How to defend a lead

986 posts Professional
Here’s a question particularly for top level players. In the last 15 minutes of a game when you have a 1 goal lead, what do you do to defend the lead?

The past week I have tied countless games due to an opponent getting a late goal.

In last minutes of a game, I have been going to a 4231 narrow to defend,
of course drop back. My intention at end of game is to ride out a hard earned win, so make it impossible for through balls or for an opponent to get in the box with the ball. Simple right??

If I get beat, it should only occur in the air or some miracle long shot...

In reality, usually an opponent has 2-4 players versus my 7-9, yet the ai d still somehow allows unbelievable space for a through ball or the ai d run away from an attacker....Of course switching to the intended d player is completely random or at times impossible...I’m so sick of 3 on 7’s being an advantage for an’s ridiculous.

Just curious how high level players combat what I encounter.


  • Cornushon
    4928 posts Big Money Move
    My approach to defending a lead is to play like it is still 0-0. Jsut keep pressuring your opponent until the end or RQ
  • Dochter
    441 posts Sunday League Hero
    edited March 2020
    If you start playing negatively the game will punish you more often than not.

    If you're winning 1 - 0 then you're doing something right so just keep doing what you are doing.
  • Knowlesdinho
    14802 posts World Class
    Corner flag+lt
  • Tylercftla
    513 posts An Exciting Prospect
    Best defense is offense in the last 15 of the game. I’ll go to a 4-5-1 formation depth I keep on default and play possession. Your opponent is going to be pressing hard so lanes will open up to score. 7/10 times I’ll get another goal in the last 15.
  • TDOF
    7251 posts League Winner
    Going drop back is the worst thing you can do.....

    Think about it, if you’re losing your opponent will be going all out to attack, when you’re on drop back you’re literally inviting all the pressure to you....

    I play on balanced 5 depth or go on press on heavy 3 depth....

    Press is risky but it will put your opponent under pressure and if you can win the ball up high you’ll most likely score on the counter since he has all his players going forward
  • BadSeedsFC
    1641 posts Play-Off Hero
    edited March 2020
    A 1 lead goal doesn't mean anything in Lord Voldemort surprise mechanics fest. Keep playing just like if you're 0 0. And after the 85 minute you can got to the corner of your opponent and protect that ball like a madman :D
  • Mc_chigby
    1334 posts Professional
    The issues are, a) are you used to playing the more defensive formation? If not, then you need to practice with it to learn strengths and weaknesses. For example if you usually use 4-3-3 but switch to 4-2-3-1, the players positions, runs, drop back etc will all change. b) your opponent may also change to a more attacking formation e.g. 3-4-3, putting you under more pressure. A formation like this will attack wide and central so you are leaving yourself vulnerable to wing overlaps. Perhaps a 5 atb formation would be better.
  • FijiBoy
    1321 posts Professional
    Attacking is the best form of defending. I always use a formation that has at least 3-4 players on stay forward in either 4222 or 433(5).
  • CustardHippo
    3044 posts National Call-Up
    Corner flag+lt

    This but if you do it to me for 15 mins I will turn the game off, boring AF.

    Go to the corner, hold L2, watch as the only way to retrieve the ball is to commit a foul. From the free kick, pass short, repeat.

    But you do that for 15mins and I hope you get kicked from the servers before it can give you the win.
  • Ballerson
    986 posts Professional
    Wanted to say thanks for the kind words from all. Very helpful.

    @Cornushon @Dochter @Knowlesdinho @Tylercftla @TDOF @BadSeedsFC @Mc_chigby @FijiBoy

    I took the advice to heart, shifted my team upfield, use offensive formations all the time. I won 10 straight in rivals -- only tied once due to an EA own goal by my cb....

    Nah, I can't do the run to the flag and screen thing...

    Appreciate the sound advice....thanks all.

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