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Non-Goal of the Week, 03/20/22

We've actually got two non-goals of the week this week, as we were blessed with two outstanding derbys: Roma/Lazio and Barça/Madrid.

The first NGOTW comes from Rome and we call it The Overwhelming Overlap. While attacking fullbacks have been en vogue for a while now, we've recently seen more central play from fullbacks. This NGOTW however, is vintage overlap. As Cristante plays the ball to Mkhitaryan on the right side of the box, Karsdorp sprints down the right flank. This creates a 2v1 against the defender Hysaj and he's forced to make a choice--does he stick with Mkhitaryan as he might cut inside or move to cover Karsdorp to stop the cross into the box. As often happens with a good overlapping run from the fullback, Hysaj really doesn't do either. He doesn't successfully close down Mkhitaryan and he doesn't prevent Karsdorp from hitting an excellent cross across the goal that Tammy Abraham can acrobatically tap home first-time.

Looking at how the play develops, it's hard to image Karsdorp making an impact on the goal--if you look at the beginning of the move he's really removed from the play. See Karsdorp below, way out wide at the touchline as Mkhitaryan receives the pass from Cristante.

But Mkhitaryan expects Karsdorp to charge down the flank and takes his time moving the ball forward, ensuring the 2v1 will happen and Hysaj will have to make a choice. Eventually Karsdorp is further down the field than Mkhitaryan and has enough daylight to cross. The non-goal overlapping run makes the goal possible, as so many non-goals do.

The second NGOTW comes from Madrid, from the delightful 4-0 Barcelona win (sorry, Madrid fans) against their Spanish rivals. We didn't give this one a dumb name but it could easily be called the Chip and Dip by people who love to rhyme. Take a look at Pedri's lofted pass over Madrid's back line:

Nobody closes Pedri down as he's able to get his head up and spot Ferran's run, and the boy-genius plays a perfect chipped pass over the top to put Ferran in with a good opportunity. This non-goal could have also been given to Casemiro for the contortionist tackle he's able to make as Ferran attempts a shot. He somehow makes up about 5 yards of space, slips around Ferran in a sliding tackle without making any contact on the player and completely stopps the shot.

It has to be said that Pedri seems to have made a massive leap in the last month or two--jumping from "will be really good soon" to "is terribly good right now," in just a few short weeks. He's playing with a confidence that you'd expect of a much more experienced player, and it's a lot of fun to watch.

Enjoy your two non-goals and have a great week!


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