Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

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Real Sociedad's effective three fake free kick routine

This unique Real Sociedad free kick was stuck in my head the entire first half against PSG. Simple three fakes, pass over the top, pass across goal, tap-in goal. This one didn’t result in a goal, but it’s effective. The third fake sells it.

Figure 1.1 - Brais Méndez and Ander Barrenetxea stand over the ball.
Figure 1.2 - Fake #1
Figure 1.3 - Fake #2
Figure 1.4 - Fake #3
Figure 1.5 - High lofted pass to the back post.
Figure 1.6 - Another view when the ball is played over the top. André Silva starts in an offside position before the ball is played.
Figure 1.7 - Ball in the air to the free man on the far post.
Figure 1.8 - Three available for the tap-in central.

The pass is spot on from Brais Méndez but look at how much room the man on the back post has when the ball is played over the top.

And one other thing I like is how André Silva is deliberately offside to start before Méndez passes over the top.

This is a technique goal-scorers use to get a head start ahead of the defenders. As long as you are behind the ball, you’re considered onside, and once the man on the back-post attempts a pass across goal, Silva will be onside because he times his run to be behind the ball but ahead of the defenders.

Match: PSG 2-0 Real Soceidad, 14 February 2024

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