“When has a zone ever scored a goal?”, cynics ask.
“But when has a player ever scored when not in a zone?”, I’d reply. After all, it’s the ball you have to stop crossing the line, not the man.
The following article is an in-depth look at zonal marking – a one-stop shop, if you will – listing its pros and its cons, how it works, and why it sometimes goes wrong. It looks at Liverpool’s utilisation of the system this season, but also looks back over five years of Liverpool defending set-pieces under Benítez.
Before getting onto the debate of zonal vs man-marking, there’s the wider picture to examine.
There are so many issues to consider when analysing why teams are conceding goals from corners and free-kicks. The first, which should be the most obvious, seems to be the least considered.