Football Language: To press

To press: This verb has been increasingly popular over the last few years. This is when a team without the ball rushes towards the opposing player who has the ball to try to make them make a mistake. Even if the opponent passes the ball, the next player is also pressed. Basically, it means the defending team hurries the opposition and tries to close down their options for passing or running with the ball. Celtic pressed high up the pitch in their game against Manchester City in the Champions League and earned an exciting 3-3 draw.
  • Example:
    DB: Damian is your team, Tottenham, a pressing team?
    DF: Most definitely! The manager of Tottenham, Mauricio Poccetinno, likes his players to press high up the pitch – to try and force the defenders into making a mistake – so they can win the ball back again. Not all teams can play this kind of style and not all teams can play this kind of style all the time as players will become exhausted very quickly.

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