Pressing matters in Modern Footballপোস্টটি ২৫০ বার পঠিত হয়েছে
Chelsea's formation, though, was different today than in the Champions League final. Using N'Golo Kante in midfield with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic rather than Mason Mount in a 5–2–3 formation. The English midfielder is capable of playing both midfield and up front, causing havoc for opposing teams. Because he was out of the game, Chelsea was likely to have the same shape they had at the end of the game against Tottenham.
Manchester City's defeat in Porto was due to poor pressing rather than a lack of a defensive midfielder. Manchester City's pressing technique differed from Chelsea's on Saturday due to a different shape. One that actually worked.
Out of possession, Manchester City played in a 4–2–3–1 shape with Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish flanking Kevin De Bruyne, all of them behind Phil Foden.
The moment Chelsea attempted to attack down the right flank, Jesus moved inside to press Jorginho, while De Bruyne transferred his attention to Kante, and Joao Cancelo moved up to press Reece James . Grealish and Foden's tasks were to block the passing route backwards once the ball was pushed out wide to the wing back, something Manchester excelled at throughout the game . Rodri , who provided as a safety net for the press, and Bernardo Silva, who was charged with marking and pressing Kovacic, were behind this wave of pushing.
Because of Kovacic's superior ability to receive on the turn compared to Kante, the pressure was unbalanced. Instead of replicating the roles, Chelsea built up through their left side, which meant distinct roles. Bernardo Silva stepped up from the double pivot to press Kovacic on this side. De Bruyne shifted to push Jorginho while Kyle Walker was assigned to man-mark Marcos Alonso. The location of Foden and Jesus shows how City used their forward players to block back passes into the Chelsea center backs.
The first line of City’s press wasn’t aggressive, mainly trying to block the passing lanes into the midfield then when Chelsea’s center backs played the ball into their second line, that was the pressing trigger for City to press aggressively, whether that was against Chelsea’s wing-backs or the midfielders. Here, Bernardo Silva moved up to press Kovacic, while De Bruyne was moving towards Jorginho in case the pass was played into him. Again, now that the ball has shifted to the second line, the task of the near forwards (Foden and Jesus here) was to prevent passes backwards.
Another example here illustrates how Chelsea couldn’t progress up the pitch freely. At first, City’s forward line is in position to move either side depending on where Chelsea will play the ball.
This is City’s setup from the final. They only leave Gundogan spare in midfield and Walker is sort of in a 2v1 with Mount and Chilwell. Mahrez’s role here is difficult to understand: he isn’t really marking anyone or stopping anything and neither is he a spare central midfielder.
And again, notice City’s current setup. 2 big differences: by tucking Jesus in to mark Jorginho, they are able to spare another CM in the centre in the form of Silva, who is on Kovacic, thus leaving Walker in a 1v1 with Alonso. They have also made Mendy a lot more inaccessible.
Another out ball for Chelsea was going long to their forwards, particularly Lukaku. However, Chelsea’s forwards were very isolated owing to Chelsea’s 5-3-2 formation, as opposed to their usual 5-2-3 formation.
This was City’s best performance this season as Guardiola confirmed after the game. And it wasn’t only the pressing, the counter-pressing was excellent as well, giving Chelsea no time on the ball once they won it back.
“Maybe right. Maybe he’s right” answered Guardiola while trying to hide a smirk on his face and maintaining the poker face.
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