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Author: Francesco Farioli

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What are the two main factors in an effective attack? My first two answers to this question would be:

  1. Space
  2. Numerical equality – superiority


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Fiorentina – Sampdoria (Serie A)

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Teramo – Lucchese (Lega Pro)

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Arsenal – Watford (Premier League)

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In the above three images, however, there is neither space (fully manned defences) nor superiority (two situations of 2 v 7 and one of 6 v 8). Three different situations where finding the confidence to move toward the opposing team’s goal is truly Utopia. It would be better to pass the ball and try to find new spaces. No way.

Marcos Alonso and Borja Valero (Fiorentina), Lapadula – Donnarumma (Teramo) and the Arsenal forwards don’t see it that way.

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Because the beauty of football is that you can create space where (apparently) there is none and you can create situations of numerical equality/superiority precisely where there are only opponents.

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Let’s have a look at them one by one.

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FIORENTINA

Marcos Alonso receives the ball from Borja Valero who, after passing, criss-crosses across his teammate’s trajectory in order to provide another passing solution.
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Borja Valero’s movement is independent (opening up a passing line) but most of all, it works to free up space for M. Alonso.
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TERAMO

One of the best football dialogues that I’ve ever seen (and unfortunately experienced as an adversary) with my own eyes. A harmless ball on the left wing.

A treacherous progression subdivided into four steps. Combinations, rotations, back and through passes. This is how Lapadula-Donnarumma managed to earn a penalty kick from nothing.
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ARSENAL

The combined movement of several players allows Arsenal to move Watford’s defence through “accordion” movements. The outside player attacks inside and the inside player goes outside to come back and attack inside again.
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The combined movements set up a situation of numerical equality on small portions of the pitch, but the chance to switch up the playing side using the third man makes the Gunners’ manoeuvre unpredictable.
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The space, apparently attacked individually, is collectively assaulted. In the film that follows, using the Wyscout images, you will be able to see how these rotations flow. The apparent linear motion which is actually circular.
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Francesco Farioli
Aspire Academy (Qatar Football Association), Senior Goalkeeper Coach, Video Match & Performance Analysis.
www.francescofarioli.com

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