Tactics Zone: Sunderland Struggled To Deal With Manchester City’s Team Pressing

Manchester’s unbeaten home run continues. City beat Sunderland by three goals at Ethihad today. Lets analyze the game tactically,

Manchester City controls the midfield

Unsurprisingly City controlled the midfield with Barry taking up a deep lying play-maker role and Yaya Toure, a more advanced role to help the forwards. Even though Yaya Toure earned all the spot lights for last season’s performance, Barry played a very important role in City’s title winning midfield by distributing passes all over pitch throughout the season. With him, Manchester city showed the form of last season today after few disappointing results of late. Barry completed 57 pass out 63 attempted passes with more than 90 % accuracy.

Gareth Barry Action Areas

The picture above indicates Barry’s ability to maintain good disciplined position in the midfield. He spent more than 24% in the defensive areas of the pitch helping the men in blue defenders. And without De Jong, Barry’s role will be crucial this year for Manchester City’s title defense.

Team Pressing

Another reason for City’s dominance in midfield today is how they effectively applied pressure on Sunderland’s Midfield. Manchester City deployed a partial team pressure tactics on Sunderland midfielders. To put it in more simpler words, only the midfielders and attacking players apply pressure to the opponent midfielders while defenders stick to their positions. City used three-player team pressing method to win possession back in the midfield.

City’s Team Pressing

With two defensive midfielders, Three city players are available all the time to pressurize Sunderland players in any midfield areas (See the pic above).

Sunderland’s Two Bank Defense

In first half, Sunderland deployed a two banks of defense ( a kind of parking the bus ). Even when City got the lead through a stunning free kick from a tight angle by Kolarav, Sunderland defense was solid enough to hold the champions till the half time. But they were forced to change their tactics in the second half. Sunderland played bit more high-lined defense and tried to get something out of the fixture. But again City adapted well to the situation and changed to a counter attacking structure. Addition of Aguero also injected some pace and directness to the City’s attack.  Aguero increased the home team’s lead with his cool finish from a good cross by Kolarov. Milner added one more from a deflected free kick to put the game to bed.

Final Verdict:

Both the teams were tactically good and stayed loyal to their game plays. But City’s dominance in midfield enabled them to secure an easy win at their home. Manchester city 3 Sunderland 0.

Stats Courtesy: Squawka.com

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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