Holding a Lead and conceding from crosses


Feb 23, 2010
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How on earth do you hold a lead on this game? I'f I had won the games that I let slip from 2-0 up I would be top basically. Here is my current table:


Joint least amount of defeats but 10 draws means I could lose out on UCL to the dirty scum bags (no offence).

I've tried staying attacking, switching to defensive and yet it's like when FIFA gives someone the advantage and just wants to stuff you over. Is there a good way of holding a lead?

This brings me to my next point, they always seem to score late from crosses, whole game centre backs are bricks from crosses and full backs do a good job of stopping them, I have my full backs on defensive and everything. Yet last 10 mins of the game it's like they're different players. Even if their stamina is a lower than the start, that shouldn't stop them stopping them. There must be a way to stop that from happening to?

Out of those 10 draws I think only 2 are where I came from behind and only one 0-0 draw. I can't understand this game at the moment, it's so random. Anyone got any tips to help me?
I have also problems to hold onto my lead, especially with lower teams. With Murcia I lead 4-0 against Las Palmas and 3-0 against Hercules, but in the end I drew 4-4 with Las Palmas and even lost against Hercules 3-4. The same with Crewe where I often conceded a late equaliser no matter what I did
If I'm ahead away I generally tend to go to counter attack, drop one of my three central midfielders back into a defensive midfield role and turn my full backs from support to defend...it wont always work and I more often concede a late goal! (the crosses leading to a lot of goals is a known bug and hopefully it will be sorted!)
I've got a problem with defending crosses too. At first I thought it was because my fullbacks were slow (Melchiot with a pace of 3, Hermann Heriedason with a low pace too) but even changing them didn't fix it. Luckily, my midfield and attackers are usually good enough to ensure I can score enough to usually win. I do tend to concede a goal a game; 9 times out of 10 from crosses.
I always have instructions to close down wide men and show onto their weaker foot. Counter attack is a very effective tactic as well. Making substitutions to replace those players below 70% stamina will help no doubt also.
I've tried everything too mate, playing as Mansfield. I've drawn 6 games this year in 20, and all 6 have come from goals after 85 minutes. I've tried everything, time wasting, retaining possession, attacking more, bringing on a fresh player, nada. It's like the ME decides it's happening and that's all there is too it.
I feel a players concentration stats and determination stats really help here, I play counter for away games and when holding a lead in home games, I do concede some goals especially from crosses but that is bound to happen with the opposition coming at you.
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I can't be bothered to grab the other few games, but this is getting ridiculous. Baring in mind that in each of these games I had over 60% possession and pretty much double the attempts the A.I had on goal.
and a couple of games later...it's REALLY starting to annoy me now.

what are the concentration and determination stats of your defenders'
You're playing Arsenal. Next question!

More seriously:

Holding onto a narrow lead at the end of the game is probably the most difficult phase of the game. And as your players are tired, and the opposition desperate, this is also the part of the game where your instructions probably have least influence. But the most important thing to bear in mind is that going defensive is quite frequently counter-productive. Dropping deep and getting men behind the ball essentially guarantees that you will concede possession and territory to the opposition. They will get more chances to get the ball in the box, you just have to hope the extra men in the penalty area will be able to head it out.

If I'm holding onto a lead against an opposition of roughly equal quality, quite frequently I instruct them to do the opposite of their instincts and push up. I also frequently stay on 'control', shout 'retain possession' and, if we're being too attacking, 'pass to feet' and 'take a breather' (this reduces attacking runs). This raises the risk of conceding from a quick counter but I generally prefer ten minutes of possession with one or two dangerous counter-attacks to ten minutes of being pummeled in our own penalty area.

If you're against a better or simply more desperate opposition and retaining possession is simply impossible, however, that's when you need to get players behind the ball.

Alternatively, as others have said, you might just need defenders with better concentration, stamina and determination. Not much you can do about this until the transfer window.

One question: what kind of crosses are we talking about? Are the opposition attacking at pace, turning your defence and crossing from the byline, or are they just hoofing it in the mixer from deep and your defenders are failing to deal with bread-and-butter crosses? If it's the former then you need to consider your tactics and substitutions - if the latter you probably need better defenders.