Chelsea – Manchester City: Sarri’s adjustments almost work, yet City wins League Cup (0-0, 3-4 after pens)
It’s only February, but Manchester City already won their second trophy of the season. It was by no means a walk in the park though for Pep Guardiola’s men. Kepa Arrizabalaga’s on-pitch antics and his refusal to be substituted will probably make the headlines, bit below that story actually laid a decent performance by Chelsea. Playing a lot more defensively paid dividends, even though City took home the silverware due to better spot kicks.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
In a time where the calendar for professional football players is chock-full already, the point of this tournament – which is basically an FA Cup for the top four levels of the English football league system – is debatable. Earlier this season, the quarter final of this season’s League Cup - or excuse me: Carabao Cup - between Leicester City and Manchester City exemplified this overall feeling of pointlessness. It was a game that was played out mostly between squad players who don’t see regular action in Premier League games.
On the other hand, a match between Chelsea and Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri versus Pep Guardiola, at Wembley, with a piece of silverware at stake for the winner. Add in some storylines about Guardiola often thinking up elaborate tactical plans in big games, the 6-0 drubbing when these two teams met earlier this month, Chelsea’s horrible form in recent weeks. Sounds a bit more fun already, right?
In former rounds, Maurizio Sarri also used the League Cup to rest some players, but make . . .