Kevin De Bruyne Opens Up on Atletico Madrid’s Surprise 5-5-0 Formation During UCL Clash

Published 04/06/2022, 1:40 PM EDT

Kevin De Bruyne scored in the 70th minute to give Manchester City a narrow lead going into the second leg of City’s UCL quarterfinal clash against Atletico Madrid.


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Though City were favorites going into the game, Pep Guardiola’s side found it difficult to break through the Atletico defense.

Several fans expected Manchester City to dominate possession and the game. And that is what exactly happened.


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Diego Simeone’s side is regarded as one of the most difficult teams to score against on their day. The Atletico Madrid players defended with all they got for the most part of the game.

This made it difficult for the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, and Kevin De Bruyne to score goals.

Normally, Manchester City loves scoring goals. They have a reputation for scoring goals for fun. That is why several teams take the defensive approach against Kevin De Bruyne and others.

But Atletico Madrid did something unique. It looked like Diego Simeone’s men played with a 5-5-0 formation. And this was something that surprised Kevin De Bruyne.

Following the game, City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne opened up about Atletico Madrid’s surprising tactics against the English side.

During an interview with TNT Sports, he said, “Teams play very defensively [against us] but today, for the first time, I see a team playing 5-5-0. No strikers. So it’s very hard to find the spaces.”

“In the second half we had more chances and luckily we scored one, but we also didn’t give anything away, and in that aspect, we played a really good game,” the Belgian added. (H/T:

Atletico Madrid failed to register a single shot on target against Kevin De Bruyne’s Manchester City

Atletico Madrid are still in with a good chance to go through to the UCL semi-finals. But for that to happen, they cannot play in the same manner as they did against Manchester City in the first leg.


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Diego Simeone’s side failed to register a single shot whereas Manchester City had 15 shots, with just two being on target.
Pep’s side had 79% possession, whereas the Spanish side had only 21% of the ball.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group A – Manchester City v RB Leipzig – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – September 15, 2021 Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus celebrate after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Also, City had nine corners and Atletico had none. These stats are enough to show how dominating City were and how defensive-minded Diego Simeone’s side were during the first leg of their UCL quarterfinal clash.


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The 2020/21 La Liga Champions need to bring out their attacking game in the second leg if they want to go through to the semi-finals. But that might also be a big risk against such a strong side like Manchester City.


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Shouvik Nath

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Shouvik Nath is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation from St.Xavier’s College, Shouvik wished to follow his passion for pro wrestling.