The Argentine masterminds Tottenham's impressive victory over Chelsea, while Roberto Fimino's evolution from striker to player is almost complete
By Monday morning, we know all about the brightest stars of the action on the weekend – who scored the goals that made the wrong mistakes – but often the most important tactical plots did not go through.
Here, Target looks beyond the obvious headliners and takes a look at five tactical things that you may have missed out of the Premier League.
Firmino runs from striker to playmaker
The slow passing and the slow movements of Liverpool during the first hour against Watford could easily have cost them the points on Vicarage Road. If the visitors had played with greater urgency, they might have pulled the Hornets out of position, but instead they worked and drove their luck before Mohamed Salah finally made the breakthrough.
What was most remarkable during that first hour was the separation between Liverpool's defensive players and the front four. The boxes of Watford (a form of 4-2-2-2) urged Liverpool successfully to lethargic passes in the broad areas on Saturday, with strikers Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu taking the Liverpool-center route back to the attacker of Liverpool blocked.
In an unusual 4-2-4 Jurgen Klopp did not have anyone in the neighborhood to receive the ball in the half-turn, like David Silva in Manchester City or Dele Alli at Tottenham Hotspur. You do not need that kind of playmaker if you tear through the middle in a flash, but now that Liverpool has become a more prosaic possession, it is essential that they find a playmaker.
Roberto Firmino is that man. He (finally) collapsed to get the ball in the 67th minute, played a sharp pass forward and then kept moving to become the catalyst again in the last third before the opener of Salah. It was a simple, though intelligent piece that Klopp should encourage in the coming weeks.
The perfect plan of Pochettino to stop Sarriball
Tottenham's performance in their 3-1 victory against Chelsea was excellent; Instead of focusing on one thing we have learned, Mauricio Pochettino's tactical master class deserves a full exploration.
As expected, he followed Everton's blueprint and instructed Dele Alli to sit on top of Jorginho, thus limiting his ability to make a forward pass and thereby stealing the visitors. But defensively and offensive it was so much more than that.
The 4-3-1-2 of Pochettino ensured that Spurs was dominated in each area. By playing three central midfielders and a front-three that were interspersed by dropping deep, he ensured that the visitors were constantly flooded and overwhelmed by at least four bodies. This was made possible by joining the center left – in the areas around the weaker technician N & # 39; Golo Kante – and by aggressively pressing everywhere. They ran out of the blocks and emphasized the weakness of Chelsea against brave opposition.
On the flanks Pochettino instructed his backs to become unusually tight against the one who received the ball, be it winger or full-back; he knew that the possession of Maurizio Sarri meant that there were no runners behind and therefore had no threat to leave the defense line. Spurs could sit ultra-thin and push straight to the broad men, which would cause Eden Hazard to come out of the game.
Moussa Sissoko was perfectly ingenious as the engine in the midfield, his working speed and desire symbolic of the performance of Spurs & # 39; teams. But even better was the roaming interplay between Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Alli. They have fallen back to help defend; they picked up loose balls in the too large opening between Willian and Kante; and they made runs on the outside of the two Chelsea middle backs, with Son setting the tone of the game from the right. It was a perfect plan from the Spurs manager.
Emery finds a new formula for Arsenal
Unai Emery unexpectedly switched to a 3-4-2-1 formation against Bournemouth, possibly because he expected that Eddie Howe would start with a behind-three but rather provide more protection on the flanks, with Sead Kolasinac having looked defensively defensively since his return to the side.
In the beginning it did not really work, with Bournemouth creating a large number of possibilities to counterattack via slides that came through the holes in the unknown three-man defense, although attacking Arsenal's tactics was intriguing. It is certainly not a bad plan B for the future.
Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan stopped inside to play as dual numbers, which Bournemouth sucked inside; the pre-filled midfield of the Cherries meant that David Brooks and Ryan Fraser had no choice but to follow them. This created room for Hector Bellerin and Kolasinac for the overlap, both men were released from defensive responsibilities by the system switch. Iwobi to Kolasinac assisted both goals.
The threat of Iwobi in the number ten space and Kolasinac on the overlap made Howe change his approach. He switched to a 3-4-2-1 before the start of the second half, so a spare middle back could push and confront Iwobi. However, when this happened in the 67th minute, Simon Francis was turned over and improvised right wing-back Ryan Fraser lost to Kolasinac – who crossed for the winning goal. Howe felt compelled to make a change that backfired. Emery deserves the honor.
Invoicing of the perfect foil for beautiful Mooy
Injury limits Philip Billing to only eight Premier League starts in 2017-18, but now the 22-year-old Huddersfield Town midfielder is back at its best and is a great match for Aaron Mooy to control midfield against Wolves on Sunday.
Perhaps Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves were expected to dictate the piece, but again Nuts Esperito Santo's two-man midfield was simply overwhelmed by the opposition numbers; Huddersfield possessed 55 percent possession of the ball in a 2-0 victory over Molineaux.
The billing was great, using the space created by the presence of Alex Pritchard and Jonathan Hogg (occasionally the Terriers had a four-v-two in the middle) to ride on the ball. It was his by-the-ball that set Erik Durm aside to cross for Mooy & s opener, while Billing ended the game after he had completed two key cards, two dribbles and four interceptions – all season heights.
Mooy's double should help the Australian international to rediscover his brilliant first touch and long ball division, although it was his approach (five in all) and crossings that really stood out.
In Mooy and Billing, David Wagner has the midfield collaboration he needs to restore a compounding game after months of gradually sinking into a defense shell.
Ranieri goes straight to him to shoot Fulham
It was not a vintage display of the hosts, but Fulham's 3-2 victory against Southampton contained a hint of what's coming under the new manager Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian is a considerably more direct, assertive coach than his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic, and he showed up at Craven Cottage while Fulham relentlessly took their chances.
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The first goal of their Aleksandar Mitrovic seemed like the kind of smooth passing movement of the Jokanovic era, but Fulham would never have scored anything like fourteen days ago. They took their own half of the goal line in just six passes, and four of them were not only forward but completely vertical; Ranieri teams do not mess.
The second trick was due to two long balls, the first one to Ryan Sessegnon (who ran straight to his defender) and the second a cross to the back post for Andre Schurrle to score.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but Fulham already shows how urgent and direct the new boss will preach in the coming months.