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jax9320

Can't beat Chelsea, any tips?

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Hey guys, title pretty self explanatory really. I almost never beat them, find it very hard to exploit the flaws in their system. It's 2022, they've still got Conte playing that 3-4-3. I've tried sticking to my system before, I've tried changing it to get in behind those attacking fullbacks or use a number 10 to exploit the space in the hole. None of its worked, they close the space so fast, and they eventually find a way through me at the other end. Here's a screenshot of my usual system, which has been working well against all other teams, {though I am currently in 6th as it took me a while to balance my attacking style a bit, but i'm only 5 points off top}. How would you adapt it to play Chelsea?

Screenshot (10).png

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Probably not entirely relevant (as we don't discuss your system exactly as is or talk about how to change it), but you may find some light here from me and @SD.

 

Edited by okereke

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Its one game a season, how many times you tried, and can you not afford the one defeat... You could change your tactic to beat them and start losing to more teams. 

 

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Yeah of course i'm not going to do that, just never being able to beat one team annoys me. I could try playing on the counter which to me would make sense, but then i've changed my tactic, which maybe isnt a good idea in the space of one game, I don't know. Plus it's very tight in the league so never beating chelsea doesn't help

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I beat him with a 4-4-2 standard, flexible. 1-0 and 3-0, usually the strikers drifted wide into the space vacated by the wingbacks pushing up, especially Alonso. Then my RM and striker have an easy overload. Their threat mostly negated by dropping one of the central midfielders into the DM slot if I felt they were relying on Hazard and co to just run with it all the time. I found my goals against them were more from direct play, nullifying their ability to consolidate because their 3-4-3 (or 5-2-3 whatever) would congest the middle when moving into attacking areas. So, I'd build out centrally but go wide for the threat, and go wide rapidly. (That's assuming he plays the same way vs you though!)

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3 hours ago, jax9320 said:

How would you adapt it to play Chelsea?

In the same way you adapt to play anyone - by taking note of what's happening on the pitch.  You say they eventually find a through you, well how?

You're also playing a very high risk game by using the Attacking mentality.  That might be playing right into Conte's hands.

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11 hours ago, herne79 said:

You're also playing a very high risk game by using the Attacking mentality.  That might be playing right into Conte's hands.

This is exactly what I wanted to emphasize first. I'd never use the Attack mentality (especially not as my basic mentality) when playing against a side such as Chelsea, even if I managed Barca or Real. I'd probably try with Standard for starters (in an away game maybe even Counter). 

Secondly, you use two playmakers in two adjoining strata (DM and MC), and neither a ball-winner nor any other type of more defensive-minded player. It can be risky even against a weaker team, let alone Chelsea.

I'd personally go with the Fluid shape, partly in order to make the team play more as a unit, but also because it allows you to have a bit more attack duties across the formation with less risk than in a more structured system. For example, if your RB is  FB attack and your LW is W attack, I'd give the right MC an attack duty as well, while LB would be WB support. As for the midfield trio roles, I'd need to know more about your players in that area before I could make any final decision, but certainly at least the DM would be given a primarily defensive duty (whether he played as a BMW, ACM or HB). One of MCs would be a playmaker.

I'd also begin with d-line, pressing and tempo set to normal to see how things are playing out on the pitch before adjusting some of the TIs.

 

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As noted above Attacking is playing into Conte's counter attacking approach, Standard would be a lot better to leave you less suspectible to counters and you can still look to take the initiative. Also with three defenders your striker with an (A) duty will be marked out of the game, giving him a support duty and letting him drop into midfield will get him more involved. Also Laporte's left footed so he should be on the left for better ball playing.

