Thursday, 23 February 2017


both team lineups
man city played monaco in the first leg of the champions league tie at etihad . the showed gaurdiola's thinking hat and his ability to move his pieces around but its not about him but i was disappointed with the monaco coach and his tactical noviceness to read the game and make the suitable changes to the game just as gaurdiola did when he wanted to do something . i was expecting him to make changes and close the game when his team was forward because the way man city was playing he needed to switch things and make it difficult for city to move the ball . the other thing is that aguero is lauded in this game but to be honest had it been a better coach and realised that aguero was getting all the space in the hole and none of the monaco centre backs were coming out to challenge him or close him down which made his game easy . i hope he resurrect that mistake in the second leg and make it more interesting .
mancity started the game with 4-3-3 formation with fernandiniho starting as the left back and i suppose it was because silva was playing on that side and he wanted to have a better defender who wouldnt getted mugged by silva . monaco started with a 4-4-2 formation . monaco started the game on a very positive note by pressing city high up the pitch and as the game progressed they started to sit back and hit man city on the counter which proved a better option . man city had the 4-3-3 formation and their objective was to explore the space between the fullbacks and centre backs . monaco on the other had were trying to get all their players behind the ball and one of the centre backs either of falcoa or Mbappé was trying to drop on toure and close him down so that he should have less influece on the game and make man city play long passes to the mancity front line ( i wouldnt go in detail about the defense having the advantage on such passes ) . the warning signs were already there for man city when falcao or mabappe would come on man city defense at pace and were able to turn on man city's centre backs with ease .
how man city could pass the ball from back to front by bringing their fullbacks inside .
man city were forced to play directly to agureo with others being marked tightly by monaco . while monaco were threatening man city too were threatening by their offense . the thing about man city's offense was that they were trying to explore that space between centre backs and fullbacks .now monaco never made any attempt to stop that move or that they cant be explored in that zone . man city were not able to move the ball through toure so gaurdiola made some changes first he bought fernandiniho besides toure to have more bodies in the middle of the park and make it easy to move the ball . man city were forced to pass the ball directly to aguero and i felt that he needed a player around him from the start so that it would be easy to pass the ball to him and play one two with him and open defenses . monaco were playing a high line trying to press man city and city wanted to have that because they could move the ball faster and explore that space behind the back four and trouble monaco .
the turning point of the match was when glik got carded in the first half and before that he was coming out of the defense to close aguero but he got carded in the 8 min of the match and he was afraid of aguero turning on him . the biggest drawback in the monaco's team was the centre backs who were not confident enough and were not given enough protection by the fullbacks and the midfield . aguero was getting all the space in between the lines and because of him man city were able to avert the press . man city's offense is very well know they try to exploit one flank and then use diagonal runs by their wingers to good effect . aguero's role was very crucial in the game he was keeping the two centre backs busy and that was creating spaces for others .
the big trouble with monaco was their midfield even though they are good ball players they were not able to protect the back four . lemar, fabiniho and Bakayoko were not able to protect the back four . gaurdiola showed some of his typical tactical acumen in the first half . he bought the fullbacks in the middle of the park so that the back line could pass the ball directly to the front three ( i will try to show in the figure) and get the ball back to front as quickly as possible and exploit that space behind the back four . the trouble with monaco was that there midfielders were not able to protect the back four and they didnt had a clear tactical plan as to how they were going to stop man city on offense they tried to press high but once the ball was bought in their half they just didnt had the plan as to how they were going to defend and they sixes and sevens . they tried to have three in the middle of the park by switching lemar in the middle with fabiniho and Bakayoko but man city had free radical in  form of aguero who couldnt be contained by raggi and glik and it was letting down monaco .
the tie is obviously not over and with the threat of falcao and mbappe it can never be but jardin needs to change his centre back pairing or atleast give them a better protection or have them told to defend better against aguero because they were just poor in the first leg . jardin does had to get his defensive tactics right and even though monaco got three they were overrun by man city in terms of shot on target and the way they were able to create chances . the midfielders were far too much away from the back line and both lacked game reading to deal with the situation and stamp their authority on the game.