The Enalysis: Masterstroke behind Gomes’ magic comeback

Melbourne City’s Marcus Gomes was down 4-1 on aggregate before his Xbox clash with Perth Glory’s Highfly357 in Round 2, but managed to pull of an incredible comeback.

How did he do it? It all started from the very first play.

E-League analyst Eleftherios breaks down the catalyst for Gomes and City’s miraculous victory. Get involved using the hashtag #TheEnalysis

We’ve all got that one mate before kick-off who spends a little too long adjusting dials and instructions and insists their deflected 93rd minute winner was all part of the master plan.

They’ll spend ten minutes deciding between a 4-3-3(3) and the 4-3-3(2) and say it’s a sign of their tactical genius.

But for those mini-Jose Mourinhos who play at a casual lounge-room level, a game of FIFA is not going to be decided in team management. It’s going to be decided by how you perform on the pitch.

However, that doesn’t apply in the E-League.

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Right from kick off, we saw what makes Gomes one of Australia’s most consistent FIFA players, and why he was the first Australian FIFA player to be signed to a Hyundai A-League team.

From the outset, Highfly used the tournament favourite and meta 4-2-3-1 formation (meta refers to a tactic that is the most optimal to use).

So far in the E-League, 4-2-3-1 has been the most commonly used formation as a response to the counter-attacking 4-1-2-1-2 set up.

The two defensive midfielders and relatively central wingers in the 4-2-3-1 allow the player to congest the midfield and still have enough width to exploit the flanks of the incredibly narrow 4-1-2-1-2.

Knowing all this, Gomes opted for the rarely seen, highly aggressive and free-flowing 4-3-3-(4).

But having to score at least three goals is no easy task at any level of play - let alone in the E-League.

Competitors are experienced, and they’ll know how to hold the ball in order to slow down the play and soak up time.

Furthermore, they are incisive. A slip-up is hardly ever left unpunished.

Gomes had to find a gap in Highfly’s play in order to score early, and then he had to do it again, and again, and again, all before the final whistle.

Four goals in 12 minutes of play to win on aggregate. That’s stress.

But Gomes showed how prepared he was for this moment. He promptly switched players to their best positions, and adjusted their instructions.

With the exception of the defenders, he instructed the rest of his team to ‘Aggressively Intercept’ the ball and to either ‘Get Forward’ or ‘Stay Forward’.

This indicated that he didn’t want to give Highfly a moment of rest, and took advantage of another meta, ‘Stay Back On Defence’.

Gomes knew his opponent wanted to hold onto the ball, and there was no way he was going to let him do that.

The impact of Gomes’ tactics showed right from kick-off.

After moving the ball out wide, Highfly was forced to play a risky ball into the middle-of-the-pitch.

It was nearly intercepted by Cristiano Ronaldo as the aggressive press of Melbourne City’s midfielders forced Perth Glory to once again move the ball out wide.

But, inevitably, the pressure proved too much to handle.

Highfly lost the ball near his attacking corner flag, and it was from that very moment that Gomes laid the foundation for his immense comeback by scoring the first goal of the tie.

Melbourne City would go on win 7-5 on aggregate, with Gomes scoring a cool, calm and decisive six goals.

Key takeaways:

  • Hyper Aggression
  • Efficient Shooting
  • Exploiting openings

Watch E-League Round 3 on the E-League Australia Twitch channel from 8pm AEDT on Thursdays.