Connect with us

Tactical Analysis

Tactical Analysis: RB Leipzig 1-1 AS Monaco | Dynamism and the 4-4-2

Kaushik Goswami tactically analyses the 1-1 draw between RB Leipzig and AS Monaco in the Champions League

With most of the European heavyweights playing on Wednesday, this game was not on most people’s watch list. However, Leipzig and Monaco produced 90 mins of fast paced quality football which made it one of the most entertaining games of the day. Last season’s semifinalists Monaco had to battle hard to come from behind in the game which produced end-to-end stuff.

RB Leipzig: Ğulacsi; Klosterman, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Sabitzer, Demme, Ilsanker, Forsberg;  Werner, Poulsen.

Monaco: Benaglio; Toure, Glik, Jemerson, Jorge; Sidibe, Fabinho, Moutinho, Diakhaby; Tielemans, Falcao.

Game of transitions

None of the two sides are reliant on a possession-based slow build up game. Their comfort zones lie mostly in the offensive transition phases. Thus, it was clear from the outset that both teams look to play vertically as soon as they won the ball following a turnover. Monaco had problems in the weekend when they lost 4-0 to OGC Nice. Nice capitalised on the fact that Monaco had too many players ahead of the ball in possession phases. Throughout the game, RB Leipzig created such situations to exploit the lack of vertical compactness in Monaco’s defensive structure.

Monaco lack a good structure to handle second balls and RB Leipzig exploited this with their superior structure in such situations. It led to the first goal for Leipzig. The German side had an interesting structure in situations where there was a possibility of winning second balls such as throw ins. Normally teams use 8 players (or 7) near the ball in close proximity to each other when they have to handle a throw in. Such teams usually have one player in the ball far halfspace and another player in the ball far wing. However, RB Leipzig used all 10 players in the ball near zone in such moments. These adjustments compliment their vertical gameplay. It enables them to combine better in tight spaces and move past the opponent back line.

Monaco on the other hand, tried to get their wingers into play to create chances for Falcao. However, the crosses were disappointing for most of the game. Monaco missed Benjamin Mendy who was crucial in the wing play last season. However, they did manage to score after a good cross was met by Diakhaby who headed it into the path of Tielemans to level the scores.

Leipzig build up

Even though Leipzig are mainly a team who rely on quick counterattacks, they had a lot of possession in the game (60%). They had a clear plan even during possession phases. There were gaps between Monaco’s two banks of 4 when they were out of possession trying to block access for Monaco’s centre-backs. This enabled Leipzig to get their creative midfielders into those gaps so as to provide passing options to their centre-backs. By getting into those gaps, it opened probabilities for combinations behind the Monaco back line. It also meant that they could counter press in higher areas to launch attacks closer to the box.

In the first line, Leipzig used a 3+1 structure to create numerical superiority versus the two Monaco forwards who were looking to press the back line. Because of the superiority they could move out of the pressure into the next phase and advance play.

By inviting the press from the Monaco forwards and midfielders, they also ensured that they opened up ample space for the attacking players like Werner ahead of the Monaco backline.  

There are always risks when using so many players up front. The pressing dynamics immediately after losing the ball must be optimal to prevent counterattacks. Leipzig’s most vulnerable moments came when they failed to press effectively after losing the ball in the final third. As a result of this, Monaco found themselves with some good chances but poor decision making by players like Diakhaby let them down.

2nd half

Leipzig continued their tempo throughout the second half too. Their vertical gameplay led to them going past the Monaco backline on a couple of occasions. At times, the forwards marginally strayed offside. They still had enough chances to win the game. Even though xG was lower compared to Monaco, a closer look at the shots indicate that Monaco’s xG score was elevated because of the two shots which Tielemans took that eventually led to the goal. Other than that, Monaco did not have too many shots inside the box. However, Leipzig had many shots inside the box which shows how many times they got past the Monaco backline.

Monaco too had their chances on the break but failed to convert them. In the end, the 1-1 was a fair result given how inefficient both teams were in their final third decision making.


Both sides look set to progress from the group. Their final third play has to improve though if they have to collect points from the other teams. For the neutral fans, this game was a great watch and the two teams can be pleased with their performance.

