Manchester City And Manchester United Both Lose Ground On The Top Four

Posted: January 15, 2017 in European Football, Everton, Football, Manchester City, Opinion, Premier League
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So that’s it. It’s all over until the next time. We did warn you that it was over-hyped. We did try to explain that it may not live up to the publicity. The day turned out to be very much like an advert for…..well…..anything, in that so much was promised and so little delivered.

As was also predicted the results have changed very little in the makeup of the Premier League table. Chelsea are still top. The wins by Arsenal and Spurs kept them where they were and a little soft shoe shuffling by the rest has made little or no difference as to how the final table of the season will look. The major event was Manchester City losing points as opposed to the three London clubs above them who all gained three.

The games themselves were watchable at best.

Manchester City selected, with the exception of Claudio Bravo, the same team which had performed so well against West Ham United. They didn’t perform so well against Everton.

Lots of the usual pretty patterns constructed by too many passes which didn’t cause any real problems for the Everton defence.

The Everton gameplan worked far more effectively than City’s. They just pressed and closed down City, making it awkward for them to play out from the back. Then, when they won the ball back or when Gael Clichy gave them the ball back, they just counter-attacked with pace.

These tactics resulted in a goal in the first half and three in the second and handed the game to Everton who were actually reasonably comfortable throughout.  In fact they only had four shots on target in the whole game and each one resulted in a goal.

The 4-0 win edged them slightly closer to the top six who were threatening to break away completely at one stage.

In the other “massive” game Manchester United and Liverpool also failed to create very much and Liverpool led 1-0 at half-time thanks to an undeserved penalty. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t a nailed on penalty, just that Liverpool hadn’t done anything to deserve the opportunity it presented. On the balance of play United were the team who had done the most to try and score.

In the second half Manchester United showed their ability to give possession straight back to the opposition on numerous occasions and this should be something they spend a lot more time on in training.

They also brought on Marouane Fellaini, who made a difference, and Wayne Rooney, who didn’t.

United did finally manage to equalise through Zlatan Ibrahimović and the game finished level at 1-1.

All in all the two Merseyside managers will be a lot more satisfied with their weekend than their two Manchester counterparts. As said earlier, the results made little difference to the table other than to give fans of the London clubs a little more optimism about their chances of winning the title this season.

Fortunately we are still a fair way from the end of the season and, with this top six, anything can still happen.

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