De Bruyne creating from False 9.
Opposition centre backs beware 1/
When KDB plays False 9 he tends to be the F9 option who wanders furthest from the forward position for City. This can create problems for opposition centre backs who are being asked unusual new questions 2/
For this Sterling chance in the first half yesterday De Bruyne has moved into a left midfield position to receive the pass in space from Stones 3/
When De Bruyne receives the ball, Mahrez sprints off down the wing, taking his full back and Mari, the centre back, with him.
City’s central midfielders are advanced and Holding has been tempted into Bernardo before turning and sprinting towards his own goal 4/
These are not situations defenders are used to dealing with and their decision making is often confused by the new problems being posed 5/
Sterling runs in behind Bellerin directly into the space Holding has vacated when tempted in to mark Bernardo. His sprint back is too late.
Sterling is also taking advantage of the deeper backline created by Mahrez run which tempted Mari to go back with him 6/
De Bruyne plays the perfect pass and Sterling should score but dithers and the chance goes.
It was a great example of the confusion a False 9 can cause for opposition centre backs. Their decision making directly created the conditions for Sterling to be put clean through 7//

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More from @city_tactics

21 Feb
Arsenal today.
The home match was significant and unique from a tactical perspective 1/
The match was pre @city_tactics but was one of the most interesting of the season. City set up with Ake and Cancelo nominally as full backs and Walker and Dias at centre back.
Rodri and Bernardo in midfield supported Mahrez and Foden wide and Sterling playing off Aguero 2/
It was unique because we’ve not seen Walker line up nominally as a centre back before or since.
It was also one of only 2 PL starts for Aguero so far this season and Sterling has rarely played centrally since either 3/
Read 9 tweets
7 Feb
How Pep changed it to combat Alexander Arnold whilst breathing life into City’s attack 1/
Pep mentioned in his post match interview that he changed the formation at half time in part to combat the threat from Liverpool’s full backs. In a quiet first half Alexander Arnold looked like Liverpool’s main attacking weapon. Both full backs stayed wide and were given space 2/
Alexander Arnold set up a headed chance for Mane in the 25th min. Zinchenko challenges Salah for Henderson’s cross field pass. He can only head it on to Alexander Arnold who’s in space. No one else has picked him up and Zinchenko has a problem 3/
Read 12 tweets
7 Feb
The challenge Liverpool’s press could pose and how City might try to overcome it 1/
Many previous Liverpool vs City encounters have been noted for their frantic pace, often set by the pressing game of Liverpool’s front 3.
City’s current set up at the back in possession - in a 3, rather than the 4 - could be a big difference this time 2/
In previous seasons we’ve seen Liverpool’s front 3 press City’s backline with the support of the midfield and even the full backs. It’s made it very difficult for City to play out and has resulted in dangerous turnovers high up the pitch 3/
Read 12 tweets
5 Feb
7 key areas for City on Sunday 1/ Image
1. Defensive set up.
Walker at right back will indicate Pep wants pace at the back to deal with Liverpool’s threat.
Cancelo at right back is the more positive selection, it’s where he’s done the most damage in his more advanced hybrid role 2/
At left back - if we presume Cancelo starts at right back - Laporte is the more defensive option to try to deal with Salah’s threat.
Zinchenko probably offers more in possession moving forward and is possibly more press resistant 3/ Image
Read 13 tweets
14 Dec 20
Pep’s approach on Saturday bored a global audience to tears. Let’s look at:
Why he did it?
Why it worked?
And why we might have to get used to it?
A thread 1/
Pep sent Fernandinho and Rodri out in a double pivot. Since defeat at Spurs, when City set up in the traditional 4-3-3, Pep has deployed a double pivot for the last 6 matches. It stops the dm being isolated and subsequently the centre backs being exposed 2/
Pep set up like this in order to keep control. In the Spurs defeat and the derby defeats last season City lost control when the opposition countered. It was impossible to track runners on quick breaks with 1 dm and City were often all at sea 3/
Read 14 tweets
11 Dec 20
A few notes on the Manchester Derby 1/ Image
Never try to predict Pep’s team or approach - practically impossible. But here goes. Expect City to go with a double pivot of Rodri and Gundogan as detailed in previous threads 2/
With Dias and Stones/Laporte City are much better prepared to deal with United’s counters and set pieces which caused so many problems last season.
One or both of Fernandinho and Otamendi started all 4 derbies at centre back last term 3/
Read 13 tweets

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