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Chelsea 1-3 Man City


Jas
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Man of the Match  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is your Man of the Match?

    • Mendy
      0
    • Azpilicueta
      0
    • Zouma
      0
    • Silva
      0
    • Chilwell
      0
    • Kante
      0
    • Mount
      0
    • Kovacic
      0
    • Ziyech
      0
    • Pulisic
      3
    • Werner
      0
    • Hudson-Odoi (sub)
      4
    • Havertz (sub)
      1
    • Gilmour (sub)
      0


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3 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Foden is great final 3rd midfielder. 

Already 6 goals and 5 assists this season. Compere that to our midfielders. 

Foden doesn't play midfield. 

It is absolutely bizzare how people compare player, you want to compare number compare our midfield to gundogan. 

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Jesus fucking christ, I still see some fans wanting to give Lampard time, showing City and Pep as an example of working together for years and working on the system and their play...

We go a goal down and fall apart. No urgency to get back into it. They scored within 2 minutes..so bad

Well tbf...despite how horrible his team is now and everything gone to shit, he still deserves credit for securing CL for another year in a season when lot of people wrote us off, after Hazard's depar

11 minutes ago, communicate said:

Foden doesn't play midfield. 

It is absolutely bizzare how people compare player, you want to compare number compare our midfield to gundogan. 

Yes he does, very often. Sometimes winger but Mount also played many games as winger. What about Maddison, is he not a midfielder as well? 

And btw Gundogan 5 goals this season, Mount and Kovacic our starting number 8s have 1 together. 

Truth being told, our midfield is not in top10 in the league and offers zero attacking threat. And is our biggest problem in terms of squad imo. 

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54 minutes ago, NikkiCFC said:

Yes he does, very often. Sometimes winger but Mount also played many games as winger. What about Maddison, is he not a midfielder as well? 

And btw Gundogan 5 goals this season, Mount and Kovacic our starting number 8s have 1 together. 

Truth being told, our midfield is not in top10 in the league and offers zero attacking threat. And is our biggest problem in terms of squad imo. 

Agree 100%. We could lose to anyone in the table ATM because teams know how to play us and expose our midfield. Frank needs to adjust the formation because expecting three midfielders on our team to offer anything going forward is not going to happen. We always wanted the 4231 and I think it's a good time to try it with Kai as the CAM. 

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6 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Foden is great final 3rd midfielder. 

Already 6 goals and 5 assists this season. Compere that to our midfielders. 

that cross from Zinchenko before the Gundogan goal and the ball from KdB to Foden.

I feel Liverpool/City have a variety and zip in their crosses. Chelsea is just spamming them into the box expecting Pulisic to score headers against Dias, Stones. Happens every fucking game

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5 minutes ago, Strike said:

I feel Liverpool/City have a variety and zip in their crosses. Chelsea is just spamming them into the box expecting Pulisic to score headers against Dias, Stones. Happens every fucking game

WELCOME TO LAMPARD BALL!

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7 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Yes he does, very often. Sometimes winger but Mount also played many games as winger. What about Maddison, is he not a midfielder as well? 

And btw Gundogan 5 goals this season, Mount and Kovacic our starting number 8s have 1 together. 

Truth being told, our midfield is not in top10 in the league and offers zero attacking threat. And is our biggest problem in terms of squad imo. 

Gundogan has scored more this season, but he usually only score 1 goal per season because he played behind sterling. It looks like pep change his setup for this season.

If you want to compare stat it got to be player who play similar role otherwise they are bs comparison. 

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9 hours ago, milka said:

 

Who the fuck is Alison Bender? was gonna say thought he was the Liverpool GK but turns out she is a lass and the Liverpool’s GKs surname is Becker.... still.

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Not really the same teams by any stretch, but looking back, this match kind of reminded me of how Arteta's Arsenal faced off against Spurs.

Instead of playing cautiously he tried to attack an inform Spurs side with his out of form players, and got duly punished.

Fast forward to us, with a squad short on confidence, and Lampard chooses to attack an in form City side with the best defensive record in the league. We are sliced through like butter

Should he have changed his approach and played a more compact setup with a lower block for this game? Should he at least try to do this for the upcoming games, till his team regains confidence?

We saw how playing conservatively and getting a clean sheet against United help us set a foundation for our 17 game unbeaten run. Should he try the same again?

 

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City’s destruction of Chelsea had been weeks in the making

https://theathletic.com/2299098/2021/01/04/de-bruyne-foden-city-chelsea/

man-city-foden-bruyne.jpg

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have got their tempo back.

