Date: 25th November 2019 at 7:00pm
Written by:

A tactical analysis of our 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage on Friday night shows why we blew our one-goal lead and ended up losing our third match in five.

We started brilliantly and took the lead through Jordan Hugill’s eighth goal this season.

Warburton had us lined up in a high-pressing 3-5-2 that allowed both our strikers, the two wing-backs, and the two advanced central midfield players to squeeze Fulham high up the pitch.

This allowed us to score our first goal as Mark Rodak passed the ball straight out of play, and we scored from the resulting throw-in.

For the first 20 minutes of the game, this tactic worked superbly as when Fulham knocked the ball long Aboubakar Kamara, standing at 5ft 10, did not have a chance in the air against our centre-backs and only won two out of seven aerial duels.

However, because we squeezed up the pitch so high as soon as Fulham got through our lines, we were in trouble.

Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro had a field day up against our back three as the wing-backs were often caught too far forward.

This was not exploited in the first half, but as we tired, and Scott Parker brought Bobby Reid off the bench, the Whites began causing huge problems and eventually got their winner.

Did Warburton get it wrong on Friday?

Yes, he should have gone stronger

Yes, he should have gone stronger

No, he was right to rotate

No, he was right to rotate

Warburton was brave to try and press that high, and for a while, it worked, but ultimately, it was our downfall, and we must regroup and go again as we host Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.