Analysis: Conte change unclutters the centre for City

Alan O’Brien 

Surely even Pep Guardiola did not imagine the success Fabian Delph’s unusual instructions would engender. Designed, presumably, to copper-fasten Manchester City’s customary possession-dominance, Delph’s turn as an inside-left-back also tempted Antonio Conte into the tactical call that cost Chelsea this game. Continue reading

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Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino escapes punishment for unnecessary half-time tinkering

Mauricio Pochettino followed up a shrewd first-half tactical shift with a disastrous piece of half-time tinkering to seemingly hand victory to Pep Guardiola. But Manchester City’s familar defensive vulnerability, coupled with some poor refereeing, salvaged a fortunate point for Tottenham Hotspur. Continue reading

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester City: Pep’s square pegs come a cropper against rampant champions

Pep Guardiola’s insistence upon fielding players out of position within a bewildering array of tactical systems that they scarcely understand led to a facile evisceration by Claudio Ranieri’s under-fire champions. Continue reading

Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City: City survive Mou mimicry and Bravo breakdown

Manchester City survived José Mourinho’s second-half tactical copycatting and a catastrophic debut from goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to translate their first-half pre-eminence into Pep Guardiola’s maiden Manchester derby victory. Continue reading

Why Leicester’s success spells boredom for Prem fans

Writing this piece just minutes after a turgid encounter between last season’s top-two finishers, it’s difficult to escape the suspicion that this season’s edition of the English Premier League is going to be a tough watch. Continue reading

Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal: Guardiola tactical tweaks lead to Bayern rout

Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at home to Bayern Munich a fortnight ago was built on the foundation of a solid defence, married to a relentless counter-attacking determination to prevail upon the German champions’ poor defensive transitions. Continue reading