And as he discussed his side’s improvement following their dismantling of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, he namechecked three sides that City cannot emulate in the counter-attacking stakes: Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.

City can’t do what they do, he said, they have to play their own game.

The problem this season is that it has taken quite a while to work out how to do that while times are changing. While City have not looked themselves for one or two glaring reasons this season (such as the absences of Fernandinho, David Silva and Sergio Aguero) they were also trying to play a more circumspect style, to adapt to the defensive shortcomings that were evident throughout 2020.

“We are a team that has to play in a certain rhythm, we can’t play when everything is up and down, up and down, up and down,” Guardiola said on Sunday evening. “We have to play our rhythm, a thousand passes, passes, passes and at the right moment attack. That’s why we won the Premier Leagues, with more patience, more calm, and (recently) we missed a little bit — for many reasons — of this tempo, and today we got it.”

It’s been a fairly long road to finding the right balance, and they will be hoping it stays, but they are only four points off top with a game in hand, so things may be looking up.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT

Guardiola could have probably added Leicester to his list, given it was Brendan Rodgers’ side that laid bare City’s problems with fast transitions early in the season, and games against those four teams can act as a roadmap for their season so far.

Leicester exploited City’s issues early on (in a game before Ruben Dias was signed), Liverpool flooded through the middle but came up against a stubborn backline, Spurs exploited errors and were ruthless with their breaks, while United just could not get going at all.

That United game, perhaps more than the others, told us plenty about how Guardiola saw his team at that point. While fans felt that the game was there for the taking in the final 20 minutes, as was the case against a tiring Liverpool in November, Guardiola’s focus was on not losing.

He did not gamble, he kept the game closed — by choice. It may not have been pretty, but he showed that he knew how to keep City stable. That was exactly what us onlookers demanded of them earlier in the season (and exactly what they’ll need in the Champions League).

After that Tottenham game, they kept eight clean sheets in 10 games in all competitions. John Stones’ good form in the cup competitions earned him a place in Guardiola’s most important games: the league ones. Full of confidence and alongside Dias, a natural leader, the City defence found its voice. The games, though, were often cagey, with City generally not exactly at their flowing best, and they didn’t come up against especially challenging sides.

That’s why the United game was such a good bellwether: this was a side that beat City three times last season by exploiting their weaknesses on the break. So to shut them out, and for Stones to pass another test, was a huge positive.

When Guardiola talks about a thousand passes and avoiding 40-metre transitions, he needs his players to be close together and of course to keep the ball. But perhaps they went too far, becoming too safe in their choices and too slow in their execution. It helped keep things tight, but they stopped creating.

City couldn’t play like that forever. Guardiola, the high priest of attacking football, couldn’t go on like that. The only way that that new-found defensive solidity would count for anything when the trophies are handed out would be by finding a better balance between defence and attack, to be able to venture forward as regularly as the old days without being terrified of what the opposition might do to you.


RESTORING THE ATTACK

The stodgy draw against West Brom a few days later was not an ideal reaction, but Guardiola did at least show that he was trying to force the issue (as you would expect against a team in the relegation zone).

The wingers played on their natural sides to preserve a bit of width and when the dreaded double pivot was in place it was because City had pushed both full-backs forward to support what was often a front four including Kevin De Bruyne. As the game went on, Ilkay Gundogan pushed further forward as well. It was a poor team performance, but the intention to take off the shackles was there.

export-2021-01-03T215851.133.png

The Southampton game was an important win and also one that spelt out how City’s strengths and weaknesses had flipped: they were robust defensively but wasteful in attack.

Indeed, were City more clinical then there would not have been any cause for alarm against United and West Brom, and City would be top of the table by now. If my aunt had wheels she’d be a bicycle, and the problem was that there were not enough of those chances for a team that wastes as many as City do.

At the moment, they need to create a hatful of chances and hope they take enough of them to win the match. Last season it was the same, but because the defence was weaker, they would lose the games that they couldn’t kill off. This season, with the stronger defence, they are drawing them, but it still means they need plenty of chances to win.

The indecision and imprecision in front of goal has still been evident in their last two games, but they are creating more and, crucially, Guardiola thinks things are looking up.

“I think our momentum started against Newcastle,” he said on Sunday of City’s Boxing Day win. “I remember in the press conference I had the feeling that we played the way we have to play, it’s not about winning or losing by one action, so I had that feeling.”

