4 reasons why Pep’s Manchester City could not score against Mou’s Block-Bus-Star Manchester United

Match Analysis — EPL match Manchester City vs Manchester United at Ethiad

Reason 1: Aguero had a very bad game

The most reliable goal machine for Manchester City had an uncharacteristically full bad game. It could be due to the pressure of Gabriel Jesus who was fit again to get involved in the match or due to just fatigue out of FA cup semis. Aguero opportunities to score came in 9',29',33',34,48',49'60',96'. On any other normal day, Aguero would have turned in atleast couple of them in.

How Pep could have managed here?

If your star striker is having a bad game and you have a bright young talent named Gabriel Jesus on the bench, you got to bring him in at around 60 minute mark. Pep could have put Jesus in place of Aguero or substitute Sane with Jesus with City playing 4–4–2 for the last 30 mins.

Reason 2: Dire lack of finishing qualities

Sterling and KDB showed some sparks of brilliance in going forward and creating spaces in the midfield but when it comes to finishing, they sucked! Sane was struggling in the match throughout with the defence of Valencia and an additional man which ManUtd could afford due to Mou’s mentality of defence first. Toure’s ability to shoot from distance has disappeared. As mentioned above, Aguero already was having a bad day with shooting.

Reason 3: Predicability in Manchester city attack

If you have been following City this season closely, you would have realised that City are superlative in holding the ball, creating spaces and counter attacking.

City were 2013–14 EPL champions because of one important reason: the diversity in its attack. City had Aguero, Dzeko, Negredo and Jovetic spearheading attack in the most used 4–4–2 formation. This diversity empowered City to turn matches head on when City need more aerial threat or ball hold up strength up front (Dzeko, Negredo).

Today, Manchester City have non existent aerial threat because 90 percent of the cases, their crosses/passes are level to land.(more probablity of some defender disrupting the cross/pass if enough legs are available for defence) So, no surprise if teams keep on playing the same way against City.

Moreover, oppositions also know that no midfielder out of Yaya, Fernandinho, Fernando or Delph is going to shoot from outside the box and on target.

These makes City’s attack very much predictable and easier to deal with. City needs strong striker and also, someone who can shoot from distance in the next window if they want to strengthen their attack.

Reason 4: No attacking intent from Manchester United

Mou is a tactical genius. But this time, I felt that he was not only lazy but unambitious.

The only three attacking plans which were visible was

1) Find Fellaini aerially in the midfield and let him find the right man out of Mkhi, Martial or Rashford. (7',8'10',21',30',61' mins)

2) Find Rashford for all the counter attacking situations.

3) Dead ball opportunities (45')

When you rely only on teenage striker for a goal or luck, you generally get a handful of real opportunities to score. (2 to be precise) If you dont score then, you would look out for a point and that is exactly what Mou did. It never seemed Mou came in with a winning plan- he just came in with an intent of not to lose.

Manchester City Stars of the match: Fernandinho, Kompany