Build up play analysis: Liverpool vs. Swansea

Following a difficult start to the season and constant tinkering of tactics, Brendan Rodgers seems to have settled on a 3-4-2-1 system. The change is paying off and since the switch, his team have put in top four worthy performances each week. There were positive signs against Manchester United, but David de Gea turned a potentially embarrassing loss into a comfortable victory. Liverpool also dominated the match against Arsenal, but were only able to secure a draw.

The major difference that came in the 4-1 win against Swansea was Liverpool’s style of build-up. Against an Arsenal midfield of Flamini, Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Reds were able to dominate the central zones. The Swansea match saw Rodgers gradually relinquish control of the centre of the pitch in favour of regular 3v2 superiority down each flank.

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Philipp Lahm and the art of building play

Upon agreeing to join Bayern Munich, Guardiola reportedly had a five-second crisis, wondering who would become the fulcrum of his new team. Guardiola came to a solution almost immediately: Bastian Schweinsteiger.

For the first few games of his reign, Schweinsteiger was positioned in the all-important holding role. This all changed on August 30th 2013, when Bayern found themselves short of midfielders. Thiago Alcântara, Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger himself were all unavailable to start. For the first 60 minutes (prior to Martinez coming on for Rafinha), Philipp Lahm was given the job.

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