He hailed the 2-0 win against Steve Bruce’s side as their best performance of the season and again there were clear signs that he knew they needed to generate more chances.

He kept men in midfield to protect the defence, but this time it was Nathan Ake who came in from left-back. Joao Cancelo was not only allowed to get forward from right-back, he was pushed on into something like an attacking midfield role, where he combined with De Bruyne and the more advanced Gundogan. The front three switched continuously and it promised better things.

export-2021-01-03T220131.077.png

That’s why the Chelsea game, given the postponement against Everton, promised to be so key. Were City really improving or did they just beat Southampton and Newcastle?

Well, we got our answer. Chelsea are not in the greatest form and their last-minute goal dents the defensive statistics somewhat, but City very rarely looked troubled and their stand-in keeper, Zack Steffen, barely had anything to do up until Callum Hudson-Odoi’s consolation.

Guardiola’s side pressed well and blocked off passing lanes into midfield, meaning Chelsea could not play out from the back. When crosses went into the City box, the entire back four stood up to the challenge. And when in possession they were adept at drawing Chelsea in and playing a pass that set them free into space.

So what’s changed?

Too often this season City have been cumbersome. The focus on defence has hampered the attack, with not enough men pushed forward. In recent weeks they have attacked in greater numbers and with greater variety.

“Maybe my approach, maybe I didn’t communicate well to them what we have to do or choose the right way to play to be able to do it,” Guardiola admitted, perhaps not seriously. “We need to play with one type of tempo, there are teams who play incredible transitions like United, Liverpool, Tottenham, we cannot play that way, we are not good in that way. No player is slow, absolutely not, no player is lazy, absolutely not, but we have to play another type of tempo, at the right moment run, at the right moment do it.

“I think our success in the past was done in this way and always we try it, it doesn’t matter the set-up, if it’s 4-4-2 or five at the back or seven at the back, this is not important, it’s the idea, to start from the keeper and arrive to the wingers and strikers always through the passes, and at the right moment punish them, and today we were able to do it.”

Guardiola played down the importance of tactical tweaks, but after all this is a man who famously makes them for every game, and Phil Foden, unwittingly, shot down that suggestion anyway.

“He always has great tactics coming into big games like this, he’s a genius at things like this,” the youngster said afterwards. “We did them by staying high and wide down the flanks so it’s something we did well.”

There was a big change through the middle, too. De Bruyne dropping off the front line as a false 9 created City’s second goal, and also allowed Bernardo Silva to be restored to a No 8 role, which is perhaps his best position. He was paired with Gundogan, who has been one of the stars of City’s recent revival, his forays forward bringing three goals in his last four league games.

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And note the attacking runs of Bernardo and Cancelo…

export-2021-01-03T220511.021.png

So, is this a new City now?

“No, no, no, it’s the same. Same manager, the players are the same and the idea is completely the same,” Guardiola insists. “When we won the trophies in the past it was because we played like today, it doesn’t matter if a player plays more here or there or a bit more here or there, it’s the tempo, the way we have to play. We missed it in the past and today we recovered it.”

Can they keep it? Next up, United.

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2 hours ago, Muzchap said:

They beat Utd 2-0 - which is the same overall result as 3-1. 

They do seem to be getting some form back finally. 

Please mate... last night's game was actually close. We could have been battered 6-0 if City really wanted to, and again had very very few SOT or chances all game

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On 1/5/2021 at 0:42 PM, Vesper said:

 

export-2021-01-03T220418.102.png

And note the attacking runs of Bernardo and Cancelo…

export-2021-01-03T220511.021.png

So, is this a new City now?

“No, no, no, it’s the same. Same manager, the players are the same and the idea is completely the same,” Guardiola insists. “When we won the trophies in the past it was because we played like today, it doesn’t matter if a player plays more here or there or a bit more here or there, it’s the tempo, the way we have to play. We missed it in the past and today we recovered it.”

Can they keep it? Next up, United.

That's just so fucking bad. Infuriating. Especially when you see experienced players in Kante and Silva ball watching. 

Shades of the beginning of Sarri's tenure when we were so open in midfield. At least Sarri addressed that issue immediately and had a game plan. 

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That last night was a good game, City are just delightful when they step it up. KdB is magical to watch even when he's not having the best of games.

Gundogan has so much in his tank still, absolute elite midfielder. And Foden is just raw, raw talent...so much to like about this City side.

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