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Manchester City vs Chelsea (1-2) Match Summary: Pep overthought his tactics again

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Pep made nine changes to the side that beat [team 591] in the Champions League. [player 159142] and [player 162536] were the only players that started both games while [player 1371] was out of the matchday squad. [player 982] was out due to his suspension. Aguero started alongside Jesus upfront, with Sterling and Torres behind them. It was a back-three with Mendy and Cancelo at wing-backs.

Tuchel made five changes to the side that demolished [team 3468] in the semi-final second leg. Gilmour started his second league game in a row while [player 537121], [player 95792] and [player 1601] out of the squad.

First-Half

The game had a slow start to it. [team 18], as usual, stayed in their shape while [team 9] dominated the ball without much offensive impact for the first few minutes. City’s changed shape was making it harder for the players to set the rhythm. Also, Sterling’s and Torres’s unusual positions as attacking midfielders were not making them look comfortable. Most of City’s best attacks were coming from the sides, with [player 160956] and [player 96183] bombing down the line and delivering into the box.

Nothing much happened in the first half with Chelsea’s backline hardly put under any sort of pressure. However, the breakthrough came just before the break when a delightful pass was played in behind to find [player 5329], who squared the ball for Aguero, whose first touch was terrible. That poor touch forced the ball to end up in the path of an onrushing [player 802]. He finished it and brought an end to his abysmal goal drought this season.

With the half about to end, City were awarded a penalty as Jesus went down after contact with Gilmour inside the area. The reply did show that Jesus initiated the contact by stepping away from the ball, but VAR did not overturn the decision. The club’s hero stepped up to score what could be potentially his last goal for the club. [player 1359]’s decision to strike a Panenka was horrible as [player 99137] easily stopped it. It was an embarrassing moment for a club legend who might not get another chance to score one last goal for the club where he has spent a decade.

Overall, Chelsea were poor in the first half. They could not bring Ziyech’s into the game, who was their most creative player on the pitch. Tuchel’s side had only 1 shot on target out of 6, and 5 of those shots were from outside the box. The Londoners struggled to open up City’s defensive, and Werner’s movement was not causing enough trouble.

Second-Half

Chelsea started the second half with more intensity in their press. They were effectively 15-20 yards further up the pitch with their defensive positioning. Instead of waiting for City to give the ball up, Chelsea were now pressing City all over the midfield.

Mendy and Cancelo were unable to make forward runs due to the now higher position of [player 581220] and Alonso. [player 6599973] started to play more progressive passes, and overall the away side looked more energetic at the restart.

Ziyech started to involve himself in the game more and began to pull some strings. His exceptional passing range is undoubtedly a special attribute. In the second half, Chelsea were making the most out of Ziyech’s ability to create as they started to make more runs in behind. [player 31823] started to make more runs into the channel, and Alonso was also given the license to get forward.

Chelsea’s energetic start was rewarded as they were back on level terms. It was a well-executed move with quick and precise passing. [player 32438] and [player 1330] combined a few passes before the skipper played a cut-back to [player 24288], who picked up an intelligent position. The Morrocan’s first touch, as well as the finish, were exquisite as his side were deservedly back in the game.

The new shape that Man City were playing in was troublesome as their ball movement was slow and ineffective. They were finding it harder to bypass Chelsea’s midfield by playing out from the back, something they master at.

Chelsea were now cruising. Werner and [player 2875858] both provided finishing touches, but both goals were ruled out. It was imminent that a draw won’t be a bad result for the home side. Although, that’s not how Pep’s trains his side and City kept themselves exposed.

Eventually, Chelsea had the last say with an incredible late winner. Credit to [player 1128], who had the energy to make d darting run into the box in the closing stages. His finishing touch wasn’t the cleanest, but a little bit of fortune helped the ball find its way into the net.

Chelsea are now above [team 42], whose chances of finishing in the top four are still not bad. However, if they continue this way, we could witness a repeat of last season for [coach 896460]’s side. As for Tuchel, the way he has elevated Chelsea’s performances is outstanding, with the blues in pole position to finish in the top-four.

Pep’s typical overthinking

The change in the system was the wrong thing to do, but playing his players in the wrong positions was even worse. [coach 455361] deployed Sterling and [player 448389] in positions that does not suit their skillset. They played as inside wingers or attacking midfielders ahead of [player 186910]. Effectively, they were playing in the position where De Bruyne, [player 336133] and [player 96353] play usually.

Due to City’s loss, [team 14] have a chance to leapfrog Pep’s side. [coach 524307]’s side play three times before City play again in the [league 8]. Man United have two games in hand and City’s defeat means their city rivals can still make it.

It made it harder for City to progress the ball vertically as the midfielders were naturally wingers. Overall, it was a terrible tactical display from Pep. He should clear those silly mistakes as they face the same opposition in the [league 2] final this month.

[coach 523937] has got the better of Pep twice as the Chelsea boss. If the same happens in the final, then it will be painful for the blue half of Manchester.

Chelsea’s excellent resilience postponing City’s title celebrations and bringing Man United back into the title conversation.

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