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Man City In The Champions League: Post-Mortem (part 1)

Welcome to what will probably be a somber, but hopefully quite rational analysis of Man City's 2012/13 Champions League campaign.

Man City's only outstanding CL performer
Man City's only outstanding CL performer
Martin Rose

So here we are, bottom of the Group D with 3 home draws and 3 away losses. Whichever way you choose to slice it, however optimistic your personal opinion we must say that Man City's performances in this group have been far below expectations. Yes, the quality of our group was very high, and this made qualification very tough from the outset but a points total of 3 is unacceptable.

Madrid are a sensational team whom Man City very nearly, and maybe should of beaten away from home.

Dortmund are an excellent possession and counter team, whose youthful endeavor is something to be celebrated.

Ajax were technical, comfortable in possession but lack the penetration to trouble top sides.

We cannot class City as a top side, they just aren't, not on this CL form.

Man City CL 2012/13

The first goal

1st Goal
Madrid 3-2 Yes
Dortmund 1-1 No
Ajax 3-1 Yes
Ajax 2-2 No
Madrid 1-1 No
Dortmund 1-0 No

If you are a regular reader of this site, you know how we love the value of the 1st goal. So shortly I shall tell you about the Cl 1st goal numbers in 2012/13. Firstly, let's have a few words about City's 1st goal record.

City, any team in-fact, who have designs on qualifying from the CL need to win at least two of their home games in my opinion. If you don't score the 1st goal of the game at home, you put a huge dent in the odds of being able to win that game. This is the story for Man City:

1st goal scored at home: zero. 1st goal scored away: two. City didn't possess the concentration or experience to hold out and win, let alone draw.

CL wide 1st goal numbers (88 games)

Firstly there have been three 0-0 scorelines.

Win Draw Loss
Home 80% 6.66% 13.33 45 GOALS

Home Draw Loss
Away 55% 30% 12.5% 40 GOALS

Score the first goal at home in the CL group stages and this is what happens. An 80% win chance if the home team scores the first goal and just a 13.3 chance of a loss if the home team scores first.

Away from home, the loss chance is fairly consistent, win chance is dramatically less as we would expect and in it's place we see an increased draw chance % if the away team scores the 1st goal.

Have to get that 1st goal at home and Man City failed to do so on all 3 occasions. Poor.


Man City shots shots against differential ratio

11.6 19 -7.33 37.9

All of the above numbers have been highlighted in red, all are dangerously poor and cannot be sustained if a team is to win on a consistent basis. 19 shots against per game doesn't matter if the opposition isn't converting them into shots on goal...

Shots On Target

Man City shots shots against differential ratio

5.16 7.5 -2.33 40.75

Shots on target is important and we see that Man City, despite being very poor in shots, have clawed back a little ground from the opposition in terms of shots on target numbers.

7.5 shots on target against is a number that cannot be allowed to continue, it's a horrendous number. the PL worst number is 5.86 from West Ham, and that puts City's number into a little cross-league perspective.

5.16 shots on target for is pretty good, but we never had the lions share of shots due to the terrible SoTa number, which, in the end, has been City's undoing. 11 goals conceded in 6 games is very unlike this City team. But we already know that the CL hasn't seen the normal Man City.


Scoring % Save % pdo
22.5 75.56 98.06

Man City's six game save % is pretty good, and higher than City's PL save%. And it has had to be at times as City were outmatched against better tactically astute opposition. Hart has been very good, but this we already knew. The defense has been very porous in this six game group, but I think the teams shape and tactical weaknesses have been consistently exploited by opposition of a higher quality than City usually see in the PL.

In short, mistakes have been punished, lapses in concentration and positioning have been exploited. Tough at the top.

City''s scoring %, ughh. Poor, un-City like. It's a recurring theme.



Dortmund 64
Ajax 53
Madrid 65

Total 60.66

So City's home possession is good. So what. Possession means little without shot penetration and goal totals. This high possession number has an explanation, though. The opposition on all 3 occasions scored the first goal of the game and then ceded territory and possession of the ball to City in order to protect their positional shape and not concede any scoring chanced. Thus City had lots of the ball and essentially passed it back and forth, left to right in front of well organised defences.


Madrid 45
Ajax 48
Dortmund 52

Total 48.3

Neither good nor bad. It didn't really matter anyway. zero points from 3 games, and two of those games featured City in winning positions.

Pass Completion %

City Opposition

84.8 81.8

City had the better number here. Difficult to know what to make of it. I lean towards saying it's an extension of that passing habit that City were forced into in this year's CL, namely periphery passing, periphery possession. Hence the completion number.

I guess we could say that City at least restricted the opposition to a seemingly low number.

Time Spent Winning

home Winning Drawing Losing

0.00% 42.20% 57.7%

away Winning Drawing Losing

12.20% 62.90% 24.8%

None of these numbers are great nor do they need extensive explanation. I shall leave you with just one number

33 minutes

That is the total Man City have spent in a winning position in the entire Champions League campaign.

Something is very, very wrong with this team in European competition.