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As others have said, it boils down to a few things:

  1. How do they attack? (Once you know this, do you defend the threat, cut off the supply at source, hold possession etc?)
  2. How do they defend? (Once you know this, do you attack the flanks, centre, play a slow game, quick game, draw them out, pin them back?)
  3. Are there flaws in your tactic that, as a good team, they are just better at exploiting?
    1. Personally, I'd drop to Standard (you will still be attacking!)#
    2. drop the CF (A) to a CF (S) - should link more with the midfield 
    3. change the DLP (d) to a DLP (s) - he's defensive due to being positioned at DM. 
    4. Change the winger to support and IF to attack. I think you'll see more goals this way round as the IF is the goal threat due to cutting inside, whilst the winger is more of a support player putting in the crosses and backing them up. But that last one could be personal preference.

Honestly, points 1 and 2 are your key to any game. Watch the first 15 minutes on full match and try to write down what you notice. Then go from there.

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I get what you mean and i agree with you, that's usually how it goes for me. But not against Chelsea. I played the match, this time on a counter mentality with a 4-4-2, and lost 3-1. Chelsea's goals were a Hazard header, where he beat both John Stones and Matthjis de Ligt in the air, which is ridiculous, and then 2 Kante 30 yard strikes, one of which was a goal of the season volley. 

That screenshot is my usual tactic, not how I played this game. That tactic works fairly well for me against most other teams, but not against Chelsea, so I've tried dialing it back a bit by playing on control and having the RB on defend and marking Hazard, and I still lost because of a backpass and another Kante screamer. My point is if I can't beat them playing my usual way, or by being a little more cautious with the control tactic, or by going on the counter, then how do I approach them? I think my formation is a bad match for theirs, but I've seen other moderators here say any formation can beat any other, and people shouldn't make big changes for a match. So if i take that as true, stick with my 4-1-2-3 that works for me, where do I start with beating Chelsea away? I've tried to play them many different ways. Should I just stick with my formation, be a little less attacking, and see how it goes on the pitch from there? Even after all the different things I've tried? 

Thanks for the help, I know to moderators these types of questions must seem ridiculous; that the answers stay the same, just observe whats happening on the pitch. But sometimes things seem to happen that make no sense, like the Chelsea goals I described at the beginning of the post

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21 hours ago, jax9320 said:

I get what you mean and i agree with you, that's usually how it goes for me. But not against Chelsea. I played the match, this time on a counter mentality with a 4-4-2, and lost 3-1. Chelsea's goals were a Hazard header, where he beat both John Stones and Matthjis de Ligt in the air, which is ridiculous, and then 2 Kante 30 yard strikes, one of which was a goal of the season volley. 

That screenshot is my usual tactic, not how I played this game. That tactic works fairly well for me against most other teams, but not against Chelsea, so I've tried dialing it back a bit by playing on control and having the RB on defend and marking Hazard, and I still lost because of a backpass and another Kante screamer. My point is if I can't beat them playing my usual way, or by being a little more cautious with the control tactic, or by going on the counter, then how do I approach them? I think my formation is a bad match for theirs, but I've seen other moderators here say any formation can beat any other, and people shouldn't make big changes for a match. So if i take that as true, stick with my 4-1-2-3 that works for me, where do I start with beating Chelsea away? I've tried to play them many different ways. Should I just stick with my formation, be a little less attacking, and see how it goes on the pitch from there? Even after all the different things I've tried? 

Thanks for the help, I know to moderators these types of questions must seem ridiculous; that the answers stay the same, just observe whats happening on the pitch. But sometimes things seem to happen that make no sense, like the Chelsea goals I described at the beginning of the post

Ok, why would you go control away from home in a tough match that you admit you never win? Bit confused there... I rarely change from Standard, personally. 

I think the issue is that really that there are flaws in your tactic that you get away with because you are City with the best squad, but Chelsea are set up as one of the best sides on the break with intelligent players who can exploit those flaws. Like I say, I think your roles and duties need looking at - you don't really have anyone getting forward from central midfield, your striker won't look to drop deep and I would be swapping the duties on the wingers. 

Also, on an attacking duty, every player takes more risks and is more aggressive. Is this what you want against Chelsea? I also think it will exacerbate the issues with your midfield three being too far from your striker - you are relying on the wonder ball from De Bruyne rather than the interplay between them as they're just too far apart. I also strongly recommend you put your DM on support as with a defend duty he will never be used as an 'out' ball. I'm not sure why you have him as DLP either - who is your playmaker, him or De Bruyne? It can work, but I wonder whether you've considered who you want to have more of the ball?

