Match Analysis: Stoke 2 – 0 Manchester City

Manchester City took on Stoke in a windy afternoon at the Britannia Stadium in what was a prime opportunity to move away from the pack in the race for the title. Stoke’s status as the Premier League’s archetypal tricky away game has perhaps been lessened with the move from Pulis-ball to a slicker passing style of play, but they remain a difficult matchup for every team in the league. Despite Tony Pulis operating in survival mode throughout his time at Stoke, Mark Hughes has truly consolidated Stoke’s position as one of the premium mid-table clubs in the Premier League.

Both teams operated with their standard 4-2-3-1 formations, with Stoke clearly outperforming City and grabbing a deserved 2-0 win. There were a number of issues that Pellegrini’s team suffered that combined to make this a pretty comfortable day for Stoke.
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Analysing Pellegrini’s Man City: Kings of the Halfspace

Since arriving in England, Manuel Pellegrini has set his Manchester City team up to be one of the most potent attacking forces in Europe. Despite being much-maligned amongst much of the British public, the Chilean opts for a 4-4-2 as his formation of choice. The major difference between Pellegrini’s approach and the traditional representation is that his ‘wingers’ will drop inside, and play as ‘interiors’. This means that they play predominantly in halfspaces. For a far more detailed explanation of what a halfspace is, go here: http://spielverlagerung.com/2014/09/16/the-half-spaces/

The area that City are particularly effective in is the wide areas inside the penalty areas. Even playing against teams with little room between their central defenders and full-backs, City are able to exploit the space.

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