Pep Guardiola’s “False full backs” – Alaba & Lahm played in midfield v Man United

Pep Guardiola loves tactical innovation and it was on display in spades during Bayern Munich’s 3-2 win over Manchester United on Wednesday night in the quarter-final Champions League second leg.

For much of the game, when Bayern Munich had the ball, both full backs, Phillip Lahm and David Alaba, were playing central midfield.

The video above via @allas4 shows the tactical tweak in all its glory and it has been used before by Pep Guardiola this season.

Against a side that is going to sit back, with limited wing options, it makes sense for Bayern Munich to use their full backs in as attacking role as possible.

Since Guardiola loved to dominate the ball in the middle of the park, and with Lahm and Alaba comfortable in midfield, this worked a treat.

It should be noted that Manchester United’s opener came from a right wing cross which eventually found their left back to score a wonder goal but Bayern, as always, dominated possession to a massive degree (63%).

Whether Pep would employ “false full backs” against a better side in the semi-finals or final remains to be seen.


Phillip Lahm