Feature, Symbolbild, der Spielball auf dem Sockel mit Bundesliga Logo. Deutschland, Stuttgart, 05.03.2022, Fussball, Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Moenchengladbach, Saison 2021/2022, 25. Spieltag, Mercedes-Benz Arena Foto: A2 Bildagentur/Peter Hartenfelser DFL/DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO. *** Feature, symbol image, the match ball on the base with Bundesliga logo Germany, Stuttgart, 05 03 2022, football, Bundesliga VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Moenchengladbach, season 2021 2022, 25 match day, Mercedes Benz Arena Foto A2 Bildagentur Peter Hartenfelser DFL DFB REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND OR QUASI VIDEO

This weekend saw a game many had been looking forward to from a tactical perspective, finally arrive in the Bundesliga. Peter Bosz’s possession-dominant Bayer Leverkusen side took on Marco Rose’s famed out-of-possession specialists Borussia Monchengladbach, with an interesting tactical battle sure to ensue. The game offered many familiar tactics from the two sides, but also saw some changes made, particularly from Gladbach’s point of view which were effective in limiting Leverkusen’s threat. In this tactical analysis, I’ll look at how Gladbach were able to carry out an efficient game plan, examine this game plan’s effect on Leverkusen, and also take a look at what went wrong for Leverkusen.


Leverkusen took on their usual approach – looking to dominate possession and break down a stubborn defence. They used a 4-4-2 formation generally, but in possession, this resembled more of a 2-4-4, as I will get onto later in this analysis. Gladbach meanwhile went for a different approach, playing three at the back in possession but surprisingly sticking to a four out of possession, with their formation usually resembling a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1.

Bundesliga 2019/20: Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Monchengladbach tactical analysis tactics

Gladbach build-up issues

Gladbach’s switch of formation while in possession caused some issues in their build-up, with Leverkusen’s press helping to make their play predictable. With the dropping midfielders usually covered, Gladbach were left to build with essentially their back five initially. This meant there was a high reliance on playing out through the full-backs, and although they exploited one space a few times, they ultimately struggled.

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