Manchester City – Olympique Lyon: uncharacteristically sloppy City gets punished by well-organised Lyon (1-2)

Manchester City put in a once-in-a-blue-moon performance, as they were defeated 2-1 at home by Olympique Lyon in their opening Champions League fixture of the season. City’s lackadaisical possession and Lyon’s quick transitions led to the Premier League side’s fourth defeat in a row in the Champions League.

City lined up in a classic 4-3-3 formation (as shown below). Up front, Gabriel Jesus replaced Sergio Agüero, who was on the bench after picking up a minor ankle injury in the weekend. Longer term absentees include Kevin De Bruyne, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy. Pep Guardiola was watching the game from the stands, because he was sent off during their second leg versus Liverpool in last year’s Champions League quarter final.

Meanwhile, Lyon set-up in a dynamic 4-4-1-1 system, with Nabil Fekir playing just in behind Memphis Depay. The French side made three changes from their slightly weakened team that played against Caen on Saturday, drawing 2-2. Pape Cheikh Diop replaced Lucas Tousart in central midfield. On the right wing, the more defensively solid Maxwell Cornet came in for Bertrand Traoré. Memphis took over striking duties from Celtic-signee Moussa Dembélé.

Both team's positioning when City was building up. The ball is displayed at the feet of Aymeric Laporte.

Shoddy City
This was one of the worst Manchester City performances in the last year. Without trying to sound like a TV pundit, City were just really careless and sloppy on the ball. They made some very poor decisions, such as Aymeric Laporte’s pass to an under-pressure Fernandinho which lead to Nabil Fekir’s goal . . .

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Tristan Thomas (20) is a football coach and tactical analyst based near London, UK. He started his first online work during the 2014 World Cup and subsequently was a tactical author at He is a full-time academy coach and self-confessed student of the game who is passionate about player development as well as tactical analysis. [ View all posts ]


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