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Manchester City show Arsenal this game belongs to player Jonathan Liu | Football

FEven during most of the night, the Etihad Stadium was shrouded in the fog of war. The game between managers who know each other often leads to a deadlock. Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta never had any real chances. Their previous two meetings as coaches were highly contrasted, highly developed matters, and one hour was no different: a coaching duel more like a heads-up poker game, which was an unshakable exercise.

But in the end, this is not a real plan or a plan to win or lose. When Manchester City completely closed a game that had already shaky most of its lives, all this became apparent during the closing phase of the backslash. In the end, they won because they had better players and they spent more time training together. Sometimes it's really that simple.

It's obvious that Manchester City's goal [Raheem Sterling [Raheem Sterling] looked incredibly difficult after a devastating intuitive offensive action] and Arsenal's missed opportunities at halftime is obvious . This cohesion is reflected in the outstanding creativity of Manchester City's midfielder, with three times as many passes [152 to 51] as opponents into the final three. It does not necessarily mean that Manchester City is still a volatile, curious sporadic team that deserves to win. But that's why they Done.

However, given the identities of the two managers and the peculiarities of their two starting systems, there is a natural temptation to explain the game through tactics. I will see your two left backs and raise Kyle Walker in the second half. I saw your Walker and faked your Willian as 9. I saw your Willian and developed you into a frame-to-frame midfielder Bernardo Silva. I saw your Silva and brought you up to Bukayo Saka in the midfield. I see your Saka, raising you João Cancelo in a free role. I saw your Cancelo and lifted your blue shirt. But we are wearing blue. Well, so do we.

Therefore, the stage is set to be a fascinating, disorienting, and sometimes even contrasting counter stage, which nobody can reach here. Saka moves back and forth from left to center. Manchester City's record is 4-3-3 on the defensive end, 3-3-2-2 on the defensive end, and 3-4-3 in the press. In the one-hour game, the introduction of Sergio Agüero by Ilkay Gündogan changed the focus of their offense again.

Usually, you will hear Guardiola accused of overthinking big games. Strangely, this criticism is imprecise-after all, what is the optimal level of thought for a single device? – What you feel is actually based on a lot of lack of thinking. The fact is, Guardiola rarely maintains the same tactics in the two games. Custom solutions have always been part of his approach. If we overconsider his greatest failure, then we should also recognize his role in his dizzying success.

This may be somewhere in between. Cancelo's mixed role usually gives them more opportunities to attack, but it is instructive that their best players are those who perform their usual duties: Riyad Mahrez on the right, Rúben Dias on the defensive, and Ederson on the goal. And, although it took Arsenal a while to "suspend the game" [as Sterling said later], in fact, as the game has become more regular in the past half hour, they seem to be safer.

Arteta also found the limits of his tactical development. Their best time is just before halftime, but just as the situation requires greater impetus, their threat has diminished. As Manchester City stepped back and filled the gap, Arsenal looked increasingly lack of ideas, struggling to move the ball between midfield and attack. Their top three, Willian, Nicolas Pépé and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only shared 58 touches and two shots throughout the night.

For a force that is still emerging and incomplete, this is a valuable experience for how far they still need to go. For Manchester City, this reminds us that despite the absence of Kevin de Bruin, despite their flaws and fatigue, they are still a team with multiple strengths. It was left to Guardiola to provide the deepest insights of the night. He admitted: "We both have very good ideas." "But this game belongs to the players."

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