LAMPARD SWUNG IN a beautiful, curving corner into the box. Drogba’s marker was no match to him as the Ivorian climbed high to guide the ball into the back of the net. Some crazy defending from the Bolton player on the far post helped the cause.
That pretty much describes Chelsea’s second goal against Bolton. Precise and on point. But it leaves out very interesting details that happened in the build-up – how corner was won and how the move started. Essien played a huge role in the build-up that led to the corner and here we will look at how it went down.
Regaining Possession, Restarting Attack
|Picture 1. Essien Starts Counter Attack|
Chelsea was in a defensive phase at this point. Bolton’s attack came from their right side and the likes of Essien (red star), Ramires and Ivanovic were scrambling back to deal with it. When Ngog’s touch was off, Essien pounced on the loose ball.
The Ghanaian didn’t have a good passing option right away, so he dribbled the ball along the edge of the box over to Chelsea’s right side. From there, he could have played a safe pass to his midfield partner Ramires but he chose a more adventurous option – a chipped pass forward to Sturridge who was at the half way line. This pass started a chain of quick counter-attacking passes that led to Mata getting a shot at goal and winning the corner. Match of the Day highlighted this great play by Essien (so credit to them) but they ultimately failed to connect it to the corner from which Drogba scored.
Anyhow, good job to the Bison!
As Sturridge received the pass, Ivanovic was making a run down the right, leaving his marker behind. Drogba was on the far left with Lampard close by.
|Picture 2. Chelsea's Attack from the Right Flank|
Mata got the pass from Sturridge and quickly, and accurately, released Ivanovic down the right flank. Sturridge, Lampard and Drogba pushed forward. Ivanovic cut back for Mata who was at the edge of the box. The Spaniard’s shot was deflected for a corner; Lampard crossed and Drogba scored.
I WANTED TO pay tribute to Essien with this post for winning the ball in defense and starting a quick counter attack. But the build-up itself was also pretty awesome. It took only three passes to get behind the opposition’s defense, and one more pass before getting a goal attempt (be it only from outside the box). This move had speed and accurate passing. Although it didn’t lead to a 1v1 with the keeper, five attackers versus five defenders in and around the opposition’s box is a great attacking scenario.
More of these please!
Carefree, wherever you may be...