How to defend when your team has a lead

The quarter finals in the Champions League had two great examples of how to defend a lead – Liverpool did it brilliantly whereas Barcelona were terrible. And Real Madrid were so nearly caught out because they hadn’t got their best defender Sergio Ramos to shore up their back line.

A cool defender does the simple things well when defending a lead, ushering danger away from goal rather than jumping in recklessly.

Whether there’s a ball being swung into the box from the wide positions, or when anticipating a corner, a defender’s speed of thought and athleticism helps switched on defenders to clear away the danger.

If there is a ball to be won on the ground, anticipation is key.

There should be no panic, no diving in recklessly and conceding free-kicks in dangerous positions. Be calculated in the tackle and drive forward making sure possession of the ball is achieved.

I get my players to practice these key sessions to help them control the game at the back:

For specific age related sessions it is ideal to use my EasiCoach curriculum series:

A few hints and tips in how to play

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