Set-piece analysis: Leeds United U23 attacking corners

It has been a few days since I’ve looked at set-pieces, but I thought I would get out there and look at a club’s attacking routines again. In this analysis I will look at Leeds United’s U23 team and how they performed in different attacking corners routines.

Looking at academy teams is more of a challenge in my opinion. Not so much because of the level or the ideas behind a set-piece, but because in youth games the camera angles are different, the quality of the cameras are different, and therefore your job as an analyst can be more difficult. Nevertheless, it’s always worth doing it, as it will train other aspects of being an analyst.

Middlesbrough U23 vs Leeds United U23

In the video above you Leeds United U23 against Middlesbrough U23. Leeds have a corner on the left, which is taken by right-footed player, which means the ball will swing in. The ball will be placed towards the six-yard box and the positioning of the attacking side is tailored to that.

Middlesbrough employs a two player zonal structure and has one man-marker in the box, because Leeds have one player in the six-yard box. Just outside the six-yard box, Leeds have another players, and they have a short pass option on the left. They have a unit of two at the far post zone who are tasked with making runs into the six-yard box and two player stand outside the penalty area, these two are tasked with attacking cleared balls and guarding the rest defence in case of a counter-attack.

The ball comes to the six-yard box to the man standing there, but the ball is cleared by the combination of the goalkeeper and man-marker. They are so occupied with clearing that they haven’t got a good position for other attackers to come in. The man just outside the six-yard box does profit from it and scores the goal.

Burnsley U23 vs Leeds United U23

In the video above you Leeds United U23 against Burnsley U23. Leeds have a corner on the right, which is taken by right-footed player, which means the ball will swing out. The ball will be placed between the six-yard box and the and the penalty spot.

Burnsley employs a two player zonal structure, but no one from Leeds is in the six-yard box. They have four runners against Burnsley and these runners are split into two units. One unit that will make a movement towards the goalkeeper zone and one unit that will make a run towards the far post zone. Just outside the penalty area, Leeds have two players who are tasked with clearances and rest-defence in case of a counter-attack.

As soon as the ball is kicked, the two units move forwards in order to attack the ball. The ball is cleared by the Burnsley defence, but one of the two players outside the penalty area steps up and shoots the ball under the keeper, converting it into a goal for Leeds.

Leeds United U23 vs Aston Villa U23

In the video above you Leeds United U23 against Aston Villa U23. Leeds have a corner on the left, which is taken by right-footed player, which means the ball will swing in. The ball will be placed towards the six-yard box and the positioning of the attacking side is tailored to that.

Aston Villa have a four player zonal structure and Leeds do have one player in the six-yard box. At the far post zone, we have three players of Leeds who will attempt to make a run towards goal. Just outside the penalty area, Leeds have two players who are tasked with clearances and rest-defence in case of a counter-attack.

The ball is played deep to the far post zone and a header is intended. The ball doesn’t connect well with the header or the defender, which leaves another one of those three players to be able to pick the ball up and convert it into a goal for Leeds.

Leeds United U23 vs Newcastle United U23

In the video above you Leeds United U23 against Newcastle United U23. Leeds have a corner on the right, which is taken by left-footed player, which means the ball will swing in. The ball will be placed towards the six-yard box and the positioning of the attacking side is tailored to that.

Newcastle United have a three player zonal structure and Leeds do have one player in the six-yard box – who is man-marked. The front post is marked zonally, but there is space at the far post to be attacked. Leeds have five players who will make a run forwards, with three players looking to go centrally and two players to go to the front post. They also have one player outside the penalty area, who will guard the rest defence.

As soon as the ball is kicked we see the five players moving as a line forward to the penalty spot. The three front players move towards the front post, luring defenders with them. In doing so they create a 2v2 situation in the 11 meter zone. The ball doesn’t go as close to the six-yard box as thought and the attackers in the middle anticipate. They step back a fraction of a second earlier than their opponents, giving them time to be a threat. From this situation, Leeds scored an excellent header to give them the advantage.

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