3 v 2 Continued Attacking and Defending

By Sean Reed -


This session is a continuation of the 3 v 2 activities in previous weeks but now includes an additional defender making a recovery run that will encourage the attacking teams to finish as soon as possible.

Session 1

Diagram 1

Set Up

  • Working within one half of the pitch 5yds inside of the penalty area each side
  • 3 (Attackers) v 2 (Defenders)
  • Attacking players start on cones outlined (with a 2nd set of cones 10yds away from 1st set of cones)
  • Defenders start on the edge of 6yd area
  • 1 defender plays a pass out to one of the attackers (who must play a pass and overlap to attack)
  • Defenders then close the ball down to prevent attacking team from scoring
  • Regardless of the outcome when the ball is out of play the attacking players make a recover run. Increase pace to 1st cone then increase to 2nd cone
  • If you are working with small numbers increase the rest between attacks
  • There are offside’s


  • Introduction of 2nd and 3rd Ball (Time limit 8 secs and 6 secs)

Coaching Points

  • 1st touch to play into attacking player then next movement
  • 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)
  • 2nd phase recovering runs
  • Defending players, nearest player up to the ball – looking to reduce size of the pitch
  • 2nd defender supporting distances, body shape on the cover
  • Isolate attacking players – prevent option to play out (especially nearer to goal (keep them going down one side / weaker side)

Session 2

Diagram 2

Set Up

  • As with previous session, but one of the defenders now starts alongside one of the attackers
  • Once the ball has been received by one of the attacking players the defender can make their recovery run


  • The attacking player does not have to make a pass, can run with the ball
  • Introduce 2nd & 3rd ball (Limit time 8secs and 6secs)

Coaching Point

  • Attacking player positive with 1st touch
  • Use space available with only 1 defender, move the ball quickly
  • Tempo of play
  • Speed and line of recovery from the defending player
  • 1st defender looking to hold play up allowing the recovering defender to get back in

Session 3

Diagram 3

Set Up

  • As with the previous session.
  • Within this session both 1 defender and 1 attacker will be making recovery and forward runs respectively


  • Limit touches in defending half to encourage quick play (use GK)
  • Change the side the players recovering start

Coaching Points

  • As within previous sessions
  • Speed of players joining in (recovery and attacking)
  • Exploit the overload, move the ball quickly, play into space
  • End product

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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