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Challenge: Making a tactic that beats Liverpool at Anfield as Barcelona


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Spent about 20hours reloading this specific game, tinkering with different roles and instructions in this 41221 formation. Cannot stop Mane and Salah from running in behind my FBs no matter if I use the lowest defensive line, or anchors/HBs. It's getting sickening to the point that it's turning me off the game. Any save I do, I do well domestically until I face Klopp in the CL, and it makes me start new saves.

I don't know why, but I just don't want to use anything other than a 41221 for Barca as it fits them well, but playing against Klopp feels way too much

The goals are all the same, mostly a cross from Salah to Mane who is running behind my RB.

This is the formation I originally started with 20hrs ago, and I've also uploaded my save if anyone wants to gain depression from a save. 

https://www.mediafire.com/file/53qixkv8al6ze1d/GRIEZMANN.fm/file

barca.PNG

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5 minutes ago, skelethor said:

barca.PNG

I'll tell you just one thing: if you want to outperform a strong(er) opponent, you need an intelligent, not aggressive, tactic ;)

7 minutes ago, skelethor said:

Cannot stop Mane and Salah from running in behind my FBs no matter if I use the lowest defensive line, or anchors/HBs

You may use the lowest DL, but against such extremely fast players it won't help you much when you at the same time use:

- extremely urgent pressing (severely compromising your defensive shape)

- counter-press (always risky against quality opposition)

- overlaps left and right (increasing your fullbacks' mentalities)

- much higher LOE (which literally renders your vertical compactness non-existent when coupled with a (much) lower DL)

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Why are you playing Messi as a lone striker with no number 10 support? Or why even play him as Advanced Forward? Where to begin 😮

I think even for AI Klopp you are giving too much opening to rip you apart. All your other roles dont make much more sense. Two ballplaying defenders, cm on auto? Raumdeuter with no-one to feed him. All your wide players are playing narrow or cutting inside. No wonder Salah is hitting you on wings from crosses. 

Also you probably don't need most of those instructions, especially on Positive mentality. 

I would keep the general shape and then lose all the roles and instructions.

Edited by crusadertsar
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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

Why are you playing Messi as a lone striker with no number 10 support? Or why even play him as Advanced Forward?

Good question(s) :thup:

And even if I played Messi as a striker (lone or otherwise), I would use him either as a TQ or F9, especially if I play with a RMD out wide.

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12 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Good question(s) :thup:

And even if I played Messi as a striker (lone or otherwise), I would use him either as a TQ or F9, especially if I play with a RMD out wide.

Just wondering is there anyway to use an advanced forward in this formation. Got a really good regen that cant pass the ball but has amazing pace, dribbling and shooting 

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1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

Why are you playing Messi as a lone striker with no number 10 support? Or why even play him as Advanced Forward? Where to begin 😮

I think even for AI Klopp you are giving too much opening to rip you apart. All your other roles dont make much more sense. Two ballplaying defenders, cm on auto? Raumdeuter with no-one to feed him. All your wide players are playing narrow or cutting inside. No wonder Salah is hitting you on wings from crosses. 

Also you probably don't need most of those instructions, especially on Positive mentality. 

I would keep the general shape and then lose all the roles and instructions.

IMO, AF is the role that scores for me the most in any tactic that I've used throughout this game. I play Messi there because he can bag, but I do miss his creative abilites. I would've though Coutinho would be feeding the RMD with crossdiagonal balls, but it doesn't work out

2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

I'll tell you just one thing: if you want to outperform a strong(er) opponent, you need an intelligent, not aggressive, tactic ;)

You may use the lowest DL, but against such extremely fast players it won't help you much when you at the same time use:

- extremely urgent pressing (severely compromising your defensive shape)

- counter-press (always risky against quality opposition)

- overlaps left and right (increasing your fullbacks' mentalities)

- much higher LOE (which literally renders your vertical compactness non-existent when coupled with a (much) lower DL)

What defensive settings would you suggest? I feel like the fullbacks on overlap would push them up against Mane and Salah to limit their time on the ball

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3 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

- counter-press (always risky against quality opposition)

This^

@skelethor Also try removing Counter, as counter-intuitive as it may seem. From my understanding it lowers the threshold for a counter to happen versus normal play - when Liverpool have a bunch of pacy attackers and most likely also use Counter-Press, you're just inviting more opportunities to lose the ball and make it even easier for Salah / Mane to get in behind. If you deselect it, you'll still get counter-attacks when Liverpool overcommit, but its more likely to be ones where you'll have the numbers and be able to continue it all the way to their box. 