---

I may be entirely wrong, but I have set up a 4-1-2-2-1 very similar to yours before with lots of success. Watch the games on full (even against sides other than Chelsea) and see whether any of the things I'm referencing are borne out. Players are in totally the wrong positions as I've moved to a different formation since this:

image.thumb.png.f3e35671636a9fec0366cc9b103c76da.png

You also really have to bear in mind PPMs - I would play a Carrilero with one of my other CMs as he had the PPM 'Gets further forward', so would play too advanced as a BBM (s). FYI, we have won 2 of the last 3 Champions Leagues (losing the other final), have had 5 straight Liga NOS wins and just had an unbeaten season - it's a solid set up, but could be better still. Our weakness is that everything runs through the IF (A) and the DLF (S). If either of them, particularly the DLF, is having a bad day, we struggle. Worth bearing in mind the full backs' capability too as those roles are carefully considered. The LB has 'crosses early' as a PPM, so giving him a bit more depth is really helpful for putting those in. The right back is less capable but is an athlete - he can just bomb up and down and create issues purely by being a presence (he can't do much technically). 

Not trying to suggest this is perfect, by the way - it works for this bunch of players and hopefully gives you an idea of how I think and set my side up, as I think it will help explain some of my points.

P.S. Regarding the 'Kanté 30 yarders and Hazard header' comment, could you share the match stats and maybe give us a breakdown of the goals with some screenshots. We all have a habit of remembering the strange goals without analysing why they were able to happen. When this happens I always think of the Alan Hansen moment when analysing that Wigan 70 yard goal by saying that the defence should have stood over the ball to stop them taking it quickly. There's almost always something you could have done :) 

Edited by b101

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First of all, it might not look like, but you're leaving too few in defense when you attack (which you always do on attacking mentality). Danilo as a FB/A will almost every time be completely missing, and I don't know about Mendy's PPMs, but if he has anything like "going forward whenever possible" the he will be too. Your BBM and De Bruyne will also position themselves too far up the pitch. This all means whenever Chelsea launches a counter attack against you you'll have only 3 players in the position to defend against them. Your 2 CBs, and maybe your DLP/D, but he's probably not the best when it comes to defending.

Now imagine, your 2 CB in the center, your flanks in defensive stratas completely empty. You might as well say Bon Appetit to the likes of Hazard, excellent dribblers. Even with their 2 wingers and CF it'll create a bit of an overload, let alone if anyone else joins in their attack. 
You might get away with it with a draw or narrow loss, because your players are that good, but only because.

I'd say if you would stick to attacking mentality, which as stupid it sounds might still not be the worst idea (altough not the best too :)), because it would pin them back at least, then have your WB's as WB/D or maybe even FB/D. But I'd recommend going with a lower mentality instead and maybe pulling back your CF too a bit. also I'd either have De Bruyne as DLP/S or switch CM stratas, as Asensio will cut in and would occupy the same space. If you'll have Danilo sit back more then the right wing will be emptied.

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just for fun I loaded an arsenal save, as they play Chelsea early in the CS, I won 7/10.

I played;

                                   P(a)

                                  AM(s)

IW(s)                                                        WM(s)

                     DM(s)         SV(s)

FB(s)            CB(d)          CB(d)             FB(s)

                                GK(d)

Counter, Flexible

Pass into space

More direct passing

Much deeper d-line

------------

PI on Ozil (AM) to move into channels, roam, play risky passes

------------

I had less possession and less shots in every game... they were limited mostly to long shots. (The games they won 2 of them were close games decided by set piece/long shot and just a regular good goal. One game they thrashed me 4-1 ... Just a bad performance.

The games I won were 1-0 x3 2-1, 3-0, 1-1(p), 2-0(ET)

It was hard games... I do think Chelsea's set up is pretty good in the first season... but 7/10 is fine by me with just a simple counter system.

 

 

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