3 v 2 Attacking

By Sean Reed -


This session can focus on both attacking and defending play. The focus for the purpose of this session will be on attacking play and exploiting the overload.

Session 1


Diagram 1

Set Up

  • Working within the penalty area up towards the edge of the centre circle
  • Each side 5yds inside the penalty area
  • 3 v2 + GK
  • 2 Defenders start on the 6 yard area. A defender will play a diagonal ball to the one of the attackers. Once the ball has been played the defenders will accelerate to get up and defend
  • The attackers set up as a 3 (Using full width). When they receive the ball a pass must be made within 2 touches, then an overlapping run to attack
  • Once a goal has been scored or the ball is out of play the game stops and the next group set up
  • Depending on the number of players after the 1st attack a 2nd and 3rd ball can be played in
  • Offside line included


  • On the 2nd and 3rd ball the attacking team are restricted to a time limit (i.e. 6-8 seconds) to get a shot off to encourage speed of play and exploiting overload before recovering defenders (within a game)

Coaching Points

  • Direction of first touch and movement to create space / option
  • Forward runs, overlapping, running in behind to disrupt defending players
  • Movement to create space and angles of support
  • Creating 1v1 and 2v1 situations
  • Be positive
  • Decision-making in possession drive forward or pass
  • Timing of pass and movement
  • End product / finish on goal
  • Tempo of play to exploit overload and isolate defender• Timing of movement of when to come in (high up) or stay wide (deeper)

Session 2


Diagram 2

Set Up

  • As with the previous set up, but the defender will start in a wider position


  • Change the side and starting position of the defenders

Coaching Points

  • As within previous session
  • Tempo of play to exploit opportunities
  • Exploit the gap between the 2 defenders

Session 3


Diagram 3

Set Up

  • As with the previous set up
  • The attackers are set up with 1 central attacker starting higher up
  • When 1 of the wide attacking players receive the ball, within 2 touches a pass must be played into the central striker

Coaching Points

  • As within previous sessions
  • Decision-making for the striker to hold up, turn or play
  • Supporting attacking players, movement, forward runs, Get across the front / 3rd man running

By Sean Reed

Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web - www.seanjreed.com
Twitter - @SeanJReed

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