Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid: Manager Microscope - Allegri v Zidane

Matt Jones - Editor 01:00 04/06/2017
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  • You don’t often get many exciting finals in football today, but at Saturday night’s climax to the 2016/17 Champions League season in Cardiff, we were treated to an absolutely breathtaking finale.

    Juventus and Real Madrid went toe-to-toe from the very first whistle.

    Prior to the game, all the talk had been of the Bianconeri’s black and white wall stifling Real, but with the greatest prize in club football up for grabs, both managers deserve credit for employing attacking tactics and letting their teams off the leash.

    Here, we analyse the performance of the two managers.

    Basic Stats


    Shots – 9

    Shots on target – 4

    Pass success – 81%

    Aerial duel Success – 40%

    Dribbles won – 6

    Tackles – 14

    Possession – 43.6%


    Shots – 18

    Shots on target – 5

    Pass success – 89%

    Aerial Duel Success – 60%

    Dribbles won – 14

    Tackles – 19

    Possession – 56.4%



    Went with the tried and trusted method of deploying his usual back three and in the first half, he certainly got the upper hand over Zidane as his side dominated possession and chances.

    Even when Real went ahead, it was against the run of play, and a brilliant team move saw them deservedly level. But whereas that should have given them the impetus to go for the jugular after the break, it was Real who started stronger and when Casemiro put Los Blancos ahead for a second time, you feared for the Old Lady.

    Having conceded just one goal in six knockout ties previously this season, you wondered how Real were going to break the Italian stalwarts of Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonucci down. But with Allegri letting the shackles off as both teams went for it from the start, it always appeared likely that tactic would play into Madrid’s hands eventually.


    For all their attacking prowess, Real’s front three are not Messi, Neymar and Suarez. And if MSN could be made to look so ordinary by Juventus in the quarter-final, how could Real climb the big Bianconeri wall?

    But climb it they did, and Zidane deserves huge credit for finding the key to unlock the Juve defence. The likes of Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini and Buffon were made to look their age, particularly following Madrid’s quickfire double to put them 3-1 ahead.

    OK so that might have had little to do with actual tactics from Zidane, but he made sure that when Casemiro drew blood, Real went for blood rather than sit back and invite Juve onto them.

    As Juve tired, Madrid probed through the insight of Modric, Kroos and Isco. Real’s playacting tactics, it has to be said, were as annoying as usual, with Ramos’ involvement in Cuadrado’s red card typically disgraceful, after which Zidane’s men ruthlessly killed off the game with a fourth.

    Touchline presence


    Cut a frustrated, solemn figure for much of the match, and that was even before Real turned up the heat with their second and third goals near the hour.

    Reacted to going two goals down by making changes, but his body language suggested he already knew there was no stopping the Madrid machine.


    The Frenchman is normally a cool customer but he was crazed, bald-headed ball of energy in the first half as Juventus ran his side all over the field.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener against the run of play settled him down briefly but he was gesticulating wildly when Juve regained the upper hand after Mandzukic’s brilliant equaliser.

    Was far calmer in the second period once Real began to get on top and take the sting out of the Old Lady with two quick goals.

    Our verdict


    Juventus had marched into the final boasting a fearsome defensive record of conceding just one goal in the previous six knockout games, but once their net was breached by Ronaldo’s opener, they seemed to crumble.

    Allegri, for all his experience and patience, simply failed to come up with a plan to contain Real’s playmakers.


    For all he has achieved in his short career at the Bernabeu, he doesn’t get much credit for his tactical nouse. But in a game in which he was expected to be out-smarted by his opposite number, he proved he has the head for the big occasion and is more than just a good man-manager.

    Your verdict



    Stats from whoscored.com