Set-piece analyses: successful attacking routines in Italian Primavera 1

You will have guessed it by now, but I’m really interested in all things set-pieces. I’m definitely not the only one and I’m definitely not the only one writing about them, but I do have a preference for everything and anything that isn’t top 5 European leagues, and that’s what I plan on doing for the future.

In this article I turned to Italy again, just like my last analysis on Ternana. This time no Serie C or Serie, but the Primavera 1 – the highest U19 league of Italy. Currently on the 23rd matchday of 30, Sampodoria leads with 44 points, closely followed by Inter with 43 points and Roma with 42 points. An exciting league to follow and this is no different for the set-pieces.

In this analysis I will have a look at one successful routine per club in this current season. I’m looked at all routines that were successful and took one out of them that illustrated correctly why that particular routine is characteristic for that club. Ascoli has not been included as they haven’t scored a set-piece goal as of yet. The data was retrieved on Sunday 16th May 2021. Data and video are from Wyscout.

Sampdoria U19

In the video above we see Sampdoria U19 vs Genoa U19 in the Primavera. The corner is taken from the left with two players standing there. One to swing the ball in with his right foot and the other to swing the ball out with his left foot. Outside the penalty area we have two player: one close to the edge of the penalty area ready to anticipate any cleared balls. the other one does anticipate a counter-attack and looks after the rest defence.

The ball is taken short by the player with the right-foot and after that, the left-footed player crosses the ball towards the six-yard box. There are five players of Sampdoria who are tasked of making runs in that particular six-yard box against a five player zonal structure. In the end the ball is delivered to the far post and Sampdoria heads the ball home.

Inter U19

In the video above we see Inter U19 vs Sassuolo U19 in the Primavera. The corner is taken from the left by a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in. Just outside the penalty area on the left we see a player from Inter for a short pass option. There are no players of Inter in the six-yard box, but deep in the far post zone we see six players of Inter who will make runs forward.

The ball is delivered towards the front post and that is the zone where the Inter players run to. Sassuolo employ a two player zonal structure and they are somewhat overloaded at the front post by the runners, making it easier for Inter to score a goal. The header is guided towards the far post and it’s a goal for Inter.

Roma

In the video above we see Roma U19 vs Cagliari U19 in the Primavera. The corner is taken from the left by a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in. We see two players just outside the penalty box who will run as a unit towards the front post. We see one players in the six-yard box and three runners centrally who will run towards the six-yard box. At the far post there is a player who will anticipate a deep ball.

The ball is delivered towards the far post towards the player standing there. He guids the ball back into the six-yard box where six players are standing ready to attack the ball. The ball lands at the edge of the six-yard box and Roma can score a goal.

Juventus U19

In the video above we see Juventus U19 vs Torino U19 in the Primavera. The corner is taken from the right by a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing out. We see one player in the six-yard box with four players making runs into the six-yard box. On the edge of the penalty area we have two players who are tasked with the cleared balls and the rest defence in case of a counter-attack.

The ball is delivered to the central zone, but is headed out the zone by the defenders of Torino, who play in a five player zonal structure. The ball is cleared and goes to the edge of the box – where one player of Juventus picks the ball up and shoots the ball into the top corner.

Empoli U19

In the video above we see Empoli U19 vs Milan U19 in the Primavera. The corner is taken from the left by a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing out. Milan employs a four player zonal structure and we can see that five players of Empoli make a run towards the six-yard box in order to attack the ball. On the edge of the penalty box we see another player who is tasked with the rest defence, but also concentrates on the cleared balls.

As soon as the ball is kicked we see the runners move into the six-yard box, especially surrounding the placement of the ball – which is located in the central zone. The keeper gets it as first, but then he drops it and Empoli can score one of the easiest goals of the season.

Atalanta U19

In the video above we see Atalanta U19 vs Ascoli U19 in the Primavera. The corner will be taken short with two players of Atalanta occupying the corner. In the six-yard box we see one player and in the penalty area we have two players ready to make a run, with a third one coming from outside the penalty area. Deeper outside the penalty area we have a player tasked with defensive duties and the cleared balls.

The ball is kicked short and then the cross comes from a right-footed player as an outswinging cross. That’s the idea, but instead, he passes it to the player on the backline and his pass into the box makes sure that there is more danger. The ball is delivered in the central zone and Atalanta manage to score a header from this position.

