Does possession matter anymore in modern day football?

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After Bayern Munich got knocked out of the Champions League by a defiant Atletico Madrid earlier this week, the way the Spanish side went about their tactics to win was a game with a lack of possession, but does it really prove that teams do not need possession to win vital games?

Before the actual tie had begun, Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich was always going to be an encounter that demonstrated different styles of football, but a game in which all eyes would be on.

Both teams had high stakes going into the game as Bayern reached their fifth consecutive semi-final, aiming for their first final out of all five, whilst Atletico aimed for their second final in three years.


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Many teams this season have been successful in 'parking the bus', including Premier League winners this season, Leicester City, who battled out several 1-0 victories near the end of the campaign.

As well as Leicester, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea earned a reputation of 'parking the bus' during their title success last season.

With an average of just 47.5% possession out of the whole competition, Atletico have proved that it is not vital to have the majority of the ball in order to win the game. The key to Atletico's success is incredibly more simple than people think.

Diego Simeone's men have made more successful tackles than any other side and the highest amount of interceptions out of all the teams left in the final eight of the competition. Also, Simeone's side have conquered the ability to break games down in key moments. They've managed this by picking up yellow cards here and there with their high aggression.

Of course conceding the third least amount of goals out of all the teams this season with just seven goals going against them is also a massive beneficial to their style of play.

Both Bayern and Atletico were the most aggressive teams in the competition, picking up 29 yellow cards and one red card between them.

Not only did Barcelona struggle to break down Atletico's perfectly drilled defence, but Bayern also found it difficult, losing 1-0 in the first-leg despite dominating possession once again.

Bayern did get their revenge in the second-leg with a 2-1 victory, but due to the away goals rule, Simeone's men advanced to the final.

From a neutral view, it was always going to be an attack vs. defence tie as stats reveal that Bayern Munich have had an average of 66.3% possession home and away, with only Barcelona topping the average away possession by just 0.1%.

Possession did not help Bayern Munich in this tie, though, and despite having 72% of the ball during the second-leg, their higher pressing football was cut open as Antoine Griezmann scored a vital away goal for his side.

Is possession becoming less and less important in the modern game? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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