Against all the odds, LOSC Lille defied expectations to win the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season. Normally considered a "one-team league", Lille ensured the season would go right down to the final day, where PSG's three-season title streak would officially come to an end. Under the influence of Christophe Galtier, Lille conceded just 23 goals and kept an astonishing 21 clean sheets in 38 matches. Their defensive prowess set them on the path to win the league title right from the very opening day of the season, and tactically, they've been one of Europe's most intriguing sides. So with that, here is a tactical analysis of Christophe Galtier's Ligue 1 winning LOSC Lille in 2020-21.
SYSTEM OF PLAY: 4-4-2
LOSC Lille play in a defensive-minded, robust 4-4-2. There's an old saying about how defence wins championships, and Lille turned that into reality this season. It all starts at the very back, where their fantastic goalkeeper Mike Maignan has played every game, keeping 21 clean sheets in the process. Central midfielder Benjamin Andre also stands out for his defensive attributes, completing 3.3 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game, the second-highest combined total in the league. Boubakary Soumare is his most frequent partner in midfield, and the highly-rated 22-year-old midfielder also puts up excellent defensive numbers on a per 90 basis. Renato Sanches has also improved in the position and provides a tertiary option with a greater attacking threat. These players have to be quite adept at covering space as they are, since a midfield three could easily outnumber them.
But like in central midfield, Les Dogues have also been exceptional at winning the ball in wide areas, with their fullbacks the next two best tacklers in the team. Reinildo on the left and Turkish defender Mehmet Zeki Celik have contributed with 2.7 and 2.5 tackles per game respectively. Reinildo in particular is exceptionally fast, and times his tackles very well, with a 60% win rate and only 2 yellow cards this season. FOR FULL ANALYSIS: CLICK HERE