Roma defended in a zonal 442 shape. However inside their respective zones the players were very man to man oriented. Due to Nainggolan attempting to mark Fred and Dzeko resting around Stepanenko, the 3+1 shape in the first two lines pushed Roma in to a 4411 in multiple occasions. Their efforts to press the ball and jump at pressing triggers were largely individual. Shakhtar had plenty of success bypassing at least one line at such moments.

In high pressing situations Dzeko attempted to push in Krivtsov by attacking him from the side after a pass from Pyatov. If the ball…

In this series I will review interesting set pieces from around the world. Clever schemes, individual actions, training methods, kicking techniques. Anything that I find interesting connected to set pieces.

Norway corner against Malta 2019.11.18.

Malta defend with 9 outfield players inside the box. Norway set up for an inswinging corner. The delivery is too high, allows the goalkeeper to come off his line and the ball comes behind Sorloth, even though he times his run excellently.

Alternate idea:

There are several interesting dynamics going on at this corner. For example the two Norway players — Sorloth and Anguissen…

Let’s look at some solutions of Roma to the middle third defending approach of Lazio in the derby.

Roma have interesting asymmetric tendencies to their ball circulation in most matches, this wasn’t different. On the left side the fullback Spinazzola played next to the touchline, while the right back Santon moved inside to the halfspace, forming a three-chain. Cristante held down the six space, forming a 3+1 structure at the back.

Movement patterns in Roma’s buildup

In high pressing Genoa mostly covered pass options passively in a 532 shape. Roma started the game in a 4231 formation. When they built up up from the goalkeeper their staggering looked more of an asymmetric 2422. Veretout and Diawarra dropped back, always narrow and close to each other in the central lanes. Spinazzola and Kluivert occupied the halfspaces, dropping back if the ball was coming to their side. Under stayed on the touchline as long as possible, while Dzeko kept the team long by staying on the ballfar side of Romero — the middle defender in the back three.

In this article I share some thoughts on the dynamics of a specific situation from the Europa League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Eintracht Frankfurt on 2019.02.14. You can see the situation here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/418pwigthv2fa3v/Shakhtar%20circulation%20winger%20far%20side%20dropping%20v%203421.mov?dl=0

For me the key aspects of the situation are:

  • Macro tactical aspect.
  • Avoiding getting pressed in the first line, so the first progression of the ball is clear.
  • Passing with the right power and tempo.
  • Movement of the central midfielders in reference to each other to create a free player.
Two wingers occupying the halfspaces, creating a positional advantage.

Frankfurt defended in the middle third in a 3421 formation. Shakhtar used the fullbacks as pinging…

As many of you know, I have a fondness for Paulo Fonseca. I spend countless hours watching his Shakhtar team, and now follow closely AS Roma.

This is part 1 of the game analysis. I am currently in training camp, there is very little free time. I managed to carve out some for this game, but we will see how the next days will go. I’ll try to analyze more situations.

Roma faced similar defensive approaches so far this season, mainly Hellas Verona, who attempted a back five with largely man oriented midfield without the ball. …

The match between Wolverhampton and Liverpool gave me a few interesting ideas about ball circulation principles and playing around a 532 formation with a back four.

You can think of Liverpool’s formation as a lopsided diamond. Henderson and Wijnaldum started the match as basically two sixes. In order to keep good distances in midfield, Lallana was a little bit back in the right halfspace between the lines (or as I heard a coach call it recently, the vacuum).

On the left side Robertson was asking for the ball in a more reserved position that Arnold on the right. …

Ajax collected their first trophy in a historic season. Let’s examine some early dynamic of the game.

Willem prevented Ajax’s short buildup from the goalkeeper in the beginning stages. However once Ajax had the ball at least 20 meters from their goal, Willem’s defensive efforts proved to be futile.

The match started with Willem II applying full pressure and forcing long goalkicks. They applied the pressure in a 4312 field occupation. Isak attacked Onana from the keeper’s left side. Most long balls targeted Huntelaar.

Ajax responded with two processes:

  • creating an option to pass short:

1)Creating an option to pass…

The Ajax machine rolls on. There were a lot of aspects to analyse in last night’s game. I decided to focus on one that was crucial for their control of the game, but probably not many articles will focus on it.

With Spurs in lack of players who can bring out the ball with dribbling or break into space with speed, the transition game of Ajax after loosing the ball was one of the most dominant I have seen in a while.

Just this one aspect of the game warrants a long and detailed analysis. As a sketchy first draft…

No matter what happens in the tie against Ajax, this season will go down as a classic in Tottenham Hotspur history. Competitive for a top four place while beating Barcelona, Dortmund and Manchester City to arrive at the Champions League semi-final. I am not sure people appreciate and grasp how big an achievement this is.

Tottenham’s structure in possession

No doubt intelligent tactics played a huge part in the success of Tottenham Hotspur. The home game against Inter Milan was a good example how carefully crafted positional advantages can give a team complete control.

Ábel Lőrincz

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