Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City: Chalkboard analysis
Arsenal v Manchester City was the definition of a bore draw. Some Chalkboard analysis is likely to be more interesting than a match report (and quite possibly more exciting than the actual game too).
City defended excellently in the centre of the pitch, playing with three holding midfielders stationed immediately in front of their back four. The number of times they managed to intercept the ball on the edge of the area (and the fact they only needed to do so twice within the area) demonstrates the value in setting out the way City did.
Arsenal are simply uncomfortable getting their wingers and their full-backs to the byline in order to cross the ball – hence why City played so narrow, and forced Arsenal to go wide. The crossing record of Bacary Sagna sums this up well – eight crosses attempted, none completed.
Carlos Tevez looked unhappy playing upfront on his own, and struggled to link with the midfield players. When Emmanuel Adebayor came on, City shifted to a 4-4-1-1 shape with Tevez in the hole and he was far more of an influence on the game – his passing record before and after the change of shape shows that well.
City showed little attacking intent throughout the game – and considering the fact that Arsenal were playing a goalkeeper whose confidence is low after his mistakes against Wigan, they should have tested Lukasz Fabianski more. City took 86 minutes to have a shot on target.
Some players’ signature move is a stepover, a long-range shot or a defensive header. There can be few who have a distinctive type of interception – but that’s the case with Gael Clichy, who constantly uses his anticipation skills and incredible acceleration to steal in infront of the opposition right-winger when he tries to receive a pass. He did that five times in this game – four in an identical area of the pitch.Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City: Chalkboard analysis