The Uruguayan National Team fell 3-0 to Argentina this Sunday at the Monumental de Núñez for the CONMEBOL Qualifiers towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup. For this match, Maestro Tabárez opted for the 5-4-1 system, which, although He left a good feeling in the first half hour, it was completely blurred when Lionel Messi opened the scoring at 38 ‘.
Sebastián Coates was the libero, and had Ronald Araújo on his right and Captain Diego Godín on his left. Nahitan Nández was the lane on the right, and Matías Viña in the left-handed sector.
In the middle of the court, the double five was made up of Matías Vecino and Federico Valverde, with Nicolás De La Cruz falling on the right and Brian Rodríguez on the left wing, with Luis Suárez as the obvious reference in the center of the attack.
With this scheme, Uruguay tried to populate the middle zone, control Nicolás González with an iron brand of Nahitan Nández, have defenders always attentive to the mobility of Messi and Lautaro Martínez, and two central midfielders who could jump to exercise, on specific occasions, intense high pressure on the albiceleste cast.
In the first 20-25 minutes, the plan worked. La Celeste generally waited orderly = a in its field, and when it was overwhelmed, defensive punts appeared in the heart of the area. The exact pressure at the local start paid off and he could even afford to let go of his two lanes at the same time, as in Suárez’s shot that crashed into the left vertical.
That was the third shot by the Atlético de Madrid striker at the start of the game (the previous ones had been well answered by Emiliano Martínez). Already after half an hour, Argentina found it easier (with more time to think) Lo Celso or Messi on the backs of Vecino and Valverde.
Uruguay stopped being so effective when they decided to press and, being more stretched out and unable to recover the ball, the wear and tear on the kick began to diminish defensive rigor.
Although Lo Celso’s shot to the crossbar at minute 33 had been after a counterattack, at that time a significant break could be perceived in the development of the match. And at 38 ‘came that pass from Messi that, after González’s attempt to reach him, Muslera could not clear.
With the 1-0 against, Uruguay deepened its bad moment and its imbalances became more constant. Thus, the visit was increasingly stretched, without pressure in attack, without opposition in the midfield and with defenses with a lot of space to cover.
Although the second goal from Albiceleste reached 44 ‘, the end of the first half meant a relief for the Celestial.
For the complement, Tabárez decided to replace the midfield wings (Rodríguez and De La Cruz, both with poor performance) by Darwin Núñez and Edinson Cavani. In addition, it went to a 4-4-2, which was not very evident as it was not totally symmetrical: Araújo was in charge of defending the right side, Coates and Godín in the rear, and Viña in the left wing with greater freedom to accompany the attack.
Nández climbed on the right to the midfielder area, where Vecino and Valverde continued in the double five, now having Darwin Núñez looser on the left, who assumed that midfielder / winger role that Rodríguez had had. And Suárez and Cavani in the center of the attack, with Lucho turning a little more to the right sector.
The changes did not work: neither those who entered had a good level, nor the change of scheme (with a more offensive intention against 0-2) showed better societies in attack or solved defensive problems.
Argentina continued to find their flyers easily and the 3-0 reached 62 ‘after Messi touch, De Paul pass and Martinez definition. Immediately afterwards, Tabárez sent Lucas Torreira and Joaquín Piquerez to the court for the cast Nández and Viña, respectively.
The last celestial variant was at 73 ‘(Gio González for Araújo to give a natural right back to the defense); and the fourth local goal simply did not come due to the great responses of Muslera.
Before this Sunday, Uruguay and Argentina had met 10 times since 2006, the year in which Tabárez’s second cycle began at the head of La Celeste, and only in the second of those matches had the Maestro chosen to line up three full-backs as starters: in October 2009 (Argentine victory 1-0 with Bollati’s goal in Montevideo), Scotti, Lugano and Cáceres were the center-backs, with the Pereira on the wings (Maxi on the right and Álvaro on the left).
Understanding that no defensive or offensive plan is a guarantee of victory or defeat per se, this Sunday it became clear that Celeste’s strategy could never be adjusted after Messi’s goal and, on the contrary, Uruguay suffered more and more from the match, still when for the second half he went to a line of four in defense