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VIDEO: Tactical Preview — Real Madrid vs. Ajax; Champions League Round of 16, 2nd Leg

Santiago Solari must solve Real Madrid’s press resistance issue.

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Real Madrid went into the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 as big favorites against Ajax. The Dutch side had looked poor coming into the tie, having inexplicably imploded since the turn of the year.

Thus, it was somewhat of a surprise to see the way Ajax completely outplayed Madrid, and the general consensus was that Santiago Solari’s men were very fortunate to come away with a 2-1 win.

Following that victory, Real Madrid lost to Girona, scraped past Levante, and recorded an unfortunate, but big loss against FC Barcelona. By contrast, Ajax smashed NAC Breda 5-0 and Den Haag 5-1 in the Eredivise, while beating Feyenoord 3-0 in the KNVB cup.

If the second leg could’ve ever been considered “straightforward,” it is surely less so now, with the confidence of both teams likely having gone in opposite directions after the last couple weeks.

So, how does Solari ensure that Real Madrid progress to the quarterfinals?

The solutions likely lie in two areas: press resistance and defensive organization.

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