This game between 2 and 7 teams of Group B of Chinese Super League was played on 22 September. Beijing Guoan has a great physical and mental conditions now: the team of Qingdao has strongly different situation. All of Beijing’s stars was in the starting squad, except defensive midfielder Fernando. Head coach of the guests made a decision to add one foreign player to every line of tactical structure. In our tactical analysis you can look how it was.
Both coaches choose basic 4-4-2 formations with tactical changes in different phases of the game, depending about situation on the field. When the game is in motion, team needs to defend and to attack. Tactical structure can’t be the same in this game phases. Beijing played 4-2-2-2 system in defensive phase and 3-3-4 in attacking phase. They tried to use a width of the pitch in order to find a space between Qingdao players.
It’s necessary to look at, that Beijing had a very high-class attacking players in this game. There were two great strikers Cedric Bakambu and Alan. Also, Renato Augusto and Jonathan Viera did a good support from midfield.
Qingdao Defensive Phase
In order to increase defensive power of tactical scheme, Qingdao used 2 main structures: 4-4-2 and 5-4-1. Player №30 Abdulla played key role in those changes. When the ball was under control by Beijing, especially in the moment of build-up, and was near central line, 4-4-2 system was used. When attack of the opponent was moving to the right, Abdulla was running to the defensive line. Those tactical skills added one defensive player to back four. Because the idea was to block passing lines and space as maximum as it could be, Alessandrini №10 was running to the central line of defensive structure of Qingdao to make it 5-4-1.
Beijing offensive phase and Beijing build up
Next step is to do an analysis how Genesio wanted to break defensive structure of Jingui Wu. It made a need for Beijing to make positional attacks so wider as it could be. That’s why Bruno Genesio canceled typical left-back running forward to do something dangerous for the opponents. Positional attacks of the hosts looked like 3-3-4. Left winger Viera stayed left; right defender Wang stayed right. Alan and Bakambu tried to penetrate through central block of three defenders. Rest of midfielders formed a three-man line to support ball moving.
As we know, Beijing played with two center-backs, that’s why in order to progress the ball forward was need to plus additional player to break 2vs2 trap in the center.
Beijing tried to use the gaps between central four midfielders to add somebody or do dangerous pass. As I mentioned earlier, both teams played 4-4-2 system, that’s why it’s easy for opponent to make a man-oriented pressing traps. As it usually goes, 4-2-4 structure of build-up fights with 4-4-2 defensive structure. To breaks this, if you have a ball, there are only one way: clever movements and creating overload if this situation is real. Because Beijing midfield has more skillful players, this way used a lot.
Beijing defensive phase and how Qingdao tried to break it
Beijing played as hosts should played, that’s why they did a lot of counter-pressing movements. Man-oriented pressing traps was the main key to stop build-up of Qingdao. A big part of time guests was without the ball or under quick pressing. It’s not amazing that we can count a lot of long balls they did. But we could see that they tried to attack vertical and create triangles or square to pass the ball back and do vertical pass again.
To sum up, there was two main ways for Qingdao to progress ball forward. First way was to do pressing immediately. Second way was to wait an opponent’s mistake to take the ball in order to make a fast vertical attacks. There was the use of speed and skills of Alessandrini. Second way was to make smart movements together in order to control the ball – especially it was useful when player who take the ball was staying with his back to the goal. Pass the ball back, turnover and you can take the ball again without any likelihood to lose the ball.
To conclude, we should talk about main aspects of the game. Beijing played very strong game, using clever positional attack mixed with vertical progressing the ball through the lines. Also, they did everything to take the ball immediately and control the game. They did successful buildup, they did a lot of speed movements, they looked like team to fight for the first place without any doubt. Qingdao couldn’t cope with high-class individual skills of Beijing’s players.
When Qingdao’s player was sent off at the 53 minute, the intrigue was over. It seems to me, that structure with 3 central defenders would be better for their team to do build up and close wing activities of the opponents. As we saw earlier, they played 5-4-1 system in defensive phase. That’s why if they would play with 3 center-backs, need for left midfielder to run back to make five-man line wouldn’t be there. If we take a look at offensive phase – 3-5-2 structure is a good weapon to break high man-oriented pressing of 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2 systems.
I strongly believe, that Qingdao’s manager Jingui Wu chose useless tactics. Two forwards don’t allow wingbacks push forward to close wingbacks of the opponent, because if they will do it, there will be two 1vs1 situations. So, 2 players of your team close 4 opponents. It takes you an advantage 8vs6 on other side of the filed. It can be used to do successful build-up and to create numerical superiority in the center. The way opponent can go is to push back midfield line and close space in 4-4-2 formation. But Qingdao played very dangerous game using 4-2-4 formation in attacking phase. There were no good ways for them to carry the ball and control it in order to progress their attacks. If they would play 3-5-2 system in attacking phase, they could kill defensive plan of Beijing, which was to did a high man-oriented pressing. Also, stats can show that Qingdao has a very big problems in the defensive phase and in the unbalanced phase of the game.
Undoubtedly, the competition they are playing in will give us many interesting games in future. To conclude I want to show you how it could be, if 3-5-2 system of Qingdao in attacking phase would fight against 4-4-2 defensive system of Beijing.