Arturo Vidal is a versatile Chilean midfielder who plies his trade in Italy with Juventus. Prior to his move to the Serie A, Vidal was making his name in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen. He is a product of the famed youth academy of Colo Colo.
The 25 yr old is 5 ft 11 in and has represented his country 41 times.
Juventus set out with a 5-3-2 formation which was interchangeable into a 3-5-2 when in attack. Vidal occupied the right side of midfield and had a prominent part to play in defence and attack.
Much of his game went through the middle of the pitch, but he had significant impact in both the defensive field and attack. He was crucial in breaking down the attacking play of the opposition. He constantly attempted to start quick counter attacks and played a key role in the transition from defence to attack. Whenever possible he got forward with the ball and made attacking runs. At one moment he would be around the Chelsea box the next moment he’d pop up in the Juve box.
The Chilean was always willing to get into the game and was largely benefited by the gaps in Chelsea’s midfield. He was given lots of time and space in the middle of the park and he took full control of this. While pegged back against an attack, Chelsea maintained a high line, which made them vulnerable at the back. Vidal is instrumental in quickly turning defence into attack and is an advocate of the counter attack.
It is important to get organised in defence and ensure that there is adequate cover for the back three. Pirlo would mostly sit deep and be the creative head from the back, with Marchisio making those surprise runs into the box. Vidal was left with the duty of ensuring a solid defence against Chelsea’s rampant attack from midfield. He was constantly dropping deep in support of the defenders.
Chelsea are difficult to play against when in possession, especially in the midfield. It is important to have men constantly pressing the opposition, not only in the centre but out wide as well. Arturo Vidal was seen putting constant pressure to the man in possession, and making it difficult for Eden Hazard to get inside. For large parts of the game, Juventus allowed Chelsea time on the ball in the attacking third, due to which they maintained a fairly highline. When Vidal got possession back he made it difficult for Chelsea to descend into a defensive unit, as he attempted to launch a quick counter. He was vital for the transition from defence to attack.
An important feature of a midfielder is the ability to bring players into the game. This requires having good vision. Andrea Pirlo is a master of this, and the signs show that Vidal is learning well from the Italian. He was calm and composed in possession and gave his teammates (especially those ahead of him) respite to get into attacking positions while also allowing the full-backs push forward thus shifting from a 5-3-2 to a 3-5-2. His play allowed the movement of Giovinco and Vucinic, and aided in picking out a pass.
He would also switch wide right to widen the playing surface, while also moving narrower allowing Lichtsteiner to make runs down to right, however this was rare as the Swiss full back was pushed back by Chelsea’s attacking pressure.
He also assisted Lichtsteiner in defence, aiding him in keeping the left side of Chelsea (Hazard & Cole) quiet. He would run back from midfield to close down the players and force them to concede possession.
29th minute: His quick attacking play was evident when he picked up the ball in the his own half in midfield after Ivanovic gave possession away cheaply, got forward and drew the defender (Terry) away from him and left the striker (Vucinic) in acres of space. On another day that could have been deadly.
The Goal: After Chelsea went 2-0 up with goals from Oscar in quick succession, Juventus needed a response. A goal before half time would prove to be crucial. Asamoah did good work down the left to keep possession while being tracked by Chelsea players, he then found Marchisio. The Italian played the ball to Vidal the edge of the box, he took a quick touch with his right foot, shifted the ball to his left side to take both Hazard and Lampard out before slotting home a neat and strong finish past Cech into the bottom corner.
Arturo Vidal was always willing to get stuck into the game, never shy to receive possession and never shy to put in a tackle. He was constantly attempting to put in hard tackles, a couple of times it paid off. Like in the first half where Chelsea had some possession around the box, it all become a bit scrappy until Torres had the ball at his feet at the edge of the box, Vidal dived his foot in and ensured the ball was off the Spaniards feet. Slightly mistimes and Chelsea could have had a penalty, or a free kick right at the edge.
However occasionally his tackles were bare lunges, and mistimed. He didn’t get the ball but fortunately for him he didn’t connect with the man either. His fierce tackles could land him in trouble. He did receive a yellow card as well (the only Juve player to do so), as Oscar attempted a counter and quickly got the ball off his feet, Vidal tugged on the Brazilians shirt to hold him back. The referee played advantaged and penalised the Chilean later.
He grew slightly tired as the game wore on. His ankle injury that he sustained in the first half (while played that above illustrated through ball to Vucinic) could have taken a toll on him. But his calm and confident nature on the ball continued, as his movement subsided. He was patient on the ball, forcing Chelsea defenders out of line to leave gaps at the back.
He had one last significant part to play in the game, as he got possession in Chelsea’s half, spread the ball wide to Isla who was in tons of space, he in turn found Quagliarella whose shot clipped of the bar.
Vidal played a total of 54 passes in the game, with a mere passing accuracy rate of 78%. Out of his 54 passes, 3 were key.
He attempted a total of 5 long balls from deep, 3 of which found their target.
The midfielder has 3 attempts on goal, 1 of which was on target and that was the goal in the first half.
His defensive play was crucial. He had a go at the Chelsea players with 9 tackles, intercepted the ball 3 times, and cleared the ball 3 times as well.
Vidal had a pivotal part to play in the game, which could prove to be an important point for the Italian champions. A point away from home in the Champions League can go a long way in securing passage to the next round. He played a significant part in both defence and attack. Showed great determination and energy, even after tweaking his ankle he stayed on and completed the full 90 mins despite being in some distress.
His rise to prominence has been slow, but finally the world is taking notice of Arturo Vidal as many experts are quick to mention his important to Juventus, praise his ability and compliment his play. Its no surprise that he is quickly being regarded as one of the best midfielders in the game at present.
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Illustrations made on this11.com and all statistics are via whoscored.com
Picture credits to: eurosoccerweb.com and facebook.com
Video credits to 101greatgoals.com (match telecasted on Sky Sports 24 HD)