SPAL U19

In the video above we see SPAL U19 vs Ascoli U19 in the Primavera. The corners comes from the right from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Ascoli has a one player zonal structure with two players of SPAL in the six-yard box. Four players will make runs into the six-yard box.

The ball is played deep to the far post, because space has been created there. This is possible of the runs of the other players to the front post, luring defenders with them – thus creating space at the far post and leading to a header that leads to a goal against Ascoli.

Milan U19

In the video above we see Milan U19 vs Sassuolo U19 in the Primavera. The corners comes from the left from a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Sassuolo has a one player zonal structure with no players of Milan in that six-yard box, but six players will make a run towards it because of the trajectory of the ball.

The ball is played just behind the front post zone, and all players that make runs go to the six-yard box to occupy a space to attack. At the edge of the penalty area another player is arriving to assist with cleared balls or rest defence, but the ball is scored with a header inside the six-yard box by Milan.

Sassuolo U19

In the video above we see Sassuolo U19 vs Lazio U19 in the Primavera. The corners comes from the right from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Lazio has a two player zonal structure with one player of Sassuolo in that six-yard box, but four players will make a run towards it because of the trajectory of the ball. Outside the penalty area we see two players tasked with cleared balls and the rest defence in case of a counter-attack.

What is interesting is that Lazio tries to zonal mark the space in front of the front post, which gaves Sassuolo the edge to deliver the ball just behind that space and the front post. The runners recognise that and can head the ball into goal quite easily at the front post.

Genoa U19

In the video above we see Genoa U19 vs Roma U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the right from a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing out away from the six-yard box. Roma has a two player zonal structure with one player of Genoa in that six-yard box, but four players will make a run towards it because of the trajectory of the ball. Outside the penalty area we see one player tasked with cleared balls and the rest defence in case of a counter-attack.

The majority of the players went to the front post, opening up space for the players at the far post because the defenders have been lured away. The ball is delivered in the far central zone, but Genoa still manages to score from there.

Cagliari U19

In the video above we see Cagliari U19 vs Empoli U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the left from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing out away from the six-yard box. Empoli has a two player zonal structure with no players of Cagliari in the six-yard box, but there are six runners who will make a move into the six-yard box.

As soon as the ball is taken from the corner to the far post, we see the group of runners dividie: players to the front post to lure defenders away and players to the central zone/far post zone who will attack the corner. In the end the ball is not directly converted into a goal, but the dominance of the central zones is of huge importance.

Bologna U19

In the video above we see Bologna U19 vs Lazio U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the right from a right-footed player, meaning the ball will swing out away from the six-yard box. Lazio has a four player zonal structure with no players of Bologna in the six-yard box, but there are five runners who will make a move into the six-yard box. The player outside the penalty area is tasked with the cleared balls.

Lazio plays with two lines of zonal defence and Bologna tries to make use of that by making runs in between the lines and delivering the ball there. The ball is not directly converted into a goal, but the ball is delivered in the central zone at the correct position to deliver it into a goal.

Fiorentina U19

In the video above we see Fiorentina U19 vs Roma U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the right from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Roma has a three player zonal structure with no players of Fiorentina in the six-yard box, but there are five runners who will make a move into the six-yard box. The three players outside the penalty area are tasked with the cleared balls and rest defence, but they are man-marked by Roma.

The ball is played between the central zone and the far post zone, because there is the most space of all. The most players run towards the front post and the defenders go with the, thus creating more space at the far post. The goal is a bit lucky, but nonetheless a consequence of the runs made towards the front post.

Lazio U19

In the video above we see Lazio U19 vs Bologna U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the right from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Bologna has a two player zonal structure with four players of Lazio in and around the six-yard box, and with one runner who will make a move into the six-yard box. The three players outside the penalty area are tasked with the cleared balls and rest defence.

The ball is played between the central zone and the far post zone, because there is the most space of all. Most players run towards the front post and the defenders go with them, thus creating more space at the far post. The goal is a consequence from the above and winning the aerial duel in the six-yard box.

Torino U19

In the video above we see Torino U19 vs Milan U19 in the Primavera. The corner comes from the right from a left-footed player, meaning the ball will swing in towards the six-yard box. Milan has a four player zonal structure with three players of Torino in and around the six-yard box, and with two runners who will make a move into the six-yard box.

Every player of Torino bar one goes to the front post zone, luring the defenders with them – also the zonal markers which is a mistake. Because of that mistake the far post is completely free for Torino to attack and they convert this chance into a goal.

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