Despite City’s early lead it was noticeable how committed they were to attacking play, even at 2-0 up and after Hull pegged them back. There appeared little change in approach.
Both Milner and Silva were very supportive of Dzeko and Aguero, with Milner spending a fair amount of time out on the right hand side in tandem with Zabaleta.
Zabaleta commented post game (as he has done before) about City’s commitment to the attack and that it is a trade off that leaves them vulnerable defensively. Whilst Clichy gets into forward positions it is Zabaleta who is the full back with most licence.
A lot of City’s play comes down the right hand side (perhaps with the absence of Nasri?) but both Milner and Silva were stationed more on the right hand side than the left.
Of most interest was the effect the substitutions had on City’s make up. Navas for Fernandinho was first and this move essentially gave City an extra attacking option, leaving Toure as the only central midfielder to do the ‘dirty work’.
Following the substitution through to the final whistle he was stationed virtually in the centre circle (similar to his disciplined role against Chelsea the previous week).
Navas was of course patrolling the right hand side but not exclusively as it is shown that he and Zabaleta would interchange on occasion with Navas tucking inside.
The second substitution was Lampard for Aguero. Lampard operated very centrally but not as a Fernandinho replacement, holding alongside Toure – which you may expect having gone 3-2 up – but noticeably ahead of Toure, influencing the attacking play with Milner all around him.
As seen in the previous week his sense of timing gets him in position to score goals and it is interesting that Pellegrini may look to use Lampard in this role moving forward; an impact sub brought to control play further forward rather than the usual tactic of an added body in midfield.
Article by Colin Trainor