Liverpool asked Benfica B to mirror Tottenham’s tactics and style in friendly to help them prepare for C


The team was chosen because of their similarities to Mauricio Pochettino’s side

Benfica B were asked by Liverpool to mimic Tottenham’s tactics in a friendly to help them prepare for the Champions League final.

The Reds spent a week in Marbella to prepare for the final, which they won 2-0 in Madrid.

The trip was used to keep fitness levels up and get used to the heat in Spain prior to the match.

Jurgen Klopp masterminded Liverpool’s Champions League victory over Tottenham


Jurgen Klopp masterminded Liverpool’s Champions League victory over Tottenham

Benfica B were invited to their training camp for a friendly and their manager Renato Paiva has explained how significant their impact was.

They were asked to analyse and mirror Tottenham’s approach in every way possible and they were chosen because of similarities in style.

Paiva told Portuguese outlet A Bola, translated Tiago Estevao, about their assignment.

“We recreated two of their offensive and two of their defensive moments, as well as the set-pieces we thought they’d use in the final. We replicated their centre-back and goalkeeper build-up routines, their 4-2-3-1 defensive shape with the striker cutting between opposition centre-backs and the 10 obstructing Liverpool’s 6. Vinicius mimicked Eriksen, Bernardo acted more like Alli and Jose Gomes was Kane.

“We had to adapt to that 4-2-3-1 shape, both defensively and in possession, with two midfielders dropping close to the centre-backs during build-up to try and attract Liverpool’s press. “Tottenham would ideally want to attract Liverpool players closer to their box, so after a couple of passes between centre-backs and goalkeeper they can then attack the space in behind with their forwards and full-backs.

“We ended up just making slight tweaks to our regular system. A midfield triangle with Alli moving closer to the opposition centre-back (with Kane next to the other), Eriksen moving inwards to draw the full-back in while Trippier covers the wide space. Much like with Son and Rose on the left.

“Klopp complimented us – ‘When you dropped your centre-backs to build-up we immediately set up the same press we used against Manchester City and you still managed to surpass it three or four times!’”