Pace and width

Following on from yesterday’s post about space, watch this a few times (Messi scoring last night against Real Betis).

The Betis defence is mainly on the far side of the pitch. Barcelona – who habitually station a man very wide on either flank – move the ball quickly to the other side, stretching the play and making the pitch big. Their passing is quick, the defence can’t settle, they score.  So, so simple. If it were that simple everyone would do it, of course, but this attack is everything that Fulham are often not at the moment (and Jol talks about it quite a lot in post match interviews so he knows it, too).


2 thoughts on “Pace and width

  1. I’m not sure I see how this goal exemplifies your point about width; it’s much more illustrative of pace of play though. The ball comes down the middle, doesn’t get particularly wide to the left (the cross comes from inside the penalty area), and gets put into the middle by a wide attacking player playing on his off wing (Sanchez is better with his right foot). We just don’t have anyone who can put in a cross like that on the first touch with his weaker foot, or anyone who can reliably finish on the first touch like Messi does there.

    Don’t get me wrong, Barcelona do certainly get a lot of width from their full backs, especially on the right, I just don’t think this goal really demonstrates it.

    1. I made the clarification earllier though – I don’t mean byline width, but in getting into this sort of position. It’s a ball in from a wide area behind the defence, not someone dribbling into a congested area. We didn’t do enough of this sort of thing.

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