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Kene Jun 21
*THREAD* Tactical Analysis: Tunisia 1-2 England
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Kene
England scored both goals through set-pieces & created a couple of good chances from corners + free-kicks. The pattern was simple: England outnumbered Tunisia's zonal marking with a 4v3 in front of the penalty box; Maguire was the target man while Kane attacked the far post.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Alli & Lingard played as No.10s, making attacking runs through the central or wide channels in space created by the forward's movements (towards the ball or outside). This forced Tunisia's full-backs to defend narrower, leaving space in wide areas for the wing-backs to exploit.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Tunisia didn't press aggressively too, giving the centre-backs and Henderson enough time on the ball to play penetrative passes. In the first 25 minutes, England dominated the game by stretching play, creating lot of chances through open play + attacking transitions.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Example No.1: Lingard - unmarked and between the lines - makes an attacking run in the space created by Kane, who drags Tunisia's left-back wide.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Alli & Lingard are unconventional No.8s in this system as they often look for space rather than create play & play deeper. Example No.2: Watch Dele's off-the-ball movement as soon as Kane goes for the aerial duel; he gets himself in a good position for an eventual fast break.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Now, focus on Lingard & Sterling's movement in space: England's ability to play quick passes in tight areas allow them to evade press well and exploit space quickly, just like in this situation. Their poor finishing though was a big issue on Monday.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
England did dominate possession, but created little chances through minutes 36-89, mainly due to Tunisia's defensive-minded shift into a 5-3-2 and less off-the-ball movement from its advanced players.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
On one hand, England retained possession well, although Henderson's isolation in midfield (if man-marked) and both shuttlers' high positions in the attacking phases - which leaves space behind - could be exploited quickly by more aggressive counterattacking sides.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Another issue with their 3-5-2 is that, when defending (in their own third), the midfielders don't always retreat quickly or they shift too much towards wide areas - having more space to cover across the field - which ends up leaving gaps in the middle, like in the example below.
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Kene Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Overall, it was a convincing start to the tournament. Southgate needs to work on the team's attacking play, defensive phase & finishing (!), especially if they will face teams who sit very deep, like Panama might decide to do on Sunday.
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Alexander Fredriksen Jun 21
Replying to @CharlesOnwuakpa
Great point! I think their 10s were too wide too often against Tunisia, which led to England being vulnerable in defensive transitions.
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