Analyzing Torres's goal against Aston Villa
A 8-0 thumping of Aston Villa is just about the perfect Christmas gift for Chelsea fans around the world. Records were broken throughout the course of 90 minutes. The tactical approach from Rafael Benitez was slightly tweaked as David Luiz got another start in midfield.
Here is Torres’s opener –
So Ashley Cole has made the dash forward, further emphasizing the fact that the full-backs at Chelsea will push forward to provide width, because playing with natural wingers ploughing down the flanks is too mainstream. Hazard is trying to move a bit back as the wide players have to provide decent cover in the sides. Torres has come forward, hinting of a proper false 9 role. Still not convinced that he is a false 9? Well lets see what happens when Cole gives the ball to Lampard.
So this is an overhead view, to make things more comfortable. Cole and Torres are side by side. Aston Villa’s 3-5-1-1, is ready to be ripped apart by one proper move. This move involves the intelligence of the false 9. I have marked the area called NORMAL ST, along with a circle. That is where your Van Persie’s, Aguero’s and Cisse’s ply their trade. On the other hand , your Messi’s, Totti’s and Torres’s end up coming deep to collect the ball and assist play as they disrupt the defensive line of the opponents. Keep a close eye on Aston Villa’s 3 man defense.
Lampard squares the ball to Mata and Torres has started thinking. His movement can be deadly,a s the two midfielders marking him, try to follow him. The problem here being that when two midfielders try to mark one False 9 , the winger gets plenty of area to move forward. Eden Hazard knows that, and is capable of creating havoc. Also to note that Lampard is moving forward and Cole has to come back for an impatient Luiz, who is providing cover for him. Moses is waiting for his chance too.
Now this is where you can see the amount of destruction caused by Torres. Assuming the fact that there are 2 defenders and 1 midfielder trying to mark Torres, we have Eden Hazard with loads of space on the side. A nice little top ball and Hazard could cross it in. THIS IS INDIRECT APPROACH. AVB loved it and Di Matteo loved it while Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez practice the exact opposite. But Chelsea are now under the management of Rafa, and under his instructions, ONLY GO DIRECT. So, a DIRECT APPROACH forces Azpi to look out for Torres.
This DIRECT APPROACH made sure that Torres scored a bucket load of goals at Liverpool. With Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt , popping in beauties from time to time, Torres found life to be easy.
So as we give Torres a dramatic slow-mo moment to head the ball into the back of the net, lets have a look at the other players. First circle to notice is the one right at the top. Torres could lose the ball and it could be retrieved by Moses. Lets name that rebound# 1 . It could also drop down the middle which could be picked up by Lampard or Mata. Lets name that rebound# 2 and 3. It could also drop down to Hazard on the left, which can be very disastrous as there are 3 players trying to get the ball off Torres. Lets name that rebound# 4 .
To conclude from this picture, direct approach if linked with the foundations of false 9 can be devastating with the proper use of time, space and width.
To conclude, here’s a classic Liverpool Torres moment, because rewind a year back and you’ll never expect Torres to do something like this.