Manchester City – Leicester City: Pep picks apart Rodgers’ Poor Pressing Approach (3-1)
A game of such stark contrast to last season’s closely-contested end-of-season battle between these two managers might have taken a few by surprise – especially given the nerves seeping through the cracks of this City outfit – but the visitors handed the hosts their dinner on a plate this time.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
With Liverpool away from league duties at the FIFA Club World Cup, this was a chance for Pep Guardiola’s side to at least make something of a statement of intent. While they could not overtake Leicester regardless, it was paramount they at least closed the gap to them and Liverpool to as little as they could.
Guardiola named a rotated eleven from the one that cruised past Arsenal to secure a comfortable 3-0 away win. Kevin de Bruyne returned to his favoured midfield role, partnered by Bernardo Silva on the left this time, seeing Phil Foden drop to the bench. This facilitated for Riyad Mahrez’s first league start of the month, as well as seeing İlkay Gündoğan take helm of the holding midfield role as Rodri was given some rest time.
Leicester dropped points for the first time since the beginning of October last week in a 1-1 home draw against Norwich, but Brendan Rodgers had no plans to let that deter his side from overturning the big boys.
For this one, he moved away from the diamond setup to the 4-3-3 shape they have often used. While Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans kept their places in the center, Kelechi Iheanacho and Dennis Praet made way so Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes . . .