Trending now:   Liverpool  •  Manchester United  •  Arsenal  •  Chelsea  •  Real Madrid  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Juventus  •  Barcelona  •  Schalke 04  •  Manchester City

Manchester City

Teams /  England  / Manchester City 
Manchester City have 3,272 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 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

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

MCFC News - 1 hour ago
City will take on West Ham in the FA Cup 3rd round on Friday 6 January.
MCFC News - 2 hours ago
Pablo Zabaleta says he is relishing trying to combat the contrasting styles of Manchester City’s opponents.
The 19-year-old is weeks away from his debut in the Premier League after leaving Palmeiras and hopes to take the no.33 shirt with him from his time in Brazil
MCFC News - 2 hours ago
City's FA Cup Third Round tie away to West Ham United will be played on Friday, 6 January with a 7.55pm kick-off.
MCFC News - 4 hours ago
It’s the age-old question – who would you choose for your all-time Manchester City XI?
MCFC News - 5 hours ago
We take a look at five things to consider ahead of Leicester v Manchester City in the Premier League.
MCFC News - 8 hours ago
Under 16s can watch City take on Watford at the Etihad Stadium at 8pm on Wednesday 14 December from just £5, with adult tickets available from only £20.
MCFC News - 9 hours ago
ESPN Brazil report Gabriel Jesus has told City he would like to continue in his favourite shirt number.
MCFC News - 19 hours ago
The Champions League last 16 draw will take place on Monday 12 December, from 11am GMT, in Nyon, Switzerland.
The 19-year-old was on target for Celtic against his parent club and he says he is not concerned at all that the Blues have spent big on similar players
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to escape a 'tough' UEFA Champions League group with a game in hand. MANCHESTER -- Patrick Roberts says he's not afraid of coming ba ...
• Teenager scored a wonder goal against parent club in Champions League• Pep Guardiola said ‘well done and keep it up’ after Tuesday’s 1-1 drawPatrick Roberts said he has no regrets’ about ...
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to escape a 'tough' UEFA Champions League group with a game in hand. A strangely meandering 1-1 draw against Celtic confirmed Manchester  ...
MCFC News - Yesterday
Man City Women have received a double boost with Abbie McManus and Megan Campbell signing new contracts.
MCFC News - Yesterday
They may be big boots to fill, but no-one may be better qualified to step into Sergio Aguero’s like Kelechi Iheanacho.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to escape a 'tough' UEFA Champions League group with a game in hand. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was impressed with the pe ...
Uefa charge Celtic over alleged crowd disturbances during the Champions League game with Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.
• Celtic charged over setting off of fireworks and crowd disturbances• City may take action against any of their fans who sold on ticketsManchester City will face no disciplinary action from Uefa  ...
Patrick Roberts scored against his parent club in Celtic's 1-1 draw against Manchester City. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to escape a 'tough' UEFA Champi ...
Kelechi Iheanacho talks about his goal against Celtic that lead to a 1-1 draw on their final matchday in the UCL group stage. Patrick Roberts scored against his parent club in Celtic's 1 ...
Kick4Life - changing lives through football