Bayer Leverkusen fell to a narrow 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Alvaro Morata’s winner was enough to make the difference for Diego Simeone’s side as Atletico took all three points from their encounter with the Germans. The result was harsh on Peter Bosz’s Bayer Leverkusen who put up a fight at the Wanda Metropolitano and arguably deserved more from the game. This tactical analysis aims to look at the key tactics employed by both Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen through visual and statistical analysis.
Atletico Madrid lined up in their familiar 4-1-2-1 diamond/ 4-4-2. Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi played as the full-backs on either side of José Giménez and Felipe. In midfield, Thomas Partey was the deepest midfielder with Hector Herrera and Koke ahead of him. Saúl played at the tip of the diamond, while Diego Costa and Ángel Correa led the attack.
Bayer Leverkusen lined up in an attack-minded 4-4-2. Mitchell Weiser and Lars Bender played as the full-backs with Sven Bender and Jonathan Tah in defence. Julian Baumgartlinger and Kerem Demirbay played together in central midfield. Karim Bellarabi and Nadiem Amiri played on the flanks with Kai Havertz operating as a second striker behind Kevin Volland.
Bayer Leverkusen start aggressively
Leverkusen were aggressive from the whistle as they sought to press the home side. Leverkusen’s formation was perfect to exploit Atletico’s weaknesses, especially on the flanks.
Due to Atletico’s diamond, they lacked players on the flanks which left only Trippier and Lodi to provide the width.
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