On my Lyon save I use Counter-Press but when I thought we weren't being ruthless enough when we win the ball and ticked Counter it nearly derailed my entire season as it just left me overexposed against the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona (who were in my CL group). Un-ticked it again and we were much better whilst still scoring through counters.

Edited by zlatanera
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I think a lot of the instructions dont help your tactic.

Looking for overlaps but using inverted wing backs contradicts.

Playing "wide" and using wide players that sit narrow contradicts.

Playing a high line against Salah and Mane who both have extreme pace.

Extremely urgent pressing......will disrupt your OWN shape and better players will knock the ball around you with ease

Counter......youll commit too many men forward too soon and risk being counter countered

 

Also your players dont really fit your roles. Arthur is forward minded yet you have him at DM. Dembele is a winger, you have him Raumdeuter. Messi needs to have a creative forwards role like deep lying forward or false nine, yet youve got him way up against the opposition backline with no one in the number 10 position.

 

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Thanks to your help, I've simplified the tactic a bit, and it's still unstable but better than before. I still concede goals from balls past my FBs, the rest are from long shots and set pieces.

In regards to the DL/LoE, I'm not sure where to go from here because I've switched it around a little bit and if I go any lower, Liverpool tend to score from long shots

The RMD logically probably wouldn't fit the tactic but in-game I've noticed that Dembele does well, around 7/10 times. Coutinho playing as the IFs could be improved as he is not running past the backline like how Mane and Salah do, even with 'Get Further Forward' selected.

I'm happy with Arthur as the DM as he plays well there and gets good ratings which obviously doesn't always translate to good performance in the tactic as a whole. The two CMs are inconsistent and could change tbh, they can both be nonexistent or both get 8.0+ ratings.

I'm still not set on what position Messi should play. I've noticed that when Liverpool switch to their 4231 late on onn the game that Messi does well as the DLFs, but I want this tactic to smother their 41221, I've also tried F9, but I don't really see a difference.

I'm not sure how to fix this, but both my CBs have around 60% pass completion, which I'm a bit worried about. I've tried tinkering with PIs (adding and removing 'Take More/Less Risks' and 'Play Shorter') but they don't seem to help.

Capture.PNG

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First attempt:

image.thumb.png.b58a637b52bef6568f42291e22e6c0d1.png


First of all, I noticed that you do not train any match preparation. Before these kind of matches, I would focus exclusively on match prep: defensive shape, attacking movement and teamwork.

I opted for this tactic:

image.thumb.png.6b36f6840c0e70467d650945fc5614a6.png

Reasoning behind TI changes:
out of possession
standard defensive line/LOA because 3 of your 4 CBs (Pique, Langlet, Andersen) are slow.
standard defensive width due to Umtiti's poor jumping and I don't want to give Liverpool too much space on the flanks
reduced pressing intensity to urgent; extremely urgent is overkill
removed prevent gk distribution; not needed, I don't mind them building from the back, the long ball can actually hurt us as we're shorter
in transition
goalkeeper instructed to distribute quickly
; useful for the counter
removed distribution type/distribute to position. Ter Stegen is intelligent, best not restrict his options
in possession
normal attacking width and passing directness for better balance and flexibility

removed pass into space; I don't want to give away possession, this will only be used late in the game if they're chasing the game
removed overlaps: not needed, I definitely don't want the full backs to be caught out of position
removed run at defence and be more expressive instructions: I don't want the entire team to be doing it
ticked play out of defence and work ball into box for better ball possession


