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After a defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first game of the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid were out for all three points against Club Brugge but ended up being lucky to walk away with one.

Real Madrid conceded early on as Club Brugge pounced on the counter with Dennis clumsily turning the ball beyond a sprawling Thibaut Courtois. He added a second before half-time, again on the counter, but it wasn’t enough as Sergio Ramos and then Casemiro secured far-post headers to level the scoreline later on.

This tactical analysis will consider the tactics deployed by both Zinedine Zidane and Philippe Clement as they fought out in this entertaining draw in Champions League action.


Champions League 2019/20: Real Madrid vs Club Brugge - tactical analysis tactics
Zidane stuck with 4-3-3 whilst Club Brugge adapted to a back five to handle it

Zidane opted for his preferred 4-3-3 shape, with Luka Modrić returning and Lucas Vázquez getting the nod in attack while Gareth Bale was rested. The only real surprises came in that Zidane did not opt to rest more regular players.

Clement looked to adjust his set-up with a back-five deliberately designed to deny space for the Real Madrid front three. The midfield three took on Real Madrid’s perfectly whilst Dennis and Percy Tau provided pace in attack to allow a rapid counter-attacking system.

Gaping holes in the Real Madrid defence

Real Madrid’s defensive system has been concerning for some time, but Club Brugge expertly identified how to exploit the weaknesses that they left behind.

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Artwork by @chapulana

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