Jose Mourinho spared no expense in preparing for a Champions League semi-final clash against Barcelona in 2010 and an in-depth tactical breakdown of how he organised his Inter Milan side is fascinating viewing.
Despite the holders taking an early lead through Pedro, the Italian side came from behind to win 3-1 at the San Siro thanks to goals from Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito – who went on to score a brace against Bayern Munich in the final.
Mourinho pulled off a famous victory over Barcelona in 2010 (Image: Alamy)Milan, of course, went on to win European football’s biggest prize that year but for many, it was that performance against a prime Barca that will be remembered for decades to come. So how did Mourinho manage to trump Pep Guardiola that night?
‘The Special One’ sat down with The Coaches’ Voice to discuss how he beat the Catalan giants.
Mourinho is known for going above and beyond when it comes to the finer details ahead of a game and alongside André Villas-Boas at Chelsea, it’s fair to say the two Portuguese managers did their homework when it came to breaking down an experienced Barcelona side in 2005/06.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look into his decision making as Chelsea boss ahead of that Champions League clash.
Check out some of the highlights below via Performance Analysis in Action.
Mourinho and Villas-Boas looking at Carles Puyol: “Aggressive, but very emotional. Gets crazy with the referee in fouls against him and goes mad in provocations. Aggressive defender, plays in anticipation using [his] body.
“Bad positional sense (comes to midfield with striker) and bad leadership of defence (wants to do offside when it’s not possible). Because he uses his body strength to regain possession, we can provocate contacts in the final third or outside the box. Good heading ability and power.”
Credit: Performance Analysis in ActionCredit: Performance Analysis in ActionMourinho and Villas-Boas looking at Andrés Iniesta: “Always comes on from the bench. Very dynamic player. Great radius of action. Speed of movement and speed of execution. Tricky player.”
Mourinho and Villas-Boas looking at Ronaldinho: “Technical quality to avoid defender on first touch. When opened receives the ball and the attacks full-back 1 vs 1 (inside to shoot or outside to cross). Much more dangerous when provocating spaces inside (between lines) from those positions forces a central defender out and then with a pen. Pass releases Messi, Eto’o or the penetrating midfielder. Very poor defensive transition and defensive work — exploit. Constant cheater — falls easily.”
Credit: Performance Analysis in ActionCredit: Performance Analysis in ActionThe former Manchester United and Real Madrid manager was well aware of the threat posed by Lionel Messi, too, who had broken into Barcelona’s senior team two years previously.
Mourinho and Villas-Boas looking at Messi: “Quality + speed, but very left footed. Exactly the same behaviours as Ronaldinho. Inside between lines or diagonals. Encourages team forward by ball driving. Amazing 1 vs 1. If option is to foul him, it’s important to do it outside the box and as early as possible. [Has] recovered from an injury recently.”
Fascinating stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.