Sacchi: ‘How to stop Haaland? With a shotgun!’


Legendary Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi explained why Inter may find themselves outnumbered in the middle of the pitch against Manchester City. The two sides will meet on Saturday in the Champions League final, and ahead of the game, Sacchi spoke with La Gazzetta dello Sport about how the Nerazzurri should approach the game, the tactics he would deploy, and firstly, how to stop a player like Erling Haaland:

“We need a shotgun!… Seriously, we must take into account the fact that City play with two wingers and a centre-forward, and De Bruyne who often plays close to them, while Inter have a five-man defence, made up of two full-backs and three central defenders. Which means that the Nerazzurri will often be outnumbered in the middle of the pitch.”

“It’s simple. The two full-backs will take care of Guardiola ‘s two wings, while for Haaland alone there will be three central defenders. This means that, if one of the three doesn’t close on De Bruyne or the midfielder who enters the area, City will have one or two more men in the middle of the field where they can do the usual ball possession. In practice, with the 5-3-2, because Simone Inzaghi’s defense is five-man and not three-man, elements are lost in the construction or high pressing phase.”

“It’s not a simple question. When my Milan faced Napoli with Maradona and Careca I was worried about not letting these two champions get the ball and so I asked for organized pressing on the ball carrier. Inter, however, does little pressing. I think they will set up a match based on defensive attention and rapid counterattacks.”


Serie A obsessive.