Community Shield: Manchester City serve timely reminder of their might as Chelsea sweat over Sarri-ball


Manchester Metropolis make as many headlines in off season as they do in the course of the marketing campaign. Free-flowing and flamboyant soccer apart, a beneficiant use of the chequebook attracts loads of consideration.

This summer time, nonetheless, the bosses at Manchester Metropolis opted to go down a much-subdued route and maintain the purse strings tight. Barring the signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester Metropolis, no different marquee participant arrived on the Etihad. For Manchester Metropolis’s lofty requirements within the switch market, that is an aberration.

Nonetheless, the Residents’ 2-Zero win over Chelsea within the Neighborhood Protect confirmed why they did not have to parade their monetary muscle within the switch window this day trip. A Sergio Aguero brace capped off a strong workforce efficiency, as Pep Guardiola’s males by no means regarded like they have been in pre-season mode.

Sergio Aguero terrorised David Luiz in Manchester Metropolis’s 2-Zero win over Chelsea within the Neighborhood Protect. AFP

A bunch of their star gamers getting back from the World Cup barely had sufficient time to play collectively earlier than the sport, however for the defending champions, it did not appear to matter one bit.

Guardiola’s males portrayed enviable quantities of understanding between one another on the pitch and dismantled Chelsea with precisely-built assaults all night lengthy. It was like Metropolis had picked up from precisely the place they left off final season, regardless of lacking the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling.

Ultimately, the convenience with which Metropolis exerted themselves and ultimately coasted to a fantastic victory, served a well timed reminder of their would possibly to those that could have let Metropolis’s relative inactivity out there idiot themselves.

Within the different half of Wembley that sported a shade of Manchester Metropolis’s blue, there was actually a trigger for concern. Chelsea, beneath new supervisor Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-Three formation, regarded defensively fragile and offensively blunt.

The personnel within the again 4 who have been used to the five-man defensive system beneath former boss Antonio Conte acquired uncovered by the tempo and guile of the Metropolis assault elevating questions over sure gamers’ skill to play within the new system.

David Luiz, who was Chelsea’s defensive pillar enjoying on the coronary heart of a three-man defence throughout their title win in 2017, regarded utterly out of kinds. His poor positional sense and decision-making price Chelsea dearly as Aguero, regardless of not being at his greatest, was in a position to punish the Blues.

Equally, Marcos Alonso who excelled as a wing-back in Conte’s system was discovered wanting enjoying as a standard left again. His lack of tempo was evident each time he was caught up the pitch. Most of Metropolis’s assaults got here down Chelsea’s left-hand aspect.

The opposite downside was in central midfield. Summer season signing Jorginho, who selected Chelsea over Metropolis, appeared fairly off the tempo. Contemplating this was his first recreation in England, that’s not shocking, however within the absence of a pure ball-winner and an motionless Cesc Fabregas, Metropolis discovered it simple to play by the Chelsea midfield and trigger Sarri’s males loads of issues.

The Blues trustworthy who anticipated the launch of Sarri-ball at Chelsea have been left dissatisfied. To be truthful, they have been all the time going to be. Sarri’s enjoying type that includes an intense excessive press with small patterns of short-passing is a definite shift from Conte’s counter-attacking methods. Although Chelsea possess an honest variety of technically sound gamers, the change was by no means going to occur in a single day.

Nonetheless, not all is doom and gloom for the Blues. Contemplating Sarri is simply three weeks into his tenure as Chelsea supervisor, he has managed to impart his concepts to the gamers pretty rapidly. There have been few distinct intervals within the recreation the place we noticed glimpses of the best way Sarri needs his workforce to play.

Guardiola’s groups are recognized for retaining lion’s share of possession in each recreation they play regardless of the opponent. On that entrance, Chelsea got here near matching Metropolis as they completed the sport with 48% of possession. The determine was an enormous improve from the 28% and 38% possession that Chelsea saved of their final two video games in opposition to Metropolis.

The common possession for Metropolis of their league video games final season was 66.4%, so Sarri needs to be fairly happy with Chelsea’s progress on that entrance. By way of passes, Chelsea managed 392 and 395 in opposition to Metropolis of their two league video games final season. That determine rose to 525 within the Neighborhood Protect.

Alternatively, Metropolis had made 976 and 673 passes of their two video games in opposition to Chelsea, whereas the season common was 743. Within the Neighborhood Protect, Chelsea managed to maintain Metropolis down to only 586 passes.

The above numbers are a sign that Chelsea did handle to manage the sport in opposition to Metropolis in sure intervals however have been let down by an absence of appropriate personnel to play Sarri’s system at each ends.

Chelsea are but to welcome again the likes of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Gary Cahill and Thibaut Courtois — if he decides to remain at Stamford Bridge — to their workforce. These 4 gamers just about represent the backbone of the aspect and can make a distinction after they return.

Sarri-ball at Chelsea is lower than a month previous and even within the demoralising 2-Zero defeat by the hands of Manchester Metropolis — the very best workforce within the league by a ways — there are encouraging indicators that the system may be successful in south-west London.

Endurance is a phrase you do not usually affiliate with Chelsea, but it surely’s the necessity of the hour at Stamford Bridge. As for Metropolis, the sky is the restrict for Guardiola’s stars aiming to push perfection to its limits.

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