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The Secret to How Manchester City Beat Chelsea

 The Secret to How Manchester City Beat Chelsea

Shh, don’t tell Jonathan Wilson, Zonal Marking or the trio of Richard Farley, Kartik Krisnaiyer or Laurence McKenna, but I believe that formations are sometimes overrated.

In most matches, they have a massive impact on how teams play and how they match up against each other. But in certain circumstances you may as well throw the formations out the window. Such was the case on Saturday during Manchester City’s 1-0 win against Chelsea.

The bottom line on Saturday and the reason why Manchester City won on Saturday was (1) City was more aggressive and fought for every ball, something which Chelsea has not been used to for a lot of this season, (2) Carlos Tevez scored a goal of incredible individual brilliance, (3) City did an excellent job of keeping possession by passing the ball around in key moments of the game, preventing Chelsea from regaining possession, and (4) they defended brilliantly, Nigel de Jong especially.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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19 Responses to The Secret to How Manchester City Beat Chelsea

  1. And the reason for that is both teams played the same formation ;)

    Oh, and you forgot that Drogba was poor.

    • The Gaffer says:

      But if you take out Manchester City’s physical approach to winning 50/50 balls, the formations wouldn’t have mattered. Chelsea would have probably gone on to win the game. I didn’t think Drogba was that poor. It was Essien who missed two glorious chances, not Didier.

      The Gaffer

      • Drogba didn’t have any chances to miss, which is my point.

        I agree that City played their tails off, though.

        • Up the Chels! says:

          You also missed the two stone-cold penalties that were not called. Both were Boyata fouling Drogba. First was the arm around the throat and the second was the shoulder barge.

          I do agree that City were the better team, but Chelsea could not get a call to save their lives.

          • Robert says:

            I think Boyata should have played nicer in his first match, certainly. I’m not certain that they were penalties as they stood in the run of play, but I agree that in the first 60 minutes, Chelsea were on the receiving end of some poor, missed or lightly punished tackles. (When the game turned after the goal, the Chels pushed and tackled more strongly.)

            I think both teams defended really well. Either that, or City’s service was just poor. It seemed like every service into the box was blocked or intercepted long before it could be dangerous.

            Essien should have controlled some of his shot choices better, but other than that, we didn’t get a lot of opportunities. Part of that was City’s formation and spirit, but I also think Lampard’s presence was sorely missed. In effect, Chelsea played 3 strikers and 3 holding midfielders. There needs to be a link between the two: Lampard certainly would have buried one or two of Essien’s shots, or made an extra pass to create a goal.

            That said, with United’s tie today, Chelsea are still in the driver’s seat for yet another week.

      • Wow says:

        Unreal how you can not see that is a tactical approach. LoL.

  2. Paul says:

    City won by being better in the tackle

    City Chelsea
    37 Tackles 20
    83.8 Tackles Success 55

  3. Paul says:

    Just to build on that check this

    Gareth Barry, 9 successful tackles out of 10. Chelsea’s whole team managed 11 successful between them.

  4. UpTheBlues says:

    Tevez did absolutely nothing all match except for the goal. He’s practically guaranteed one against Chelsea.

  5. Nick says:

    Ramires could not protect the ball to save his life. Waaaaay to weak on the ball.

  6. The Glazers a breath of fresh air rid London, South Wales and Deevon of its ManU hardcore plastic fans. says:

    Typical Chelsea no class unlike your Manager who proved himself to be honest and gracious in defeat unlike that bitter and twisted red faced old man at the Theatre of Debt.

    City were more physical? Cobblers!. They wanted it more, were first to every loose ball and made Chelsea’s great players (and they do possess some great players) look very ordinary.

    Nigel de Jong, Kompany. Barry were superb. Tevez could have had a second and Adebayor had a good chance to score too. So three wins out of three. Each no doubt requiring oodles of luck. Yeah right.

    City will only get better and with returning injured players will move from strength to strength. Chelsea like Moan United have an ageing squad which to his credit Ancelotti is trying to address. Chelsea’s average age was three years older than Citys.

    As for John Terry who would want that disgusting excuse for a human being in their team.

  7. Robert says:

    Come on, guy. First, at whom are you really aiming, Chelsea or United? I don’t see anything in the above comments that indicated City got lucky or cheated. It was a defeat, pure and simple. City supporters call it winning 50/50 balls; Chelsea fans saw some late tackles. Zabaleta’s illegal tackle broke up an attack that could have produced a goal (the ref didn’t even play advantage); Boyata’s two uncalled encounters with Drogba were clear violations had they been nearer to the ball. But that’s not really the point, I don’t want to argue about fouls.

    Finally, a knock on Terry? Geez. City fans sure know how to hold a grudge on behalf of a second-teamer. Did Bridge even make the bench on Saturday?

  8. Salford Blue says:

    Let me get this right…we play a team that has scored 21 goals in 5 Premier League games, yet we are expected to play open football to allow Chelsea to play their own champagne brand?

    After all. we have spent millions on our squad, so we must be able to play sexy football all the time and beat a team that is scoriung for fun.

    How dare City do their homework and out-play, out-muscle and out-think the opposition.

  9. sochi says:

    we really deserved to win lol

  10. enoch blessing says: has study chelsea plyers nic was marked out & rimires was a minus bcos dis could ve being his game being new was free to roam but misses chances with essian, it one of those bad games we see ….

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