Even though the Championship is already decided, this weekend’s Old Firm Derby was exciting as always. This time though the excitement was purely caused by tactical measures the coaches had taken. In terms of intensity and fighting spirit, a drop off was obvious, which is also underlined by only two yellow cards each and twelve fouls committed each. In the end, Rangers were able to secure a 2-0 home win and send a message for the next season. Celtic, on the other hand, will surely analyse this defeat and improve for next year’s title fight. This tactical analysis will show the reasons for Rangers’ great win.
Rangers coach Steven Gerrard decided to use a 4-3-2-1 system, providing them a compact centre and a good structure to attack vertically. Celtic started in a 3-5-2, which they changed to a 4-2-3-1 with the beginning of the first half. Notice that Rangers are mirroring Celtic. Jermaine Defoe, Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield attack the back three. The full backs mark Celtic’s wingers, while the three central players match Celtic’s midfield. The idea of such an approach is to have an easier assignment so every player can concentrate on one opponent.
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