It is fair to say that FIFA is getting more and more realistic every year. Players’ faces, playing styles, tactics, graphics – it can be very difficult to differentiate whether a person is watching an actual match or playing the popular game.
However, when actual players attempt tactics employed by their virtual selves, that is when the difference between a game and reality is clear for all to see. Unfortunately for Ander Herrera, he had to find out the hard way.
Manchester United were held to yet another 1-1 draw at home, a result which meant they failed to take the chance to leap above Liverpool and Manchester City into third place. United were leading 1-0 after Wayne Rooney tucked home a controversial penalty – replays showed that Rashford had dived to win it – on the stroke of half time.
But in the 79th minute of the match, Swansea equalized through a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and held on, managing to take a point away from Old Trafford.
It isn’t the result that will come as an annoyance to United boss Jose Mourinho though. Rather, it will be the hilarious manner in which Swansea got their equalizer that will be surely addressed in training.
Wayne Rooney went from hero to villain as he needlessly, and rather idiotically, brought down Jordan Ayew just 20 yards away from goal and with 10 minutes left to play. What happened next baffled everyone seated in the ground and watching at home.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is known to be a dead-ball specialist, and has scored from similar positions countless times in the past for the Swans. As he stood over the dead ball, Ander Herrera’s FIFA 17 instincts kicked in as he ran to the goal line on the other post of where David De Gea was standing.
Noticing this, Sigurdsson motioned for his teammates to put press further forward and hinder the goalkeeper’s line of sight. This led the Spanish no.1 to motion for Herrera to leave the goal-line and join the wall, just seconds before the free-kick was taken.
Spotting an opening, the Icelandic midfielder masterfully curled the ball into the top corner – the EXACT spot that Herrera was standing just seconds earlier. De Gea was rooted to the spot, and Swansea eventually left the Theatre of Dreams with a point, giving them hope of survival in the Premier League.
The tactic that Herrera used is a very common one used by a majority of FIFA players, and despite being one of the most employed tactics on the game, it is also one of the most hated, as many players have complained to EA that it is next to impossible to score in such a scenario.
Ander Herrera with a classic annoying opponent FIFA move there. Swansea paused it, quickly changed the kicker and took it quickly.
— Jamie Reid ⚽️ (@JamieRfootball) April 30, 2017
I love Ander Herrera but got no idea what he was playing at for the free kick, you're not on fifa pal
— Jonathan Evans (@Jonathan_Evanss) April 30, 2017
Gylfi Sigurdsson, however, has now given most of the video game’s players, including Herrera, a good way to counter it.
Written by Reyhan Ashley. Tweet to get in touch with him.