Sir Alex Ferguson once said that a good attack wins games but a good defence wins titles.
Based on the legendary Scot’s assessment, these 5 teams have their priorities straight.
Traditionally, one might expect to see the likes of Atletico Madrid and Juventus featuring prominently but this season has already sprung a few surprises.
Now we bet a lot of fans didn’t see this one coming.
In recent times, Liverpool have been lauded for their breath-taking attack but their defensive efforts were often ridiculed.
Lovren was accused of being inconsistent, Moreno had the regular blunder in him and the goalkeeper position has long been a problem for the club.
Since Virgil Van Dijk’s arrival at the turn of the year, there’s been a massive defensive improvement.
The giant Dutchman’s presence seems to have elevated those around him and young Joe Gomez has been the standout defender this season.
Andy Robertson has been a revelation at left-back and Trent Alexander Arnold is one of the best young right-backs in England.
However, much of the credit must go to the midfield and front 3 for their defensive contributions as well.
The famed press starts from the front with Roberto Firmino leading the charge. Midfielders James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson often cover incredible distances to support the back four.
The Reds have only conceded 4 goals this season.
Another surprise I’m sure!
With their wealth of attacking talent at their disposal it’s easy to forget about their defensive stars.
City have invested heavily in the back 4 and goalkeeper and the strategy is starting to reap the rewards.
Eyebrows were raised when John Stones was bought for 50 million pounds. Followed by Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy for similar fees. The big money addition of Aymeric Laporte added even greater star quality to the backline.
Vicent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi add the leadership and experience.
Their well-balanced team is a nightmare for opposition defences but their own backline is proving even harder to beat.
A theme seems to be emerging this year.
In the past, some teams may have followed the philosophy of outscoring the opposition. The downside was often that these teams were irresistible going forward but shambolic at the back.
Barcelona are the 3rd team on the list who have always been admired for their attacking brilliance but their defensive efforts have improved considerably this season.
The trident of Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sam Umtiti is proving harder to beat than ever before.
The blues traditionally have always boasted a strong backline with defensive coaches, such as Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
However, Mauricio Sarri’s introduction has been a revelation this season.
They’ve only conceded 7 goals but not at the expense of the attack.
Jorginho is the anchor in midfield but he often sets a fantastic tempo for the attackers to run riot.
No modern defensive list would be complete without Atletico.
While arch-rivals Real may be known as the Galacticos and boast panache and flair, Atletico pride themselves on their grit and determination.
They’ve only conceded 5 goals this season.
The record is all the more impressive when you factor in the emphasis most La Liga teams place in attack and goal-scoring.
Diego Godin was linked to a move to Old Trafford this season but Diogo Simeone would be grateful his defensive leader remains at the club.
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