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Tactical analysis of the Barcelona counter-attack
  1. H Sarmento1,2,3,
  2. A Marques4,
  3. J Martins4,
  4. T Anguera2,4,
  5. J Campaniço1,2,
  6. J Leitão1,2
  1. 1University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
  2. 2CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal
  3. 3UB, Barcelona, Espanha
  4. 4FMH, Lisboa, Portugal


The purpose of this study was to observe and to characterise the tactical performance in the counter-attack (CA) of the Football Club Barcelona (FCB) in the 2009/2010 sporting season, using sequential analysis. Sixty-two sequences of CA, resulting from twelve games, were encoded using the observational instrument developed by Sarmento et al (Medicina (Kaunas) 2010;46:401–7). The reliability of the data was calculated by the intra- and inter-observer agreement, and values above 0.90 for all criteria were achieved. Observational methodology was used, with special reference to the sequential analysis. For the treatment of the data SDIS-GSEQ software was used. There is a probability that the recovery of the ball possession (RBP) by disarm is followed by a dribble (Z=2.24) and, when the RBP is due an intervention of the goalkeeper, there are a tendency to the sequence to keep going by the right side of the field, in a controlled way, performing actions like the dribble (Z=2.47) and the conduction of the ball (Z=2.71). The execution of the “long pass” is related with ends of the offensive process (EOP) without efficacy, like the EOP due the rules of the game (Z=2.21). In the other hand, the results showed that have behaviours, as the dribble (Z=3.32), the crossing (z=2.82), and the intervention of the opponent without efficacy (Z=3.32), that induce the shot with the goal. The detection of behaviour patterns in the CA of the FCB proves to be particularly interesting. The study of these regularities made it possible, in a phased way, to characterize the observed offensive actions and provide important information for coaches that can be used in the training process.

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