Trending now:   Manchester United  •  Arsenal  •  Barcelona  •  Real Madrid  •  Chelsea  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Liverpool  •  Borussia Dortmund  •  Bayern München  •  Juventus

Manchester City

Teams /  England  / Manchester City 
Manchester City have 3,349 fans
 
 
 
 
 
Premier League chalkboard analysis
Michael Cox - 6 years ago

Last week, we looked at how Birmingham's pressing of Manchester City's centre-backs at goal-kicks forced Joe Hart to kick the ball long, losing possession on every occasion. Against Fulham, the situation was changed with the introduction of Jô. He offered more of an aerial presence in the City attack, despite being positioned on the left wing. The majority of Hart's kicks were sent towards the left-hand side, where six of the long balls were won by the Brazilian striker. This chalkboard compares Hart's distribution in the Birmingham game to the Fulham game, showing how the presence of Jô helps City win possession high up the pitch.

The Arsenal legend Robert Pires made his return to English football after four years away in Aston Villa's 2-0 defeat at Ewood Park on Sunday. He replaced Stephen Ireland, who has failed to make an impact since his summer move from Manchester City, in a central midfield position, a zone where Villa have injury problems with Nigel Reo-Coker and Stilian Petrov both out. Ireland was on the pitch for 68 minutes, Pires for just 22 – but they completed the same number of passes, 17.

With Arsenal's second-half capitulation against Tottenham Hotspur, Bacary Sagna's good performance against Gareth Bale was widely overlooked. Sagna's strategy was to stick tight to the Welshman, getting tackles in as soon as possible and denying Tottenham the opportunity to play the ball into Bale's feet. Presumably this approach is only possible if the full-back is confident he can match Bale's pace if Spurs look to play balls in behind for him to run on to, but it worked for Sagna – despite an early booking for a mistimed tackle, he made nine out of nine successful challenges. Bale did end up on the scoresheet, but in an inside-right position, and Sagna was not culpable.

The red cards shown to Antolín Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega in Wigan's trip to Old Trafford meant Manchester United's full-backs were afforded plenty of room as they enjoyed total domination in the final minutes of their 2-0 win. One of the main features in the final half hour was the excellent crossing of the Brazilian right-back Rafael da Silva. As well as providing an assist for Javier Hernández's header, he sent in another superb cross that Hernández could not take advantage of, while Wayne Rooney headed a simple chance over after meeting Rafael's centre. With Nani showing great crossing ability so far this season (he has contributed seven assists, the majority from the right), Sir Alex Ferguson may be on the way to building a right-wing to match the Gary Neville–David Beckham partnership in terms of crossing ability.

Now make your own chalkboards here

Michael Cox is editor of zonalmarking.net. You can also follow zonalmarking on Twitter

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
The return of Gabriel Jesus from a foot injury could see the Argentine dropped again, but he insists he has no qualms about being a substitute
MCFC News - 1 hour ago
Ahead of the 174th Manchester derby we look at some of the major topics of conversation...
The former Chelsea manager believes the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach should have adapted his style better to the Premier League
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola's first season in English football shows how Manuel Pellegrini was underestimated, says Martin Demichelis.
The FC crew analyse why Pep Guardiola struggled in the Prem so much this season, and what his future holds next season. Former Manchester City striker Niall Quinn has told ESPN FC that Pep Guardiola  ...
With just one point separating the two clubs, Mark Ogden looks ahead to the Manchester derby. With Manchester City and United due to square off once again at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening, th ...
A derby draw could suit both teams but Mourinho is unbeaten in the league since October and would clearly love to make life even more miserable for GuardiolaThe race is not always to the swift, accord ...
One of the hottest fixtures of the season usually, the FC crew discuss why this iteration of the Manchester derby feels flat. Eric Bailly has told the Daily Mirror he could have been lining up for Ma ...
Question marks have been asked of the defensive pair as they continue to nurse knocks during an injury crisis at Old Trafford
Pep Guardiola believes Paul Pogba has had a great season so far with Manchester United despite his price tag.
After beating the Red Devils at Old Trafford earlier this season, the Catalan coach could do the double over his adversary in Thursday's game
MCFC News - 7 hours ago
It's finally here...
One of the hottest fixtures of the season usually, the FC crew discuss why this iteration of the Manchester derby feels flat. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has described Manchester United&apo ...
The Catalan has been unable to replicate the success of his previous posts in England, but believes he is stronger for that experience
The City boss will miss out on silverware for the first time in his career, but is optimistic about the club's future
One of the hottest fixtures of the season usually, the FC crew discuss why this iteration of the Manchester derby feels flat.
MCFC News - 17 hours ago
Claudio Bravo believes Manchester City have made significant strides under Pep Guardiola this season.
Craig Burley and Mark Donaldson assess Pep Guardiola's first season in charge at Manchester City. The Exploding Heads preview the highly anticipated Manchester derby and spot a few celeb ...
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola calls Manchester United's Michael Carrick "one of the best midfielders I've ever seen".
• City can go third with win over Manchester United on Thursday• Doubts over David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero for derbyPep Guardiola has said he and Manchester City would be able to a ...
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football