HomeBlogJUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli
JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli

JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli

Whenever Juventus plays 1-4-3-3, however the players involved are following the principals of mobility and unpredictably.

We see that Ronaldo has moved around from left, to the centre and to the right. In this way, the defenders in the other side do not have a landmark and face against different opponents with different skills.

For the principals mentioned above, Higuain has changed his position, manly playing as centre forward in an extremely versatile way.  Most of the time, he has had great movements to lose his markers and create space to receive the ball in front, linking up the play with the midfielders (in this case with Khedira and Matuidi). Firstly being as “bouncer”, but immediately ready to run forward to exploit the space and receive the ball from his teammates. 

Regarding SARRIBALL’s principals, we have seen:

  • Play out from the back
  • Concentric diamonds
  • Switching the play
  • Rotation of positions
  • Back pass to pass through the lines

Juventus’ has manly developed their play out from the back to the right side. This is because they have used their ability and the tactical choice of switching the play to exploit the left side, this is exactly why we have seen coming, the second goal scored (Higuain) and the most dangerous play from Ronaldo and Matuidi. 

Sarri dictates the play having different lines of passing; looking at the picture below Pjanic is always in the middle of all those concentric diamonds. Also, the “ back pass to go forward” is  fundamental in Sarri’s world: the back pass is a trap to attract the opposition pressing to the ball carrier, the following forward pass is the one to exploit the space to create equality or , much better, numerical superiority situations (being in possession as well). Technically, between the Juventus’ players is Pjanic has the greatest mastery to pass through the lines, also Bonnuci  is the one from the defenders to achieve these principals. Most of the time De Ligt did not recognize the right option where to pass the ball; perhaps he suffering nerves from the first match at home and feeling the pressure to replace a man like Chiellini.


Regarding the playing out from the back and the attacking build up patterns ,we have seen multiple tasks/roles for Khedira and Matuidi as wing halves:

  • Helping to build up the play in Juventus’ half;
  • Play width ;
  • Creation of diamond ;
  • Support the forward play ;
  • Shooting ;
  • “ man between the lines”.

This last point is crucial: finding space between the opposition’s midfield and back four (see figure below). The team in possession could have a numerical superiority in possession if one of the opposition midfielders is marking him. In this match, both wing halves find the right space, most of the time this is around the half way line, because the opposition midfielders (Allan and Zielinski) are pressing into lateral area. Also, when the ball was on the opposite side of Insigne,  he did not drop back to cover. Insigne finished his match at half time, at half time Zielinski swapped his position with Fabian Ruiz.

JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli
JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli

Alex Sandro and Danilo (both Full Backs) give width to the play, support behind wide midfield while helping to create lateral diamonds, good support positions when building play on opposite side and making overlaps with pace.


Higuain goal

Freat build up play with 15 consecutive passing + 1 shot, involving 9 players (except Szczęsny and Douglas Costa). Recycling the ball from left to right, having 5v5 in Juventus’ half, to create a 6v6 situation when Douglas Costa drops back – giving his support as well – attracting Ghoulam (Napoli’s full back) to mark him and open up space. Through this great movement of the ball from Douglas Coasta, now Khedira can run with the ball in this free space and pass to Higuain. The Argentinian forward, losing his marker, received on his right foot and turns to play on his left foot to Ronaldo. The Portuguese player drives the ball forward and we have another diamond: Ronaldo, Alex’ Sandro (overlapping run), Matuidi and Pjanic. Zielinski lost his man to be marked and now Manolas (center back) has deal with him. All those situations and movements created a 3v3 situation in penalty box. Higuain is skilful enough to receive on his left and then shooting with his right foot to score a patient goal built up by all the team. 

JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli
JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli

Ronaldo goal

This goal comes after a positive and quick transition into opposition half. Napoli is building up the play with Juventus pressing from the centre to left side, are able to create a 4v4 situation, with Khedira and Pjanic to provide preventative coverage while Ronaldo is in an offside position intentionally. Allan receives the ball facing towards his own goal (this cues pressing) and he can’t find the forward space, making a feint but Pjanic is quick to win possession. Now he passes to Alex Sandro, forming a diamond with Matuidi, Douglas Costa and Higuain, in a 6v6 situation. Two consecutive fast passing forwards deliver a ball for Ronaldo who is free to score with his left foot.

JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli
JUVENTUS‘ Possession Phase – vs Napoli
  • Edited using Videomatch (Sics’ software)

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