The high press: football tactics explained

Pep Guardiola gesturing on the touchline against Brentford
Pep Guardiola employs a high press (Image credit: Getty Images)

When Barcelona convincingly beat Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final, the majority of English football fans and the media were stunned.

This was a world class United team, at the very least the final was expected to be close. Then Pep Guardiola offered a post-match assessment that gave some insight into why United had looked so rushed every time they had got on the ball beyond the first 15 minutes.

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Jack Lacey-Hatton
Freelance writer

Jack has worked as a sports reporter full-time since 2021. He previously worked as the Chief Women’s Football Writer at the Mirror, covering the England Women’s national team and the Women’s Super League. Jack has covered a number of major sporting events in recent years including the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on the ground in Australia.