CSKA v Man City: Numbers & Highlights

A look at some of the numbers behind City's second away win in the CL.

My, we won away from home. Again! After the shock had subsided and some reflection had taken place, I think the honest among us would say that City were pretty good value for their three points.

Were there moments when the defense was breached, the players panicked? Of course, we are after all playing in the CL, away from home and in tough conditions. A football game is very rarely a one sided affair in which one team has total control for the full ~95 minutes, there will be spells in a game where things seem to be going very wrong; a player makes mistakes; the manager should change it etc.

Those bad spells tend to be short and all too fleeting in Man City's case. Man City are a 'control' team who dominate, in terms of possession, shots and territory, most games they feature in. The CSKA fixture was no different.

In-Game Shots Count

The shots count was never really close: Man City were the superior team with a constant stream of shots in the first half giving way to to bunches of shots and then periods of non-activity in the second half.

At the 74 minute mark, CSKA had just 4 shots to their name. City weathered the late rally (thanks, Joe!) and came away with a deserved win.

Average Positions

Info from WhoScored.com. It's a rough copy of their very accurate data.

Most of Man City's fixtures look like this: Two players on the right, only the attacking full-back on the left side as his partner - Silva/Nasri - has usually wandered in-field.

  • Man City created 44% of their attacks into the opposition half down the right flank with Zabaleta and Navas.
  • CSKA created 40% of their attacks into City's half down our own left side, patrolled only by Kolarov.
Some of those attack zones are due to personnel and some of them are tactical. Knowing how City play, I imagine CSKA's decision to attack down our left, into the space vacated by SIlva and the wandering Kolarov, was a deliberate tactic. That said City conceded just three successful passes into their own 18 yard box in the 97 minutes of game time, which is pretty impressive.

As for City's play, Toure is slightly more advanced and the attacking three of Silva, Negredo and Aguero are really close together. Aguero is the player who runs in behind, Silva is the creator and Negredo's position may be due to dropping deep to provide a passing outlet for his team-mates.

City look awfully narrow through the middle, but this may be due to opposition tactics, pressure and the state of the game.

Highlights

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