How Mancini solved his midfield numbers problem to dominate England 1/
Italy struggled to get a strangle hold on the match last night. In the build up Kane sat on Jorginho. The dms looked after Veratti and Barella, the wing backs stopped any threat from the full backs and England’s back 3 could concentrate on stopping Italy’s front 3 2/
Italy couldn’t get the ball through midfield. Towards the end of the 1st half Veratti began dropping deeper than Jorginho in the build up. He knew Phillips would go with him and Kane probably wouldn’t drop with Jorginho. That began to create a numerical advantage in midfield 3/
2 big reasons why football has the chance to come home today 1/
1.) England players are more comfortable taking possession under pressure. The penny finally dropped during Barcelona and Spain’s domination. Since then kids have been trained differently in England 2/
The likes of Phillips, Foden, Grealish and Mount have been taught how to play with a man at their back and retain possession. England always had superstars but they’ve generally been swashbuckling, all action heroes focused on winning battles and making a key contribution 3/
Fernandinho or Rodri might have made a difference last night but there was a fundamental issue they wouldn’t have solved 1/
If we’d have started one of our regular dms last night we might have picked off more second balls in midfield (especially Fernandinho) and played a bit slower with more control (especially Rodri) 2/
But we would have still encountered the same tactical issues Chelsea pose. I wrote about their shape and how difficult it is to press without leaving 2 vs 2s at the back last week. As early as the 2nd minute alarm bells started to ring last night 3/
The European Cup Final:
Chelsea’s shape vs City’s press.
A tricky conundrum for Pep 1/
Tuchel’s Chelsea set up in a 3-4-2-1.
3 centre backs across the back line play behind a midfield 2 of Kante and Jorginho with wing backs wide and Mount, Havertz and Werner up top 2/
There are various challenges this formation creates for City.
Here I’m going to concentrate on City’s press. City have generally pressed in a 4-4-2/4-2-4 in the last few months. It matches up well against a back 4 and midfield 2, as we can see against Gladbach in the last 16 3/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/