Real Madrid have struggled early in this Champions League season. After losing 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in round one of the group stage, they conceded twice at home to Club Brugge in a surprising draw. The Spanish club finally won their first match of this campaign on Tuesday at Türk Telekom Stadium, though yet again it was not without fault. This tactical analysis will examine Real Madrid’s 0-1 victory over Galatasaray and explain the tactics involved.


UEFA Champions League 2019/20: Galatasaray vs Real Madrid – tactical analysis tactics

The hosts lined up in a back five formation. Manager Fatih Terim deployed the same starting eleven that began Galatasaray’s previous group stage match against Paris Saint-Germain, with the lone change being Florin Andone up top replacing the injured Radamel Falcao. Despite currently sitting at sixth in the Süper Lig, Terim has created a stingy defence at the Turkish club by utilising the wing-backs in multiple phases of the game.

Zinédine Zidane also sent out a strong starting lineup. In front of a paramount back four, the French manager placed Federico Valverde alongside Casemiro and Toni Kroos in midfield. Additionally, he handed 18-year-old Rodrygo his first start for Real Madrid on the right wing of the front three next to Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.

Galatasaray’s transitions

Galatasaray’s back five formation, which they played in for a majority of the match, was overall effective against Real Madrid’s initial attacks. The five defensive players formed a solid back line, with Steven Nzonzi acting as a sweeper in the central and half-space areas of the pitch behind the other two midfielders.

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