I removed most of the PIs
Ter Stegen: SK-D (a safer option), no PIs
Umtiti: ahead of Langlet because of his superior speed, PI: close down less
Pique: I opted for CD not BPD to balance his aggressive traits (gets forward, plays way out of trouble, brings ball out of defence...), PI: close down less
Wague: FB-S, PI: sit narrower, shoot less often
Alba: WB-S, PI: shoot less often
Arthur: DLP-D, PI: close down less
Vidal: CM-S, PI: dribble less
Rakitic: MEZ-A, PI: tackle harder
Dembele: W-S, PI: tackle harder
Coutinho: IF-A, PI: tackle harder
Messi: F9, PI: tackle harder, roam from position

Malcom is on the bench, his pace will be useful late in the game.

At around the 70th minute, I change mentality to balanced and ticked 'pass into space'.

Edited by Ein
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Agree with most of what has been said above.

I'll therefore come at it from a different angle..... From my experience it is always possible to play "Barcelona-type" football - technical players, short passing, even pushing higher up the pitch - but you've got to pay respect to who you're facing and the scenario.

You're playing one of the best teams in the game, with two of the most dangerous and pacey forwards, and are away from home. You need to keep it tight and frustrate them, but that means different things to different people. Most would think of it as getting in behind the ball and dropping deep and trying to counter attack, but you can also do it by just keeping the ball and not letting them have a sniff.

To do this I'd go with something like:

 

SK(d)

FB(s) - CD(d) - CD(d) - FB(s)

CM(d) - CM(a) - CM(d)

RMD(a) - F9(s) - IF(s)

 

4-3-3 that plays more like a 4-2-3-1. Mentality should be cautious, possibly balanced. To combat Mane and Salah, and it being one of the best teams in the game, I'd basically go with a 6/4 split. Six defensive players and the attacking play left to four. Two central midfielders on defend looks negative, but will just always be available to recycle the ball and keep possession plus it will mean a defensive midfielder on either side is close by to help out his fullback, and the flat midfield three will push them even wider. Further forward the F9/Messi drops deep and combines with the IF, whilst the Raumdeuter and CM (either Support with gets further forward, or Attack duty) surge past them. There isn't much width, but with a cautious style the Fullbacks should be able to shuffle forward and link play.

With additional TI's and PI's this might lead to lots of sterile possession and a tight result - 1-0 or even a 0-0, but in real life we often see games pan out like this between the top teams where they're ultra cautious. In an FM game this is maybe not much fun, but you have to be able to adapt and sometimes be prepared to do it.

 

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13 hours ago, _mxrky said:

Just wondering is there anyway to use an advanced forward in this formation. Got a really good regen that cant pass the ball but has amazing pace, dribbling and shooting

Of course there's a way. But the whole tactic (roles, duties, mentality, instructions) needs to be set up in the right way, not just one role.

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16 hours ago, skelethor said:

What defensive settings would you suggest? I feel like the fullbacks on overlap would push them up against Mane and Salah to limit their time on the ball

Overlaps/underlaps are not defensive but attacking (i.e. in-possession) settings, but can have defensive consequences, especially when you play against explosive top-class wingers (position-wise). But overlaps in your tactic would be less of an issue if you did not use so aggressive defensive instructions such as extreme pressing and much higher D-line in the first place (as well as counter-press, albeit to a slightly lesser degree). Plus, a high-risk mentality - Positive in your tactic - makes this aggressive defending even more aggressive and therefore very risky. So it's a combination of factors that make you too vulnerable against any top team whose players can exploit your lack of defensive solidity. 

My general advice for you would basically come down to what westy already suggested: 

18 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Balanced mentality, fb on support...lose all of the team instructions. That would be a start

Then watch the game and see if and which tweaks might make sense.

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I've taken in all the advice I've given, which was very insightful, and came up with this. I really rate the attack and create quite a few chances, but this defe

nse is still absolute dross. The FBs never pick up the opposing wingers which is the only way they score without taking into account setpieces and long shots. Maybe I'm asking too much to keep both of the best wingers in the game quiet?

