Brighton 1-4 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points
#4 Pep's subtle tactical switch works wonders
After a handful of promising attacks broke down in the first-half, Guardiola knew he needed to make tactical alterations. He couldn't just sit there and react, it was time to be proactive: initially switching Mahrez and Raheem Sterling to opposite wings before reverting to a 4-4-1-1 formation altogether, there was more emphasis on probing distribution from their midfield base.
Gundogan and David Silva were regularly getting on the ball and naturally, it meant Brighton had to shift their defensive focus: pressing their midfield to force mistakes or defend in numbers and cut off the supply to Sterling and Aguero.
Sterling wasn't originally getting the ball in dangerous areas and the formation change gave him that licence to roam forward, making threatening runs and being a nuisance to man-mark while doing so.
Mahrez meanwhile, was the opposite. However his poor decision-making meant they lost possession too often and those subtle changes proved beneficial with an extra outlet from their width as a marauding Oleksandr Zinchenko often threatened down the left.Published 13 May 2019, 10:02 IST