Tactical Analysis: How the Impact beat the Whitecaps

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Analysis — The beginning of the match between the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps was relaxed. The two teams were observing each other, and Montreal was looking to get back its game sensations after one month of inactivity.

Then, in the 18th minute, Saphir Taider sent a delightful cross with the outside of his left boot and Quioto headed in for Montreal.

Then, near the end of the half, work from the Impact’s midfielders allowed Emmanuel Maciel to send a wonderful long ball to Lassi Lappalainen, who made no mistake in front of the goal.

The other critical moment was Impact goalkeeper Clément Diop saving an awful penalty from Lucas Cavallini. Vancouver’s latest Designated Players is still looking for his first MLS goal. For the Whitecaps, it’s quite worrying.

Tactical Analysis

Thierry Henry disposed his team in a 4-3-1-2 formation with Taider as the creative midfielder. Henry’s goal with this formation was to help the team get in the last third of the pitch much more easily, with players like Wanyama and Maciel who are good at getting the ball forward.

After getting in that final third of the pitch, Montreal looked to use all of the pitch’s width. To achieve this, the key players were Taider and Piette. Both of them often left their usual spot in the midfield to go occupy the spaces left open near the lines whilst their corresponding forward went to the half spaces. We also saw the forwards going wide whilst the midfielders occupied the half spaces.

That tactic was devastating for Vancouver, especially in the first half. Their 3-man backline left plenty of space between the winger and the central defender. Giving so much space and time to players like Taider, Lappalainen and Quioto led the Whitecaps to being overrun quite often.

 

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