LSPlaysFM’s FM21 5-2-2-1 Spaceship Tactic – The Art Of Defending

LSPlaysFM’s FM21 5-2-2-1 Spaceship Tactic – The Art Of Defending 2020-12-18

Welcome guys to my 5-2-2-1 Spaceship Tactic which focuses heavily upon defending and keeping clean sheets yet finding ways to win games! This tactic is inspired by Sir Alex’s idea that attack wins games, defence wins you titles and that statement is 100% correct with this tactic.

I have extensively used and tested this tactic in FM21 both across my FM21 Twitch Stream save with Norwich City over on my Twitch channel LSPlaysFM, and also across 2 simmed test saves with Liverpool and Everton.

In every save each team has performed very well and especially defensively and in the case of Everton & Norwich far above expectations.

The tactic itself managed to secure a domestic treble for Liverpool with them keeping 25 clean sheets in the League and only conceding 15 goals all season, and gave my Norwich side Europa League football in only our 1st season in the Prem and gave Everton a 4th place finish in the first simmed season as well!

To help explain the tactic and how it works as well as all the results of my Twitch save and the simulated saves, I created a tactics video over on my YouTube channel LSPLaysFM! You can find the video below:

You can also see in more detail below exactly how the tactic works and the results in a screenshot format below as well if you’d prefer.

The tactic nicknames the spaceship by my Twitch Stream is a 5-2-2-1 formation and utilise 2 attacking midfielders and is a very narrow tactic.

It highly relies upon athletic wingbacks, an advanced forward who is either pacey or good off the ball and then attacking midfielders who are preferably both good passers and at finishing (but it is not vital).

As I have stated this tactic does phenomenally well defensively and focuses mainly upon counter attacking. However just because of that, does not mean that the tactic doesn’t work for big team, because as shown by my Liverpool test, it most certainly does work for teams of any real size.

The tactic works as follows (check out the screenshots below to see exactly how its set up):

#1 Norwich Tactic.PNG

#2 In Possession.PNG

#3 In Transition.PNG

#4 Out Of Possession.PNG

#5 Corner Defend.PNG

#6 Corner Attack Far Post.PNG

#7 Corner Attack Near Post.PNG

Using this tactic and after our second season in game (or 1st in the Prem) we managed to finish up in 5th place with a newly promoted Norwich City side and get Europa League football despite being predicted to finish as low as 19th at one stage. We even finished on 77 points and with one of the best defensive records!

#8 First Full Complete Prem Season.PNG

After the success with Norwich I then tested this out with Liverpool & Everton, you can see how the Liverpool side mainly lined up below:

#9 Liverpool Using The Tactic.PNG

Using this tactic, Liverpool walked the League and secured themselves a Domestic Treble in the process and this even managed to happen with having a major injury crisi with Mo Salah being injured for 4 months of the season in my simulated season. You can see quite how Liverpool got on in their competitions and the League below:

#10 Liverpool Competition Wins.PNG

#11 Liverpool Prem - Only 15 Goals Conceded!.PNG

In terms of their Analyst stats, Liverpool were far and away the best defensively and were also incredibly well off in their attacking prowess too, I reckon had Salah not been injured for so long, they could well have been top of the attacking charts too, even while using this “defensive” tactic!

#12 - Liverpool Stats.PNG

#13 Liverpool Attacking Efficiency.PNG

#14 Liverpool Defensive Efficiency.PNG

Finally after Liverpool’s success we also come to Everton. Everton were predicted at the beginning of the test save to finish 9th place, and the team were lined up as follows (although the ai boss did decide to instead of using Calvert Lewin, they used Richarlison).

#15 - Everton Tactic.PNG

With this tactic, Everton finished up in 4th place, also surprisingly on the same points as my Norwich side secured with 77 points and again had one of the best defences in the leagues. On top of that as well, Richarlison finished the season as top goal scorer getting himself 35 goals in 37 league games. Highlighting how a pacey advanced forward in this tactic works absolute wonders!

#16 Everton In The Prem.PNG

#17 Richarlison Top Goal Scorer.PNG

Overall that is how the tactic itself functions and across each team I used it with, it functioned **** well allowing teams to either totally outperform expectations or to dominate every team around them!

Please do feel free to download the tactic via the link and I hope you get a lot of good fun and enjoyment out of this tactic on FM!

In addition to my YouTube video above, if you would like to take a look at any of my other content such as my FM21 Tactics Videos, my FM21 Tutorial videos or my FM21 Experiment videos, then please do also check out the links below for my various playlists and my channel where I release content at least 3 times a week regarding FM21.

FM21 Tactics Playlist

FM21 Experiments Playlist:

FM21 Tutorials Playlist:

My Channel:

Finally, you can also find me over on Twitch where I currently using this tactic with my Norwich City save. We are currently mid-way through our 3rd season at the club and are pushing for the Champions League spots. Come join us via the link below and drop a follow on the channel.

Hope you enjoy the tactic guys, and of course if you have any questions, do feel free to ask and please also do let me know how you get on using the tactic. If you do find it to be useful please do feel free to leave any positive feedback and do make sure to go over to my YT channel and drop a sub so you’ll be notified when anymore of my content goes live. ?


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Great tactic, been using it over the weekend and really helped my side perform so much better. Was really struggling in my first season in the Prem with Bournemouth after getting promoted and this helped sort out the side defensively!

Thanks for the tactic, can't wait to have a full season with this. :)
Used your previous tactic, the 5-2-1-2 with my Leeds team, and now implemented this one too. Finding it works great as well, some really good results and closing in on the top 4 now in only my third season! Great tactic. :)