Leeds United – Manchester City: A Game Of Chess With Anarchic Overtones (1-1)
Pep Guardiola showcased how to deploy an effective high block in the first half, but a countermove from Marcelo Bielsa put Leeds United right back into the game. Once circulation of the ball was improved, the game between two of modern football’s great philosophers evolved into vintage and chaotic end-to-end action.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
There are very few managers who can claim they’ve influenced the game quite like Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola. They are the pioneers of both player coaching and establishing tactical frameworks to their respective clubs, yet had met just three times prior to Saturday’s showdown. Bielsa and Guardiola were, respectively, at Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at the time. The current state of affairs at their present clubs are vastly different in comparison to their time in LaLiga.
Leeds’ return to the top flight of English football has already delivered in excitement and engagement, but it’s easy to forget the status of the club before El Loco took his first seat on the icebox. From a team that had struggled to get anywhere near the play-offs in the second division, the Bielsafication at Elland Road must go down as one of his highest achievements.
Manchester City remain gargantuan in football’s current climate, though Guardiola’s team are showing signs of vulnerability. Dominance in possession is easily outdone by teams that can play through their press, and on the transition, they can ship in the goals, as shown by Leicester’s onslaught at . . .