City 1 and Chelsea 0, were the result of the top of the round, as the goal came through Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus from an individual skill.
Tuchel is receiving great praise this season due to the solidity of the Blues defensively and offensively, but did he manage his battle with Guardiola today?
Conservative formation and fake attacker
Thomas Tuchel decided to rely on his fixed plan 3/5/2, with Edward Mendy as a goalkeeper, and in front of him was Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta.
And in the middle were Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Reece James, and in attack, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku played.
The formation of the Blues appeared in a state of reservation, with the presence of the trio of Hakim Ziyech, Kai Haverts and Saul Niguez on the bench with the absence of Mason Mount, leaving creativity largely absent from the team.
On the other hand, Pep Guardiola pushed Ederson in front of him, Kyle Walker, Emeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo, and in the middle Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne.
With the attack, Riyad Mahrez sat on the bench, and Pep decided to defend Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden as a fake striker and Jack Grealish on the left wing.
City’s plan did not threaten Chelseas goal at all throughout the first half, and perhaps the team needed either Riyad Mahrez or Raheem Sterling from the start instead of them sitting on the bench.
Manchester City had the most possession in the first quarter of an hour, but without posing any threat to Chelseas goal from near or far.
The reason was clear: Chelseas knack for closing spaces with their defences, forcing City to lose the ball before reaching the penalty area.
Chelsea did not aim for possession at the beginning, but rather to play the transformations, which he would have scored from had it not been for the recklessness of Timo Werner on a rebound created by Marcos Alonso.
Jack Grealish’s front on the left side was the strongest for City, especially since Kevin De Bruyne was very inclined to this side, but the strict control and the convergence of distances between the Chelsea defenders made things almost impossible to threaten Edward Mendy.
De Bruyne tried to move between the lines to break the state of cohesion for the Blues, to no avail, and the credit is certainly due to German Thomas Tuchel.
Why exaggerate the defense?
Tuchel deserves to be commended for his defensive organization, especially in the first half, but the German coach exaggerated his conservative tactics.
Mount’s absence may have had a major impact, but the lack of any creative player in the formation caused an attacking futility in the long run, so that the only solution was the rebounds.
Click here to participate in the Power Horse Challenges and win valuable prizesWerner did not help Lukaku enough, which caused the isolation of the Belgian striker, who played his worst match for the Blues since his return.
The 3/5/2 plan did not work, and it might have been better to rely on the 3/4/3 plan to add more offensive depth to the owners of the land.
The beginning of the fall
Guardiola read the match well between the two halves, and entered the second half in a completely different way, more effective without making any substitutions.
Jesus went deeper, which helped him score a superb goal with a shot inside the penalty area that deceived Chelseas defense and goalkeeper Edward Mendy.
The guests imposed their control after this goal, and they would have been on the cusp of scoring the second had it not been for Thiago Silvas brilliance and his kicking a ball off the goal line.
Pep found solutions despite all the blocks made by Tuchel, and the other went to rely on Haverts in the 60th minute, but perhaps it was too late.
Retaining Werner and not resorting to Ziyech as a solution in the second half, also represents a question mark on Tuchel’s handling of the match.
Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is considered one of the best in Europe in terms of playing with the foot, whether defensively or during the construction of the attack.
Pep used his goalkeeper in a libero-like role, in order to stop the long balls that Chelsea play in the back of City’s defense for Werner.
Which closed the door to any chance of the Blues penetrating City, before Tuchel resorted to Haverts to create another solution.
Haverts kicked things up a bit, but that change wasn’t enough to fix the score.
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