Interesting points on what changed half to half besides Royer Myul switch and weak outside back tucking in
From mlssoccer Bobby Warshaw and Armas quotes
Red Bulls games have become the most consistently interesting tactical battles in the league. Everyone has a game plan for playing against their press (because its become clear that if you dont, you will lose). This week, NYCFC dominated that battle, and thus the game, in the 1st half. When Red Bulls got the tactical advantage in the 2nd half, they took over the game. What changed?
In the 1st half, Red Bulls started their line of confrontation all the way at the top of NYCFCs box. In response, NYCFC launched everything long out of the back. That was to be expected. The specific wrinkle that NYCFC used, in Chris Armas words: On goal kicks, they are putting guys 10 or 15 yards offside into your half, it makes your backline uncomfortable. It forces you into a little bit of a passive mode; so they were setting our line instead of us seeing our line and we are at our best when can compress spaces and be aggressive. We werent as aggressive at stepping out of the backline; they were parking three players centrally...and this makes it difficult. The Red Bulls got extremely stretched and couldnt win second balls, a deadly sin in the Red Bulls Way.
In the 2nd half, the Red Bulls dropped their line of confrontation and conceded the first 20 yards. RBNYs defenders couldnt move forward off NYCFCs attackers you cant exactly leave those three players open so RBNY had to drop their three strikers to stay compact. This coerced NYCFC to pass out of the back. When NYCFC tried to play from the back, RBNY sprung out of their shape and initiated their press. When Red Bulls can press into the opponents half from a compact starting point... well, we know what happens. They make the game chaotic, which makes the opponent uncomfortable, which, as Armas explained after the game, is really the whole premise of what RBNY try to achieve. When the game got fast and chaotic, Red Bulls were able to find their own calm and take over the game.
Why NYCFC took the bait and tried to play from the back in the second half is the big mystery in all of this.
Bradley Wright-Phillips "I prefer it at Red Bull Arena, but it was OK. I could imagine it being good for a baseball crowd.