There’s nationwide excitement when the international break eventually finishes and the Premier League campaign resumes. The headline of the returning matches came from the Etihad, where Manchester City – who were desperate to maintain pressure on the league leaders Liverpool – faced a dangerous Chelsea side, who under Frank Lampard have found their scoring touch. The game under the lights didn’t disappoint as the Champions came from behind to take a vital three points.
In this tactical analysis, we look at how Chelsea’s tactics nearly scuppered Man City using their dynamic midfield. We also provide an analysis of how Man City tactically overcame their opponents to snatch the three points.
The hosts started in their favoured 4-3-3 system, using Rodri Hernández as the deeper-lying playmaker and single pivot in midfield. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne made up the midfield three, occupying positions further forward in the half-spaces. This narrower more advanced positioning in these channels made them useful links for attacks to be developed.
Pep Guardiola continued with Fernandinho as a centre-back, being partnered by John Stones. The pair looked to hold a high line to squeeze the Chelsea shape and recover possession more aggressively. Whilst this allowed Man City to see more of the ball for periods, it left them vulnerable in defensive transition which we look at later.
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