The victory over Chelsea helped Manchester City widen the gap on its direct competitors in the championship race to an almost unmatchable gap of 11 points, and it also confirmed the absolute position of the army. Pep Guardiola in the Premier League today. Let’s go into detail to explain the impressive performance not only demonstrated in 90 minutes at the City of Manchester Stadium, but also shown by The Cityzens throughout the past 22 rounds.
The Premier League title is very close to Man City
Despite a lot of noise and ink in the summer transfer market with a series of famous names linked to Manchester, no striker was recruited by Pep Guardiola at the time of the new season. Harry Kane? Is not. Cristiano Ronaldo? Is not. Even other star options like Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe do not seem to be in the mind of the Spanish coach.
Despite facing a bit of trouble in the early part of the season when he scored only 4 goals in 4 EPL matches in September, the Man City destruction machine started to activate after the national team rally in October. First, City won 14 and lost only 1, scoring 42 goals during this period. It is this unstoppable form that has enabled Guardiola’s teachers and students to make a spectacular breakthrough above rivals Chelsea and Liverpool, opponents who just two months ago were still comparing points to City. .
In the whole tournament, Manchester City not only leads in the number of points won, but also in the number of goals scored against the opponent. 54 goals in 22 games with an average performance of 2.45 goals / game is an impressive number compared to what they showed in the same period of EPL last season. Of course, we must re-emphasize a very specific element of City 21-22, that is, they do not have the appearance of any real strikers in the squad, an element that is recognized as a character. major contributor to the output firepower.
To date, The Cityzens’ top five goalscorers in the Premier League are all five attacking midfielders, who are alternately used by Pep in key roles. The only individual on the staff of the City of Manchester team at the moment who can be identified in the silhouette of a traditional striker is Gabriel Jesus, who is mainly used by Pep in the role of a side kick. However, the Brazilian player is shining brighter than ever in this seemingly strange role, with 7 assists for teammates, the highest index of the whole team.
All indications for a fiery offensive style, based on an extremely smooth operating system that puts any individual, taking on a spearhead role or not, in an advantageous position. to transform opportunities. Before the 22nd round of the EPL, City was the leading club in the tournament with the most shots (388) as well as on target (135) and the number of passes that put the ball into the opponent’s box (313).
If you want to pump fire regularly for the front line, the importance of midfield cannot be ignored. In addition to Kevin de Bruyne, who still regularly shows his class despite injuries, the other two factors that help Manchester City firmly grasp the hinges of the midfield this season are Rodri and Bernardo Silva.
Joined City since the summer of 2019, but it was not until this season that Rodri’s mark left really clear after two consecutive years of living in the shadow of his seniors Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho. When most opponents actively choose to play passive defense in the home field to contain City’s terrible power, the role of a holding midfielder like Rodri is placed even higher. both in attack and defence.
Indeed, Pep’s faith has not been misplaced when the Spaniard is having the most impressive season in his personal career in general and his time with City in particular. 3 goals and 1 assist after only 17 appearances at the EPL 2021-22, including many decisive plays that brought all the points to the home team, Rodri has never been so outstanding. in the process of threatening the opponent’s goal.
The tight space near the penalty area for the attacking teammate to manage is not much, so the average position Rodri has to take must also be taller and wider respectively. In terms of attack, the midfielder in 1996 touches the ball and passes less, but possesses an efficiency that surpasses himself in previous seasons in terms of average number of passes into the box and chances of finishing.
Of course, no team can control the ball 100% for 90 minutes, including Man City. And at times like these, Rodri’s tall, dashing physique is a great advantage that allows the Spaniard to maximize his strength in situations of challenge and slow down the opponent to avoid for the home team to withstand the counter-attack. Despite a decrease in the average opponent pressure every 90 minutes compared to the previous two seasons with City, Rodri actually has an increase in pressing data within the bottom third of the field with 2.44 times, compared to 2.39 (2020-21) and 2.32 (2019-20).
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