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Conceding too many shots - how to improve defense?

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I am playing FM18 beta for Manchester United. In Super Cup vs Real Madrid I tried to be solid at the back, but it didn't work - I conceded 19 shots (7 on target), while my team only managed 7 shots (4 on target). I tried save/load multiple times with different tactics and every time they manage almost 20 shots. The possession is always ~30% for me and ~70% Real. 

Any advice on how to keep Real to fewer shots is appreciated. I would love to emulate real life Mourinho and string of clean sheets.

I tried these two tactics, both pretty much same result. I tried moving mentality between Counter and Standard. I tried changing team shape from fluid to flexible to structured. Any ideas appreciated!






Here is the analysis from the game played mostly with first tactics. I actually won 1-0 but didn't like how it went.





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On defense, try putting Rashford and Lingard in the ML and MR positions (replace with players better suited for those positions of course). With that you should at least see a well positioned defense most of the time.

Also, use simpler roles, especially in midfield. Three playmakers is overkill. You'll have too many players trying risky passes, so you won't have possession.

Lukaku is probably better off as a DLF support. Having him as target man will result in many long balls to him, but he'll struggle to gain control against the great CBs of Madrid.

Don't use the offside trap if you expect to be defending on your own half. 

Finally, Real is the much better team. You'll probably lose and be dominated most of the matches you play against them.

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Putting it simply - if you concede 70% of possession, you will concede a lot of shots with it. You might be able to make sure that these are not very dangerous shots, so that most of them are contester or come from outside of your box, but either way you will concede shots.

If you want to balance things out you need to get more possession, as @kidd_05_u2 already stated. To get 7/4 shots with 30% is acutally a good number and could work out well for counter-attacking team, but you might want to change your tactics so that you keep at least 40% of the ball.

But I agree, Real Madrid are a world class team that are really difficult to play against.

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You beat them 1-0 yet weren't happy? I would say that it worked for you fine, to beat one of the best teams in the world, if not the best at the moment and not concede is great. I would have taken the win and moved on, Building a solid tactic takes time, you should have used that as a starting point to build on.

To help in defence, get your wide men to man mark the oppositions wide men. By that I mean Rashford and Lingard in the first pic. They will provide extra help in defence.

A team getting 70% of the ball against you  means nothing if they do nothing with it. Try not to worry too much about the posession stats unless you are getting owned overall. Worry more about what your team does with your posession

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You mention changing mentality and shape, but really you need to focus on the formation, roles and duties more.

In the first you have all three central midfielders as playmakers plus both FBs as WB which will leave space on both flanks more often.

In the second your clearing ball to flanks yet one flank has no wide player to clear the ball to, lukaku is t the best to chase clearances plus he's a TM so will attract more long passes but who is near him to benefit from them? Mata is a am-a but likes to drop deep so will he be near a TM-A?

If you want more possession you need to: use the ball well but also regain possession. 

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So, surprising update!

I changed the tactic and won 3-0. I even had more shots on target.

So basically I decided to try a counter-attacking tactic, similar to Mourinho's tactic in the Tottenham and Chelsea games. I conceded possession on purpose (60-40), and conceded many shots (14) but they were off target - Real had only 5 on target shots and only 1 clear cut chance.

2 of my goals were typical counter attack goals - CWB crosses from the deep, AF beats the last man, one-on-one with the keeper and scores. I guess my adding of "Direct passing" and "Higher tempo" helped here. Highest pass combination was Valencia-Lukaku.

Here is the tactic.

I man-marked AML and AMR by my CWBs (thanks for advice); and I had special instructions against Ronaldo (tight marking, closing down, tackling hard). I also reduced number of playmakers (thanks for advice), and removed offside trap. I didn't change almost anything during the game, apart from adding "Retain Possession" after I was 1-0 up (realizing that it would reduce effectiveness/speed of my counters).

I am surprised that players played pretty well in unfamiliar positions (e.g. Valencia and Young not used to CWB positions, Rashford not used to AF role, Lukaku not used to DLF role, Blind is shaky as CD).

Surprisingly, Ronaldo got the worst rating in the game - 6.3! :) (to be fair he was injured at 68', but I was leading 3-0 by that time).






Edited by mchbitil

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