Everton – Manchester City: Midfield Positions Pivotal in Breaking Down Everton’s High Block (1-3)
Manchester City’s positional play was pivotal in the champions latest victory – despite Everton creating a number of chances from set-pieces. Both İlkay Gündoğan and Kevin De Bruyne were key to City’s buildup on the flanks, as both teams had opportunities to take all three points.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Pep Guardiola’s records against other managers is very impressive. Seven times he has sat in the dugout with Marco Silva opposite, and seven times Guardiola has walked out with a victory under his belt. Predictions for Saturday’s late kick-off, unsurprisingly, were in Manchester City’s favor, though this matchup pitted the league’s best pressers versus the best ball progressors.
Everton have yet to patch up an abundance of problems under Marco Silva - breaking down a low-block, team shape, defending set-pieces just to name a few. They have lacked any sort of effective game plan when on the ball, but out of possession, they have asserted themselves as one of the league’s best pressing teams.
Everton’s attack shift into a new gear to get possession back, as Gylfi Sigurðsson moves into their forward line, whilst the team presses high in a 4-4-2 shape. No surprises that the Icelandic attacking midfielder featured in the starting eleven here, alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin ahead of him. Richarlison was switched back onto the left wing, with Theo Walcott on the opposite side – though Walcott was taken off in the first minute, due to injury.
Manchester City have dropped points in the opening stages this season, yet Guardiola has broken more records once again. The 24 goals which they . . .