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v. Chelsea, 2018. : Gunners

Still not sure about including preseason plays in this series, but I also think at this point I may as well take any cool pass I can get. And this is a good one to highlight, because it’s a highly effective example of one of Özil’s signature moves. I call it the fake-cross-into-diagonal-ball-to-the-byline, or FCDBTB for short. There are five-minute compilations on YouTube of Mesut exclusively playing the FCDBTB, and the thing is, his body feints are so good that defenses still rarely pick up on it. Loftus-Cheek (#12) and Piazon (#32) are completely bamboozled here. Even seems like Nelson doesn’t see the pass coming, though once it’s hit he reacts to it well. I pulled this kind of pass off while playing for my high school team once, and the feeling was like I’d just snorted a line. We didn’t even score from it.

Fun facts and more info about this match can be found here.

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