It was a shock to the whole world. No one expected that Argenti with Lionel Messi could lose 1:2 to outsiders from Saudi Arabia. How could this happen? The basis was the advanced defensive line of the Saudis, reinforced by an offside trap, which was hit by a giant led by the divine ten.
Lionel Messi said immediately after the devastating defeat: “We have to alyze what went wrong. It’s time to buckle up and show how strong we really are.” What did the favorite break his teeth about? Mostly on the high line of defense used against the South Americans by Saudi Arabia’s French coach Herve Rerd.
He probably wanted to keep Messi and his star teammates away from the area where they are extremely dangerous, that is, in and directly in front of the pelty area. So he built an extremely compact block with a belt around a central circle.
This defensive wall in 4-4-2 formation was very compact and flexible. However, in general, he had a minimal gap between the defense and the reserve line. To Messi and Co. they could not work in areas where they excel. Offside statistics show that this plan worked for the Saudis.
The Argentines did not get offside ten times. Eight times in the first act and six times in the first thirty-two minutes. Just for comparison: for the entire 2014 World Cup, the Argenti tiol team collected 2 offsides, at the 2018 World Cup, its players were offside five times.
True, the high efficiency of Saudi weapons was helped by a new technology that can detect even a millimeter violation of the offside rule. Because of this intervention, the Argentines lost three goals during the break. But that doesn’t change the fact that they couldn’t deal with the enemy’s strategy.
“We knew about it, we worked with it, but we were a little reckless,” commented Lionel Messi.
Messi could have done more to break down the defensive wall. With the off-ball movement needed to breach the defensive wall, he spared as always. He remained below average even in the great disciplines. In the match, he made 5 dribbles, none of which were successful. He sent just three passes into the box for the Saudis. Two were iccurate, but the third made a good firing position behind Di Maria. In the pelty area, LM 10 recorded only 4 touches with the ball. The Welshman Moore, who came on as a substitute, scored the same amount in a duel with the United States at halftime.
Against Mexico and Poland, Argenti and its central superstar need to be smarter. Otherwise, he may return from Qatar much faster than he would like.
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