Jorginho's back pass: A football tragedy in four acts

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Reliving his blunder will be a painful experience for Jorginho - GETTY IMAGES
Reliving his blunder will be a painful experience for Jorginho - GETTY IMAGES

There are many pressures facing footballers in 2021.

They must stay ultra-disciplined on and off the pitch, take their charity work seriously, and deliver engaging content daily across their various social media feeds.

But one of the biggest demands of all is the need to pass their way out of tricky situations in their own half. This was not a problem back in the days when lumping it forward was not just allowed but encouraged.

Chelsea and Jorginho have generally pulled this modern miracle off without much difficulty, but things went decidedly awry against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

How did a fairly standard passage of play result in a total disaster?

1. The anticipation

Jorginho 1 - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho 1 - SKY SPORTS

Kurt Zouma receives the ball at left-back. Jorginho, in the middle, comes short to receive the pass. Zouma could go down the line but he opts for his willing team-mate inside.

Jorginho 2 - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho 2 - SKY SPORTS

Looking around, Jorginho senses four Arsenal players primed to steal in if he makes a mis-step. Arguably he doesn't sense them quite enough.

Jorginho  - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho - SKY SPORTS

Still, he is doing what Thomas Tuchel wants him to do. He is backing his own ability. He believes - he knows - he can play himself out of trouble.

A small look back towards keeper Kepa to ascertain the position. No bother.

2. The mistake

The first clue of what was to follow is Jorginho's body shape here.

Jorginho  - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho - SKY SPORTS

He looks to have baffled himself, hands at sixes and sevens (or, more accurately fours and eights). Rarely a great look for a footballer to be attempting a silly walk when receiving a pass in your own half.

Then, a no-look pass. Bold move. Hang on, where's the keeper gone?

Jorginho move - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho move - SKY SPORTS

3. The realisation

Jorginho - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho - SKY SPORTS

A glorious moment. Jorginho stands still, begins to realise what he's done, then has to step to the side to look round Emile Smith Rowe to witness the full horror.

Kepa, trying desperately to preserve the clean sheet his team-mate is about to sabotage, scampers frantically towards goal, executing a fine slide along the goal-line to claw the ball away to the right of the goal.

But unfortunately for him, the Chelsea defence is too sluggish to react and further clear the danger. Instead Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang takes control to pounce on the ball.

4. The conclusion

Jorginho move - SKY SPORTS
Jorginho move - SKY SPORTS

Slightly too late, Jorginho sets off attempting to atone, but even Mikel Arteta's Arsenal aren't squandering that position.

A little cruelly, Smith Rowe, upon receiving the squared ball from Aubameyang in front of (another) empty goal, waits until Jorginho has almost caught him before finishing.

At least there weren't any fans in.

No hiding place for Jorginho, not even in the net  - ANDY HOOPER
No hiding place for Jorginho, not even in the net - ANDY HOOPER