Parth Shah, Apr 09, 2012

Analysis - Tactics used by Arsenal and Man City

The weirdest part about this game was the difference in how much either side wanted the win. Arsenal started on a high tempo and kept it throughout the match, whereas City started defensively and only looked to hit back in the last 25 minutes. From the evidence on display, you would be correct in thinking it was Arsenal, Not City, who was contesting for the title.

In-depth player, team and match stats available on the FootballIndia.com MatchCentre

Arsenal - Heavy Pressing leads to lots of Interceptions.

Arsenal had 64% possession at the end of 90 minutes, but that was only made possible by their energy and workrate when not in possession. Barry and Nasri were not allowed any time on the ball as Song and Arteta closed up the midfield area completely. Mikel Arteta made 6 interceptions, which just goes to show he is not just a passing midfielder.

Alex Song had a great game too, with 2 interceptions, 2 blocks and 3 tackles. He was also the most fouled player alongside Arteta (3 fouls suffered)

Mikel Arteta made the most interceptions (6). Not just another passing midfielder then.

Man City - Forced to play deep, get in each other's way

The players we are interested in are numbers 16 (Aguero), 19 (Nasri), 45 (Balotelli) and 7 (Milner).

This is the problem most managers face when playing attacking midfielders on the wings. Space becomes congested as different players try to occupy the same area. Nasri and Aguero are playing roughly the same central role, and Balotelli is forced to play deeper because of Arsenal’s high tempo and pressing.

There is a lot of space to exploit on the wings, but the fullbacks rarely got the ball to run into that space. Kolarav could have been introduced earlier to give width to City’s play.

Nasri (19), Aguero (16) and Milner (7) were forced to play deeper and too close to each other.

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