3 v 2 Team Exploiting an Overload Next Phase

By Sean Reed –


This session is developed from the previous 3v2 session going into a 3v2 at both ends. Again the focus can be on both the attacking and the defending, but for this session we are focusing on the attacking side of it.

Session 1

Diagram 1

Set Up

  • Working within one half of the pitch 5yds inside of of the penalty area each side
  • Free zone (Middle area 5yds)
  • 3 v2 + GK each end
  • One team will start with the ball and from the defensive half can play out unopposed
  • One of the attacking players drops into the free zone unopposed to receive the ball
  • Then attack opposed to make 3v2 in attacking area
  • There are offside’s
  • Once the attack has been completed, the ball then starts with the other GK and they play out to attack the other end


  • Introduction of 2nd and 3rd Ball

Coaching Points

  • Options to play forward, timing of movement to drop into the free zone to receive the ball
  • Receive the ball on the half turn to play forward
  • Attacking players pull wide, run forward to create space and options
  • 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 above, but within this session if the defenders win the ball, they are looking to play into the forward dropping into the free zone with opposition.
  • If the attacking team regain possession they can continue attacking


  • A defender can go into the free zone with the attacking player
  • 1 of the attacking players can recover to make a 3v3

Coaching Point

  • As within previous session
  • Awareness when dropping into the free-zone of defending players
  • Rotation – come out to create space/ option for 2nd attacking player
  • Tempo of play to exploit opportunities
  • Exploit the gap between the 2 defenders

Session 3

Diagram 3

Set Up

  • Going into a 6v6 game
  • The free zone is removed and is replaced with a halfway line
  • There are no restrictions of where the players can go now


  • Limit touches in defending half to encourage quick play (use GK)

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
  • Balanced defensively when attacking
  • Recovery runs when out of possession

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

About the Author Tom Mura

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