Crossing and finishing

This session encourages players to make positive and ambitious runs into advanced areas. It’s a practice that rehearses good finishing and requires high fitness levels.

It’s important to practise this because crossing scenarios are pivotal to most attacking elements of the game, and having players able to perform positive attacking actions in and around the box is crucial for any team.

SET-UP

Area
Half pitch
Equipment
Balls, goals
Number of Players
14
Session time
45mins

What do I get the players to do?

We position two players at each side of two goals, placed at either end of a half pitch.

The server passes to a keeper, who then plays right into player 1 who has advanced onto the pitch. He collects, then cuts inside and plays a reverse pass to player 2 (1a). Player 2 overlaps and crosses the ball as his team mate continues his run towards the box.

1a

• Team mates combine, with player 1 cutting inside and player 2 breaking down the wing. Players 3 and 4 begin their runs

In the meantime, players 3 and 4 – who started on the other side of the goal – sprint forward into the box, attacking near and far posts (1b). One of the three attackers must score in the goal.

1b

• The three players arrive in the penalty box to attack the cross from player 2

Next, an attack starts in the other direction (1c). Further attacks practise consecutive left and right flanks.

1c

• The move now comes back in the opposite direction


What are the key things to look out for technically/tactically?

This session requires precise and well-weighted passes, plus close attention must be paid to the type and quality of touch.

The timing of runs is crucial if players are to arrive onto a pass at the right time, and attacking players in the box must adapt their finish to the type of delivery.

How do I progress the session?

We now change the mechanics of the attack. This time, after receiving the ball from the keeper, player 5 lays short to player 6, who plays a long ball forward into the feet of the advancing player 1 (2a).

2a

• In the progression, players 5 and 6 combine before sending a long pass forward

Players 6, 7 and 8 make their way towards the other box, while player 5 sprints up the wing. He receives short from player 1 and crosses to the inrushing attackers (2b).

2b

• The ball is touched back for player 5 to cross


We progress further by adding defenders in the target areas (3). We might also restrict attacking breaks to one- or two-touch.

3

• Adding defenders increases the need for attackers to time and position forward runs well


How do I put this into a game situation?

Adopt the same principles for a game with players fixed in wide areas. The ball has to go wide and players can only score from crosses.

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