01/03/21 Non-Goal of the week

Before we blacked out for the Holiday break, we caught this fantastic non-goal from the once-up-and-coming but now-just-bizarrely-coiffed Dele Alli. In this clip, Alli makes a technically simple but strategically expert pass backward to give his team a better shot at going forward.

As the flow of the game goes a bit back and forth for a minute, Alli instinctively escapes the tangled midfield mess by firing a one-touch pass back to one of his defenders, Davinson Sánchez. This is excellent non-goal material for a couple reasons:

  1. Alli receives the ball in a decent position to go forward--he could turn and make his way toward Liverpool's goal. But he knows that Liverpool defenders surround him--he'd have to beat several players that way.

  2. His pass backward puts the ball at the foot of a player with more time and space to make a good decision, and to a player with a much better view of the field ahead of him. Sánchez can see everything, whereas Alli can't. It's a much better vantage point to start an attack.

  3. Sánchez is in a central position so he can pick his pass without any Liverpool defenders in his way. As Liverpool tries to get back into their defensive shape, Sánchez plays a great ball forward to Tanguy Ndombele (some great names on Tottenham this year btw) and the rest is obviously awesome.

This is similar to what we wrote about in The Maze, the Minotaur and the Midfielder and we should probably spend more time on it. But going backward to get forward is certainly in the Non-Goals FC hall of fame.