Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

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David De Gea's risky pass to Maguire facing goal costs Manchester United

April 20, 2023 — A fairly routine play was turned complicated by David De Gea in Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final match against Sevilla.

Figure 1.1 - Harry Maguire passes back to David De Gea
Figure 1.2 - Ocampos curves his run to force De Gea to pass to his right

In this position, David De Gea has two choices.

  1. The safe play would be to thump the ball forward vertically to take no risks and get the ball out of danger.
  2. Play the ball to Wan-Bissaka so that he can then play the ball up the right wing

De Gea instead choices to play the ball to Harry Maguire with his back to the goal.

Figure 1.3 - De Gea passes to Harry Maguire, and Sevilla collapses on the ball
Figure 1.4 - Harry Maguire loses the ball

Erik Lamela smartly blocked off the pass to Wan-Bissaka from Maguire, and the three Sevilla forwards collapsed, won back the ball, then quickly converted for the first goal.

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