The best game since the World Cup started! I think neutral fans must have had a good time, all the elements that should be there: super blowout + reversal, Messi breaking, multiple goals being blown out.
This is what the World Cup should be like, and in front of 88,012 spectators and a huge blue and white sea, the Saudis did a great job!
The Saudis gained three points with bold tactics, while the Argentines learned their lesson at a heavy cost. If anything is absolute in the World Cup, it's never the uncrossable power class, but the fact that any player can believe in miracles!
You know that Argentina with Lionel Messi has previously gone 36 games undefeated extremely close to the world record, they won the Copa America last year, before the start of the tournament was seen as the World Cup championship favorites; and two days ago hosts Qatar and West Asian dominant Iran were held down by their opponents on the field dead rubbing, as a few months ago with the national football team also once had a back and forth with the Saudi team, I think not many people would consider this an evenly matched The game.
The Saudis did, and not only did they keep it even for more than half the game, they came back to win the game and show the world how to beat Argentina!
I. The impact of the absence of Loserzo and Gonzalez was obvious
It has been said many times before that the double injury of Loselso and Gonzalez has produced a very serious injury to the left side of Argentina's attack. I don't know if it is to add a speedy player or to consider that Acuña may not have fully recovered from his groin, Tagliafico became the team's starting left back. No team can afford such a blow when the three main players on the left side of the attack are completely replaced.
So we saw that the 34-year-old Babu Gomez was not very fluent with the strikers, and he is a strong striker himself, needing to go to the side frequently to do the work of a winger when Lautaro is in the center. Tagliafico also needs to constantly get back in, which is a job he has to do when he starts. So the question is, who will guarantee the defense on the left side?
In the past, when the left-sided trio was there, one would inevitably stay at the back to prevent the opponent from counterattacking, and Gonzalez had the physique and speed to get back to make up for mistakes as quickly as possible. And now itself is routinely one less person, Paredes a person to cope with, Otamendi height disadvantage, Saudi Arabia in the back of the long pass right tactics repeatedly create danger.
Second, Saudi Arabia's luck is good, but its targeted deployment is also very effective
Throughout the first half, Argentina's three goals were invalidated, with a total of seven offside and five shots on goal. The Saudis were lucky to concede only one penalty that looked a bit harshly blown. That was lucky, but that in itself was part of head coach Lerner's tactics. The close proximity of the two lines in the middle and back, the upward position of the backline, the depth of understanding and the physicality of the backline prevented Messi, Gomez and Di Maria from doing much with the ball and breaking in front of the backline. What's more, except for Di Maria and Tagliafico, no one could form a speed or even physical advantage with the Saudi defenders in the middle, giving the Saudi team a huge room for error!
Three, Scaloni's tactics and substitutions are questionable
In the first game, Scaloni chose familiar veterans Di Maria, Gomez and Molina, who has been a starter in recent months, to play in several suspenseful positions, which is not much of a problem in itself. But why is the organization of the midfield so lacking? Gomez is more of a striker and Molina is used to inserting the ball rather than carrying it and organizing it at the back. When the attacking phase formed a 2-2-6, no one returned to the midfield, and De Paul and Paredes had far fewer options for a solid ball. Even more deadly was the fact that the Argentine backcourt did not have much of a numerical advantage as long as the opponent had the ball to counterattack.
This problem was exacerbated by the poor play of the two midfielders. De Paul frequently made low-level mistakes, and Paredes was not in good athletic shape. Once Saudi Arabia played the ball to the right side, then they would threaten the goal with their better confrontation.
Even though C. Romero has some problems, he is the only Argentine player at the back who is not afraid to fight for overhead balls. Even if Scaloni wants to adjust the back line, why not replace Otamendi, who is frequently targeted by the opponent? Why not replace Peselia, who is 186cm tall, on the opposite side? Why not replace Molina with Voigt, who has the attributes of a full back and a center back?
The whole backfield adjustment, Scaloni only did two things right, that is, replaced Tagliafico with Acuña on the opposite side and replaced Paredes with Enzo, the left side of the attack and defense in terms of passing accuracy and confrontation at the very least got some improvement.
Fourth, Argentina's backfield players are in bad shape and impatient, but the deficiencies of the lineup are the root cause
The 36-game unbeaten streak has certainly given Scaloni and the Argentine players enough self-confidence. But as I mentioned before, Scaloni may not have even thought about his team's plan when they are trailing. From the selection of Joaquín Correa, to the neglect of Giovanni Simone once again after the withdrawal of Joaquín and González, Scaloni has not been paying attention to the role of the high point up front! In the previous match, Gonzalez and Lautaro were needed as pivot points, and in this match, they still passed frequently, so why didn't they bring Simone Jr. The small men in front of the field are rushing to the big wall, so no one can grasp the second point.
Imagine what it would be like to have a high point standing in front of you in these situations.
What was more hopeless than the established facts was that Scaloni did not have any effective strategy for 50 minutes. Was it because he didn't want to change? It was because he had no one to use! When Messi and Di Maria failed to form a breakthrough in the threat area, when Lautaro and Alvarez could not shake the opponent's central defenders, Argentina could only repeat the direct plug-in-pass tactics of the first half again and again. The more impatient, the more ineffective, the more the opposing goalkeeper pounces the more confident ...... can say that the entire second half, although the ball is on Argentina's side, but the Saudi team completely mastered the pace of the game. As time passed, Argentina's hopes became less and less.
Messi's last World Cup ...... and that's it?
Author: Steven Ting
Cofounder of www.cykapu.com, father of two children. As a man over 30, only write the thing i am interesting in.