March 22, 2023

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Tactical derby wrestling – top! Galaktionov’s pressure idea and Abaskal’s controversial experiment

Milan 8-bit kit: presented at Fashion Week, integrated into a racing game

Milan 8-bit kit: presented at Fashion Week, integrated into a racing game

We admire Miranchuk, Pinyaev, Promes, Ignatov and Zobnin.

Spartak and Lokomotiv gave out a fiery attacking derby, which ended with a confident victory for the team of Guillermo Abascal. In the first game, Spartak looked much more confident before the substitutions of Mikhail Galaktionov – then the appearance of Anton Miranchuk and the change of scheme helped to calm the game and equalize the chances. Yesterday’s match turned out to be much brighter thanks to new coaching decisions and game intelligence of both attacks.

Important: in such analyzes, we do not talk about referee decisions, but discuss exclusively tactical and individual performances (the controversial decisions of Sergey Ivanov are described here ).

In the first cup game, Guillermo Abascal released 11 Russian players in the starting lineup. Most of the combinations were played at the winter training camp, and some of the foreigners and leaders were not available: Shamar Nicholson and Alexander Sobolev were disqualified, Quincy Promes was absent from the training camp, Christopher Martins only recently recovered, and newcomers Alexis Duarte and Tomas Tavares have not yet become the main ones. Before the second derby, Abascal made only one change: he exchanged Pavel Meleshin for Quincy Promes and allowed the attacking three to move freely, although Mikhail Ignatov more often than others found himself on the edge.

Mikhail Galaktionov has changed more. Firstly, the coach turned 4-3-3 into 4-2-3-1 with Anton Miranchuk as the ten (this is how they played out the ending in the first match). Secondly, he restarted the starting lineup: Herman Conti replaced Ivan Kuzmichev in the center of defense, Nair Tiknizyan replaced Maxim Nenakhov on the left in defense, Anton Miranchuk replaced Daniil Kulikov, and Maxim Glushenkov replaced Francois Camano on the right in attack.

Lokomotiv’s transition to 4-2-3-1 influenced the style of the match and minimized the sharpness of Spartak’s positional attacks

First, some context from the past derby .

Then Galaktionov admitted that in the first half Loko paid for the lack of aggression and organization – because of this, Spartak dominated through possession and cool algorithms on the right in attack. Lokomotiv rebuilt thanks to the appearance of Miranchuk: Galaktionov changed the pressure and the formation – the team used 4-2-3-1 to break up 4-3-3 red-whites (the main catalyst for game evolution is the personalization of the triangle in midfield). This weakened Spartak’s control and reduced the danger of possession due to harder pressing and long passes.

In response, Galaktionov continued the plan from the second half. The main goal is to block short draws in the third of Spartak. To do this, Loko became more flexible: Karpukas, Barinov and Miranchuk dismantled Prutsev, Zobnin and Litvinov. The most favorable situation for the guests is the flank combinations of the hosts. Then it was possible to block the recipients for transfers (as a rule, Barinov or Karpukas finished playing for their player, and the second of them became a deep defensive player).

An additional option is occasional help from wingers. In several episodes, Glushenkov and Pinyaev famously narrowed – this additionally blocked simple passes, plus it led to interceptions or pressure. In one of these moments, Chernov and Maksimenko almost played under the pressure of Dziuba.

Another detail is the high line and aggressive throws from the central defenders. It turned out well due to the absence of a large and fixed attacker – Lokomotiv took most of the throws.

Lokomotiv neutralized Spartak’s possession well and influenced the style of the match. The red-and-whites still created a few chances in the first half, but the main sharpness came from Loko’s losses and cuts (more on that below), and not from positional attacks. After the match, Abascal admitted that he also helped the guests: “Possession of the ball in a foreign half of the field can sometimes be sterile. What Zinkovsky did, Ignatov could do, but we lacked a forward – a tip. Therefore, Meleshin came out – a striker who goes forward and knows how to do it.

Loko’s new attack: Tiknizyan’s adaptation to Pinyaev, Glushenkov’s diagonal runs and Miranchuk’s magnificence

In the first match, Lokomotiv’s attack failed. Yes, she more or less came to life in the second half thanks to the standards and Miranchuk, but the combination of Pinyaev and Nenakhov was terrible, and Camano was not at all impressed.

Yesterday, Galaktionov adapted the flanks to the abilities of Pinyaev and Glushenkov: Tiknizyan ran a lot through the half-flanks (allowed Sergei to play wide – he interacted with Gorshkov so often in Wings), and Maxim regularly went into the middle. And most importantly – the freedom of Miranchuk in the role of ten. Anton scored two great goals, scanned the space perfectly and was constantly creating – he determined Loko’s play ahead and took part in the main and most interesting moments.

The roles of Tiknizyan, Pinyaev and Miranchuk were clearly manifested in the first scoring attack. Initially, Nair famously rolled on Anton, who topically extended Pinyaev in touch.