Lloris and Bravo replacements performance in Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham
Goalkeeper’s distribution topic is very popular these days, being one of the biggest signs of modern soccer. More and more integrated in the team’s game model, they offer back passing lines and organize the game from behind. In this match in England, in the very demanding Premier League, there was a style´s contrast. In theory Bravo would be the one acting as an organizer and Lloris the opposite. Such predictions could not be more wrong.
Two plays from Bravo that are enlightening:
In a back pass from one of Bravo’s defenses, these were the movements of the closest players. The center backs gave a passing line and the full back opened on the midfield.
After receiving the ball, he guided his body to the left. This lead to immediate loss of the 3 and 4 passing lines. He had the option of playing short on 1, taking into account that the offensive trident had closed all the options of playing inside in a short/medium range, so the long pass to the left lane was the only option, in the passing line number 4. Manchester City didn’t had midfielders to pick up the game in the center, the defenders have been giving opened passing lines but Bravo decided to put a long ball for one of the wings most of the times (by technical indication or by lack of confidence to play short, the fact is that it was a constant in this match).
Let’s see another example, where Bravo decided to play long in the wing when he had a short pass alternative.
We can highlight 4 moments in this play:
- His feet were oriented to the left, ignoring immediately the passing line 2;
- Right back gave a short passing line but Bravo didn’t saw it because his focus was on the left;
- When the ball was replaced, in this set play, the left back could give a back passing line. For that, Bravo could have waited for a moment, in order to create passing lines;
- Just like the previous play, Bravo’s passing target was the long ball for the side lane.
This distribution behavior was steady. With low confidence to play short and from behind, he prefered the direct play to the wings. Even so, he was somehow constrained by the way Tottenham pressured.
Let’s focus on Bravo’s antithesis, Hugo Lloris, who had a much more relaxed attitude, even though he was a guilty part in the two goals conceded. However, the team continued to have confidence in Tottenham’s Keeper in regards to the organization from behind.
Tottenham starts to play most of the times with the right center back. Considering the pressure from Manchester City in this specific play, the left center back resorted to the goalkeeper to organize. Lloris did a correct interpretation of the opposite defender movement and made a first touch pass with his worst foot. They easily exceeded in organizational terms, with possession, the opponent’s pressure and the right center back progresses with the ball secure.
Another play in which he was required to play with his feet:
Before explaining this move, it is necessary to understand the context. Lloris had just conceded 2 goals in the last few minutes, with the proper responsibility. In theory, one´s confidence is damaged in moments like this. However, his team-mates recognize the captain unique abilities and kept the play from behind.
- The defender pass to the keeper who is giving a passing line;
- Lloris, without receiving the ball, adjusts his body to the pass and reads the play and the best alternative to keep playing. Makes a one touch pass to the player showing up on 3;
- The defensive midfielder gets back to give a central passing line. Behind him (facing the game) there was no opposition. Besides himself, the defender on the other side gives width and drags the marking at the same time that is giving a passing line;
- Manchester City makes high pressure with 2 players that take 2 of 3 immediate passing lines to Lloris;
In conclusion, two completely different attitudes in this match. From time to time, depending on the pressure variation, Lloris also had to play long instead of playing short and Bravo played short sometimes. This were exceptions in this match with 2 keepers that play well with their feet but had different behaviors in the distribution.
By Gonçalo Xavier