Espanyol ended their first season in ideal fashion by defeating an already relegated Granada 2-1 away from home.
More importantly, however, the win also propelled them into 8th place in La Liga on 56 points, which remarkably sees them finish with 13 points more than they managed last term.

A crucial element to their comfortable triumph was the intelligent movement of central midfield lynchpin, Victor Sanchez, during his side’s build-up play.

The Match Analyst  Sanchez-01-Positioning

Created with Wyscout “Report” App


Whenever the Catalans looked to pass out from the back, Victor Sanchez’s clever variations in his movement successfully saw him position himself astutely to help his side progress upfield.
In addition, by mixing things up where he’d position himself, this meant he was persistently altering the conditions for Granada to deal with, which never allowed them to settle into a pattern to nullify him.

Victor Sanchez’s targeting of the right and left half spaces worked nicely, for it enabled him to receive away from the more congested middle, where Granada’s first line of defence was focused on, while giving him a fine view of the field to use his excellent passing ability to orchestrate the play.

The Match Analyst  Sanchez-02-Half-space

Created with Wyscout “Playlist And Draw” App

In addition, the former Barcelona man would further mix it up by dropping in between his two centre backs and letting them spread wider.
Using the Wyscout Playlist and Draw App the benefits of this movement can be seen in the image below.

The Match Analyst  Sanchez-03-Dropping

Created with Wyscout “Playlist And Draw” App


Either way, the key byproducts associated with his purposeful movement was the way it eventually provoked Granada into pressing actions, which successfully created space behind the presser for his teammates to exploit.

All in all, the 29-year-old’s capacity to manipulate Tony Adams’ outfit’s defensive structure through his smart positioning, that saw him find a brilliant platform to construct the Budgerigars’ attacking moves, served as a vital factor towards Espanyol finishing the season in style.


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Edward Stratmann

Freelance football writer and blogger he writes regularly about the on-field aspects of the game, with a particular focus on tactics and analysis. In addition to featuring on several football websites, including AS Roma’s and Everton’s Official Websites, find his work at Licence to Roam, a football blog he co-founded in 2013.