be seen here and Part Two here.  Part Four will be posted next week.

Dortmund Counter-Attack and score from the Low-Block Defensive System
Dortmund 13

Dortmund have 2 clear lines of 4 with Mkhitaryan supporting the pressure. The pass is forced into the 4v1 scenario on the edge of the box (it was 1v1 when the ball was passed), and now Dortmund are

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Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund’s Counter Attacking – Part Two

By Stevie Grieve, author of Coaching the 4-2-3-1 and Attacking in the 4-2-3-1.  Part One can be seen here.  Part Three will be posted next week.

Dortmund Scoring Chance

Dortmund 4

Dortmund have just regained possession, and try to attack quickly. Sahin teases a pass into Bender and Reus, tempting pressure from

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Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund’s Counter Attacking - Part One

By Stevie Grieve, author of Coaching the 4-2-3-1 and Attacking in the 4-2-3-1.

One of Borussia Dortmund’s main strengths comes from the speed of which they attack, and the fluidity of the movement of the players in the front 4, a choice of either Blaszczkovski or Aubameyang, with Mkhitaryan, Reus and Lewandowski. All of these players have explosive pace, especially Aubameyang.

They have an interesting mix of attackers; Lewandowski brings old fashioned target man ability while having the combination play of a midfielder. Mkhitaryan brings balance to the attack as he fills in and opens up space well while combining with the midfield and providing a consistently good final ball, while Reus brings flair and penetration with runs from deep. Aubameyang offers penetration behind the defensive line as he likes to play high (similar to Walcott at Arsenal), while Kuba is the most defensive minded of the group, and is a vital part of the team balance – he will play deeper as Reus moves forward to play ahead of Lewandowski.

Borussia Dortmund have also perfected the art of ‘Counter-Pressing’ where the team press the ball after losing it, to win it back within 6 seconds, to ‘counter counter-attack’ and the speed of transition is a major way that they score goals.

Dortmund Mid-Block Positioning – Ball with full back or wide positioned center back.


Dortmund like to force play to one side, then ‘trap the opponent into passing into a specific opponent either on the

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The Formation of the Future - Part Three

By Stevie Grieve author of, Attacking in the 4-2-3-1  (Read Part One here and Part Two here)

We have also seen Real Madrid over the last 12 months being able to stop Barcelona in La Liga, and win in the Nou Camp, and Bayern Munich destroy Barcelona 7-0 over 2 legs in the Champions League semi-final, that a totally possession based game can be beaten if you set ‘traps’ for the possession team, and win the ball when they enter specific areas of the field. Once the ball is won, the counter attacking team can then exploit the fact that they defend deeper and have more space to play in on the counter attack behind the defense and between the lines to build the attack quickly.

The trap is set by, for example, showing a certain space and leaving it open for an opponent to move into, and when the pass or dribble is made into that zone, the defense quickly ‘flood’ the zone with players, forcing a turnover of possession via an overload. From the trap, 3 or 4 player will know where and when to run, where the ball will be played and attack quickly to the opposition goal.

Mourinho Porto - Transition 7

If we look at Borussia Dortmund, they have bought wisely in the past 2-3 years to ensure they can perform this style effectively – they have a solid back 4 in Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic and Schemmel, with 2 very effective

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How Higuain Creates Problems For Opposing Defenses

By Vasco Mota Pereira, PortuGOAL correspondent

Every once in a while my blog deviates from the analysis of a particular match's trends and incidents, focusing on a specific play or pattern from a specific team. Today we will be dissecting Gonzalo Higuaín and Mezut Özil's typical move during the match that pitted Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund for the Champions League's semi-finals.

As always, Higuaín is often keen on leading defenders (especially direct markers) astray, clearing up space for his team-mates' penetrations through the middle. In this particular instance, it is Özil who profits from the striker's clever move.

In the first picture, Modric is shuffling the ball from one side to another, looking for the best passing option. Dortmund are apparently well positioned, with bender picking up Özil (orange) and Hummels doing the same on Higuaín (red). When Higuaín sees the Croat midfielder under no pressure, he immediately checks towards the ball, Mats Hummels marking him all the way up. Bender is under the impression that Hummels is free to pick up Özil and leaves him unmarked, with Schmelzer too far wide, ready to press Di María should he get the ball.


What happens next leaves a gaping hole right in the center of Dortmund's defense. Hummels is dragged out of position by

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Short Passes or Direct Play?

By Stevie Grieve, Author of Coaching the 4-2-3-1Modern Soccer Tactics and Winning Soccer Tactics.

Dortmund gain a point with well worked direct play

Borussia Dortmund are Bundesliga Champions, and showed one of the reasons why against Real Madrid. They can mix their play up well and some games require a different style to win, and Jürgen Klopp decided that this game would require a solid base defensively, and a direct approach, specifically through Lewandowski using the speed of Reus, Goetze and Grossenkrautz to get the ball into dangerous positions behind the Real Madrid defence. Both goals came from this approach and all 3 players mentioned contributed to the goals.

Reus loses him marker to give Lewandowski a passing option

As Piszczek has the ball, Reus drops off to offer a pass, but as he is pressured, Reus spins behind his marker and Piszczek plays the long pass to

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