Kaushik Goswami

Kaushik Goswami

Kaushik is a football enthusiast who likes looking at the game from a tactical point of view. His Twitter handle is @Kaushik_wazza and he's a Manchester United fan hailing from Guwahati, India.
Kaushik Goswami

100 to Watch


Scout Report7 hours ago

Scout Report: Vinícius Junior | The most expensive player born this century

Anderson Moura lays down the rule on the world’s most expensive player of the 21st century thus fair, Vinícius Junior....

Talent Radar1 day ago

2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #7: Manchester City’s trio lead the way

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...

Tactical Analysis1 day ago

Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund 2-3 RB Leipzig | Leipzig’s Press Beats Dortmund’s Possession

Ryan Tank writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Bundesliga match that ended Borussia Dortmund 2-3 RB Leipzig Line Ups...

Series1 day ago

Tactical Philosophy: Paul Clement

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Interviews2 days ago

Interview: Ex-Premier League players on the Problem with Young Footballers

Outside of the Boot had the opportunity to speak with ex-Premier League players – Manchester City’s Paul Dickov, Leicester City’s...

Scout Report2 days ago

Scout Report: Nicolo Barella | Cagliari’s Complete Midfielder

Kaustubh Pandey provides a detailed scout report on Cagliari’s promising Italian midfielder, Nicolo Barella In a country that is as passionate...

Opinions2 days ago

Statiscal Analysis: Which team has the worst injury record in La Liga?

Luke Glassford provides us with a statiscal look at the injuries suffered by various La Liga teams over the past...

Scout Report3 days ago

Scout Report: Chris Willock | Benfica’s ex-Arsenal youth product

Hrishi Anand takes a look at youngster Chris Willock, whose move away from the Premier League could help blaze a...

Scout Report3 days ago

Scout Report: Marlos Moreno | Manchester City’s Colombian flash

Josh Sippie takes a look at Colombian international Marlos Moreno, whose Spanish education will make or break his chances at...

Opinions5 days ago

Analysing Kevin De Bruyne: Pep Guardiola’s Total Midfielder

Charles Onwuakpa analyses Kevin De Bruyne, who has quickly developed into Pep Guardiola’s most important player. When we talk about...

Scout Report5 days ago

Scout Report: Josh Sargent | USA’s rising star

Josh Sippie takes a look at USA’s brightest young star on the block, Josh Sargent With the Bundesliga’s new prerogative of...

Scout Report5 days ago

Scout Report: Timothy Weah | The talented encore to George

Josh Sippie analyses one of PSG and USA’s young starlets, Timothy Weah The United States trek towards international relevance is...

Indian Football1 week ago

Traveling Barefoot – The Story of Indian Football

Arinjay Ghosh details the topsy-turvy tale of Indian Football through the years.

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

7 Players to Watch at the U17 World Cup 2017 in India

Brian Hradek highlights seven players who could make an impact at the U17 World Cup 2017 The U17 World Cup...

Series2 weeks ago

Tactical Philosophy: Eddie Howe

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Interviews2 weeks ago

Tales of a Football Scout: Giulio D’Alessandro

Kaustubh Pandey gets the chance to sit down with Italian football scout and agent, Giulio D’Alessandro Contrary to popular opinion,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Newcastle and the Loyalty Project

Josh Sippie takes a look at Rafa Benitez’s approach and style at Premier League newboys Newcastle United. Liverpool, Inter, Chelsea,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

What direction is football heading in?

Jonathan Roberts looks deeply into the direction football is heading in, using de Boer’s sacking as an example.  It’s easy to...

Specials2 weeks ago

In-depth Analysis: Why Lukaku makes Man United better than Ibrahimovic ever will

Alexiou Konstantinos provides a detailed comparison between Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and why the former is an upgrade for...

Tactical Analysis2 weeks ago

Tactical Analysis: Monarcas 3-0 Xolos | Monarcas’ Pressing And Xolos’ Offside Trap

Brian Bertie writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Liga MX match that ended Monarcas 3-0 Xolos Monarcas and Xolos...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot