How Pochettino showed Guardiola the weakness of Chelsea
The first half of Chelsea-Tottenham match was one of the most important encounters in the Premier League this season, both tactically and in terms of impact on the fate of the League. Chelsea have not conceded for 6 consecutive matches but in this match they were really vulnerable against Tottenham’s attacking plans. In the interview after the match, Pochettino said: “what makes me disappointed the most is that all statistics of the game is for Tottenham, but we lost the match”.
Let’s start from this picture. 6 out of 12 shots from Chelsea were on target. Just two shots which can be seen on the left of the picture happened on the second half and another 10 shot on the first half. 10 shots on the target of the team which hadn’t conceded on last six games. Tottenham scored on chelsea based on its main strike plan.
Look at these frames which show Tottenham strike at the minute 33. Tottenham left full back Wimmer notices Harry Kane’s diagonal movement in to Chelsea defenders and passes the ball to him. After getting the ball, Kane moves across and to the goal. He just has Chelsea deffenders in front of him. Kane shots and Cortouis saves the goal with a great reaction. Next scene is Tottenham goal at the minute 11 by Erikson.
These consecutive pictures show Demble passes to Delle Alli simply and he starts off with the ball. There is no pressure on him from Chelsea deffenders until David Luiz goes for Alli. But the Tottenham midfielder passes to Erikson at the right time and after controlling the ball, Erikson sents the ball to the proper angle and scores a goal.
Tottenham designed 6 more attacks in the first half simillar to those two which has been shown. Could you see the intersection of these two strikes? It is said about 3-5-2 system behind the wingers will be a space which can give the opportunity to strikers.
But much and continuous longitudinal movement against a team which have three central defenders, gives a good opportunity to them to regain the organizing with 5 defenders and block the crosses which starts from side channels by three tall defenders. This was Pochettino’s plan: before or as soon as entering opponent’s field, start attacking from side channels and putting the most strikers in front of Chelsea defenders in least time.
It means less possible passes should face Tottenham strikers to Chelsea three defenders. In both Tottenham attacks which have been shown, Matic and Kante do not consider putting pressure on opponent players as their duty. In this Tottenham strike style, not a lot of Tottenham players face to Chelsea players in a centralize attack. But 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 3 position happens in Chelsea box. And that is where Tottenham has her final strike shot; shot closely on Chelsea box. That was really important to Pochettino to get to the final shot with cooperating less players of his team. Because it prevented Tottenham to be shocked by possible counter attack of Chelsea. Designing the attack from outside to inside by Tottenham, worked and the team scored in this way and had several shots on target. But the loss of stamina in the second half for Tottenham players, made the match easier for Chelsea. Chelsea won again for 7 consecutive matches with 3-4-2-1 system and without any changes in line up. But it could be seen how vulnerable Chelsea is. Tottenham’s attacking plan may help Guardiola; The man whose team is going to face Chelsea for the most important match of the week 14 on Saturday.