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Aston Villa v Liverpool Set Piece Analysis

Aston Villa vs Liverpool was a crucial game for the title race and had plenty of drama, with Aston Villa taking an early lead before Liverpool ended up winning the game in the 94th minute with a Mane header from a corner. Interestingly Aston Villa’s goal was also scored from a set-piece so in this piece I’ll give a break down on both set-piece goals.

Aston Villa - 20 mins - Trezeguet

We can see that Liverpool (in white) defend zonally, with practically all of the Liverpool players crammed into the D to focus on defending the central area in front of Alisson. With so many of the Liverpool players focused on defending the central area, Aston Villa decide to shift their players out to the end of the defensive line, creating an overload of 4 vs 3. The ball is played in and the attackers get ahead of the zonal markers and it’s a relatively easy tap-in for Trezeguet at the back-post.

Liverpool - 94 mins - Mane

Liverpool had 10 corners in the match and had obviously spotted a vulnerability in the Aston Villa defence as they tried the same routine over and over. Firmino would stand on the 6-yard line and upon the kick would push into his marker (and the middle zonal marker - Mings) Mane would then make an attacking run (often joined by a runner from the penalty spot) towards the near side of the 6-yard area for a flick-on or shot.

I believe the weakness they spotted was the near post zonal marker (Wesley) isn’t very active at leaving his zone, meaning when Mane’s marker is blocked - it leaves a vital area free for an attempt or flick on further into the 6-yard area. Liverpool tried this routine for 7 of their 10 corners in the match so must’ve been confident in getting some success from it.

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