How did Lionel Scaloni tactically beat Zlatko Dalic?

Manager Lionel Scaloni
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Argentina are flying in the Qatar World Cup. They have reached the final in two of the last three FIFA World Cups. In 2014, Argentina lost against Germany in the heartbreaking final in Brazil. After that, La Albiceleste couldn’t do well in the Russia World Cup in 2018.

But the time has changed since Lionel Scaloni took charge of Argentina. He changed the entire team. Scaloni brought many young talents to the team. Moreover, the manager has built the team, keeping Messi at the center of the team. Therefore, Argentina won their first trophy in 28 years, defeating Brazil in Copa America. Two months later, the Albiceleste won another major title. This time, they beat Italy, the Euro Champion, in Finallissima.

These two major trophies made the fans hopeful for the World Cup in Qatar. And now Argentina are just one game away to win the FIFA World Cup. Last night, the Albiceleste beat Croatia in the semi-final, where Lionel Scaloni outplayed the Croatian boss Zlatko Dalic. Here we tried to analyze the tactical gameplan that helped Argentina in winning the match.

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Tactical Analysis

In every game, Lionel Scaloni changes team formation. In the quarterfinal against the Netherlands, the manager deployed five defenders in a 5-3-2 formation. But last night, Scaloni set up the formation in 4-4-2. As a result, the midfield was arranged in a diamond shape, where Leandro Parades played as the defending midfielder. Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez played as the two forwards.

But Croatia marked Lionel Messi with three players. Therefore, it became difficult for the players to pass the ball toward Messi. In the first 20 minutes, Lionel Messi touched the ball only a few times. Here comes the tactical mind game. Lionel Messi went down on the field to stay unmarked. As a result, he was getting the ball and got the chance to create opportunities for other players.

Moreover, Lionel Scaloni played the team in two layers of defense. Enzo Fernandez, Leandro Parades, and Rodrigo De Paul made a straight line ahead of the back fours. Therefore, it became difficult for the Croatian players to go inside the box. So, Argentina were successful to keep a clean sheet. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi kept creating chances for the strikers. So in the end, Argentina won the game by a 3-0 margin.