I took off a few instructions and used the PIs that @Ein suggested and added 'Mark Tighter to Coutinho and Dembele hoping that they would mark Robertson and Alves to stop them from crossing. The Carrilero seems like it wouldn't fit but I feel like it lessens the mistakes of losing the ball on the left side which I noticed from the 10 games I tested this with. I feel like I need both wingers on attack because they run in behind and that gives me most of my goals.

IFA.PNG

 

Edited by skelethor
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Well I had a go, this is how it ended...

318661397_FootballManager201919_07_201917_21_52.thumb.png.f827a146dd3d9aacf1f6e0b76a6e9f9f.png

The own goal was very unlucky, it came from a goal line scramble/ricochet after a corner. I didn't bother to change any set pieces but I don't think they were to blame, it was just one of those things.

Otherwise as you can see, Liverpool had a lot more shots but they were poor quality chances from low percentage positions.

This is almost the tactic I ended up with (I swapped the BWM for a CM-S and the Mez-A to an AP-A with a 'stay wider' PI during the game but forgot to change them again for the screen shot). I started off without the 'focus play down the left/right', 'take long kicks' and 'distribute to flanks' instructions but after about 20 minutes I saw how far forward the Liverpool fullbacks were getting and thought I could exploit that. Dani Alves especially was further forward than Salah most of the time.

1614101063_FootballManager201919_07_201917_24_42.thumb.png.c44ffead011fb579c84d3fb8298c228b.png

I had the RWB on a defend duty firstly because of the MEZ attack role (which I actually changed at half time to an AP-A with 'stay wider' PI, again to try to get the ball out to Dembele quickly), but also because between Salah and Mane, Mane is the more creative one and I wanted to keep a check on him.

I don't think this tactic would be particularly great in other scenarios, but it worked first time for this specific one which was the brief. :)

I would say to the @skelethor though, not only did you have every option under the sun selected on your Team Instructions, it was the same for your Player Instructions. Literally everything was selected for everybody, and not only were your PIs getting confused with other PIs (Arthur for example was your playmaker but had 'shorter passes' selected which I don't understand, but had 'take more risks' selected too), but they were contradicting your TIs too. It was just a mess, and honestly with your tactics and the amount of times the game has been saved, I suspect a little naughtiness was involved in getting that unbeaten season... ;):D

1832098674_FootballManager201919_07_201917_49_00.thumb.png.0f6d82bec0acc6ad7432cd0986cd9cc7.png

Really, you just need to simplify everything right down to the basics and add things only when you have noticed that you need to. And when one thing works, like hitting the wings did in this game, that doesn't mean you should keep it for all other games. Most instructions can be situational. Good luck going forward! :)

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17 hours ago, FMunderachiever said:

Looking for overlaps but using inverted wing backs contradicts.

I think using this may come from @Rashidi as he does that in his Liquid 4123 and it works well. Obviously relies on the rest of the tactic and specific players though.

13 hours ago, skelethor said:

Coutinho playing as the IFs could be improved as he is not running past the backline like how Mane and Salah do

Coutinho isn't a runner like Salah and Mane, he's a more technical player rather than a direct 'full throttle' type player like they are.

13 hours ago, skelethor said:

I still concede goals from balls past my FBs

They both have 'gets forward whenever possible' PPM. You're fighting a losing battle if you expect them to be in position defensively all the time. It's useful to have backup fullbacks without any PPMs that see them flying up the pitch for exactly this type of scenario.

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I fee like uninstalling this crap or I;m going to seriously break my computer loool

I'm trying to copy your tactics, or even adapt them but I take one step forwards and two steps back. I just can't win

I can't play standard depth otherwise I'm guaranteed to concede a cross. I'm resigned to defeat

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15 hours ago, skelethor said:

I feel like I need both wingers on attack because they run in behind and that gives me most of my goals.

I wouldn't recommend it. With both the mezzala and right winger on attack, the right flank will be exposed. In fact, that seems to be where their goals are coming from. Keep in mind that your right back is not the best out there and Dembele has a poor work rate so he'll track back less.

9 hours ago, skelethor said:

I can't play standard depth otherwise I'm guaranteed to concede a cross. I'm resigned to defeat

From the screenshots, it seems that you opted for low depth. I wouldn't recommend ceding that much terrain and putting that much pressure on your defence either.

