Tiki Taka is dead, long live the counter attack

Ian Payne

Former Sports Correspondent

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard walks away after gifting Chelsea a goal. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Is Tiki Taka dead?

Tiki Taka, the quick fire, one touch passing and upfield pressing - putting defenders under pressure all the time, so beloved of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, maybe not so perfect after all.

Now all the rage right now is counter attack football. Defending with all your might, and then when the opponents lose possession, you pour forward at breakneck speed to score at the other end.

Chelsea did it to Liverpool on Sunday. Last night Real Madrid did it to Bayern. And Barcelona were undone in the Champions League by tonight's opponents Atletico Madrid.

But hold on, what happens when two sides that play counter attacking football meet?

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid should be about as interesting as a Manuel Pellegrini press conference. They'll cancel each other out. No one will cross the half way line. Stalemate. But that's where football is so beautiful. Don't expect Atletico Madrid to go gung ho.

But Chelsea might be a little less cautious.

It's nil-nil from the first leg, so that means another nil-nil and its extra time. And if still no goals after an extra half an hour, penalties. Yuk! But if its 1-1, Atletico will go through to the final because of the "away goals rule".

(That is, if the scores are level after two games, the team who scored most AWAY from home, go through).

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho during yesterday's press conference. Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Any sort of win for Chelsea however and they go through.

Tiki taka is dead. Long live counter attack. And football.