Friday, 7 April 2017


chelsea played man city on wednesday night . man city had played the big 4 in the last 3 weeks . they played liverpool ,arsenal and chelsea . i will write about arsenal vs man city at the end but first i would love write about  chelsea vs man city and i would try to compare tactics deployed by two set of managers with man utd having played chelsea in the FA cup in between.
we all know how chelsea like to play the front three of chelsea combine very well with each other . antoni conte has realised the importance of pedro to his side and just as hazard is important pedro extends and stretches the offense and complements very well with hazard and costa who combine very well a trait of antonio conte's team . man city played a different formation with gaurdiola opting to play 4-2-1-3 instead of his usual 4-3-3 formation . may be he wanted to give cover to fernandiniho who getting exposed on the counter since he had to cover a lot of space in front of the back four . now both the team are very different in terms of offense . first off man city like to keep the ball and open the opposition and press while chelsea on the other hand like to play on the counter .
before this match chelsea played man utd in the FA cup and jose mouriniho as we all know is defense master and even though his team are struggling on the offensive front but he has a good defensive brain and he had rightly noted that chelsea play through costa and hazard so he set out to man mark these players and stop chelsea . although to man mark a player like hazard it takes a better brain and how they should press and when they should let him and apply first press and when to back off . the second thing that man utd failed was that smalling was getting too much sucked up towards costa which was creating too much of space in between which man were not able to fill and hazard was able to explore it ( i will try to show that in the figure ) . for me man utd did a decent job till refree john oliver tried to make rules of his own and change game . 
now players like hazard,messi and sanchez like space to start . they like space to explore and they drop into pockets where on they can get a start on the ball to dribble and when they do they become unstoppable . hazard had been offered more freedom but the important facet had been that conte must had worked sessions with him to more develop his one on one skills because he seems to turning on both sides plus he is able to judge the players weaker side and work that side . this season conte had offered freedom for the front three and had explained them their roles plus he must had take special sessions on how they would work the ball and how they would move the ball and when should they pass or work the same zone . if the front two combine in one zone the other one stretches it by remaining wide and makes it easy for them to stretch the offense and allows other players to come into play . the front three are allowed to change zones and had been given the freedom and their movement and it is very well complemented by other team members .
as i had said that mouriniho had rightfully judge that stopping hazard and costa will rightfully stop chelsea but here against man city i didnt found any effort by  gaurdiola to stop these players . the second thing was that we all know that costa likes to drop deep but then chelsea have players who run beyond him but then man city played a deep line and neither stones or kompany wanted to come out of the defense to close him down and it was  setting chelsea free . the other thing is that navas was playing in the right back but he was continously pushing up in a bid to push hazard back but the trouble is that hazard will drop till one point and will switch his roles with others . man city were giving a lot of space for hazard to run ( i will show that in the diagram ) . the space on the left and right of fernandiniho and delph since the front three and were pushing up with one full back and it was creating a lot of space in between for players like hazard and pedro to explore although man city did stop them and limited costa which limited chelsea's offense but the number of times they got through they made man city pay . 
the trouble with man city is that they had aguero up front so height is the problem and him beating luiz or cahill in the air is not a chance . plus the trouble with man city was that for me man city were moving the ball slowly and it was as if they were trying to find what was next and their moves were not that orchestrated . this slow buildup was helping chelsea to get players behid the ball and help close the gap . man city were able to cause trouble to chelsea only when  aguero could drop deep in between the link and pretty well with silva . man city didnt played that crisp enough for me and letting hazard that much space were the things that handed them the defeat .