Manchester City – Everton: Everton Put Up Good Fight But Come Up Short Of Premier League Leaders (3-1)
Manchester City started this game in a slow pace, not being able to break down the visitors’ defensive wall of nine outfield players. Everton missed their only big chance to go up and got overrun by the steaming City train afterwards. Changing up their system got Everton back in the game somewhat, but City’s lead was never seriously in doubt.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
Manchester City are in the middle of an incredibly arduous and dour spell of games, having to play twelve matches in 41 days across the Premier League, Champions League and the League Cup. Manager Pep Guardiola thus opted to rotate some of his key players for the home fixture against Everton, leaving both John Stones and Raheem Sterling on the bench. The formation of choice was 4-3-3, which has been a staple throughout this season. Fernandinho was fielded as the lone pivot with Bernardo Silva and İlkay Gündoğan as central midfielders.
Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp once said that if you do not press Manchester City and defend close to your own penalty area, you are ‘’hoping to win the lottery’’. Easy statement to make if you have Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané as your three attackers, right?
Lacking the elite pressing systems to derail Manchester City’s extremely fluid buildup, most teams opposing City have chosen quite defensive formations. The most extreme varieties of those being either a 6-3-1 or a 5-4-1 shape. Everton went for the latter . . .