Losing to Liverpool can happen of course. However you're doing something wrong if you're consistently conceding 4 goals in 30 minutes. What teamtalk are you using?
Not sure if it matters but in these types of matches I generally ease off the pressure by wishing my players luck (all the best, have fun) and tell each position that I have faith in them.

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12 hours ago, skelethor said:

I fee like uninstalling this crap or I;m going to seriously break my computer loool

I'm trying to copy your tactics, or even adapt them but I take one step forwards and two steps back. I just can't win

I can't play standard depth otherwise I'm guaranteed to concede a cross. I'm resigned to defeat

I dont think simply copying a tactic will help, you need to understand why a tactic will or will not work.

You could design a slightly different tactic and it could be equally effective, if it is logicaly designed.

Maybe just chalk it up as a lost game and move on? Barcelona lost to liverpool in real life heavily this season, its just one of those things. Move on and learn from it

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12 hours ago, skelethor said:

I fee like uninstalling this crap or I;m going to seriously break my computer loool

I'm trying to copy your tactics, or even adapt them but I take one step forwards and two steps back. I just can't win

I can't play standard depth otherwise I'm guaranteed to concede a cross. I'm resigned to defeat

You aren't expected to win every match, even "expert" players dont.

Could your run up to this game been better? Such as resting players before? Were your players complacent or feeling pressure? Could having a better + settled so more familiar tactic helped? Could player changes of given more options or fit the tactic and each other better?

Long winning streaks can build up issues depending on player personalities if not managed correctly. Sometimes a loss in a not important game can give the players a kick up the butt and bounce back. Reloading to keep winning probably just makes things get harder and harder to keep up. Try and learn from and move on. 

Edited by summatsupeer
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image.thumb.png.7e9b2113f472bf1e75619a3bf54fbc10.png

1st try wasn't ideal but got through on away goals. Started off with the tactic below but noticed the press was really disrupting our play so switched the DLF to AF and added 'Pass Into Space' which resulted in our 2nd goal where Onyekuru (subbed on for Haller) received a long through ball through the channel from Rakitic and slotted it home 1v1. The first 2 Liverpool goals were a little unfortunate, Salah scored in the first 30 seconds and then 6 minutes later from a scrappy corner.

image.thumb.png.1cb87b1f7ef74f64c3ae61736d34e69a.png

If I had to replay it again and try to get a win I'd definitely try and exploit the space behind their back line by starting Onyekuru in an AF or Poacher role and try to get the technical players like Rakitic and Arthur to spray long balls to him. Looking at the Liverpool scouting report it showed that both fullbacks are on CWB roles so trying a winger on an attack duty on 1 side could help support this. Then the real challenge becomes defending the wings efficiently without compromising the threat of the direct balls through to Onyekuru and [winger] (Dembele or Malcom seem like the optimal players from the ones available).

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On 19/07/2019 at 18:51, skelethor said:

IFA.PNG

Okay, after a couple of general suggestions I gave you in previous comments, I'll now tell you how I would set up my starting tactic for these 11 players against LFC at Anfield:

TQ

IFsu                                  IFat

DLPsu    MEZsu

DMde

FBat    CDde    BPDde    FBsu

SKsu

GK/SKsu - ter Stegen

DL/FBat - Alba

DR/FBsu - Wague - sit narrower, hold position (don't you have some more experienced and defensively more reliable RB at Barca?)

DCL/CDde - Umtiti - stay wider 

DCR/BPDde - Pique

DM/DMde - Vidal - mark tighter (optional PI - more direct passing)

MCL/DLPsu - Arthur - mark tighter

MCR/MEZsu - Rakitic - mark tighter

AML/IFsu - Coutinho

AMR/IFat - Dembele - (optional PI - shoot more often)

ST/TQ - Messi

Mentality - Balanced

- play out of defence, standard passing, higher tempo, be more expressive, pass into space, low crosses

- counter (optional TI - regroup)

- standard DL, standard LOE, default pressing

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