Man City 1 vs 0 Man United Here is our visualisation that shows the smoothed positions of players around the time as indicated. The locations are identified with reference to actions as identified by Opta. Comments from Sam Gregory appear below the PPT. Click on the gif to open in a larger window:
- Rooney’s return to the United starting XI saw him take up an influencial central midfield role playing alongside Fellaini and Blind in the middle of a 5 man midfield.
- Both teams started playing with one man up top but Aguero was much more effective than Van Persie. Van Persie was marked out of the match by Kompany and received very little service. Aguero on the other hand found plenty of space between Rojo and Smalling and was very mobile moving from side to side. His involvement is noticeably much larger than Van Persie.
- After Smalling’s sending off Jovetic moved up the pitch and effectively joined Aguero as a second forward.
- For the first twenty-five minutes of the second half City absolutely dominated the ball. The ten United players left on the pitch had some of the smallest influence dots during this period that I’ve ever seen on a PPT. It wasn’t until the goal that United was able to put anything together in the second half. Yaya Toure and Fernando were particularly dominant to start the second half
- During the last twenty minutes Di Maria, Rooney and Fellaini played much further up the pitch, with Di Maria playing in a more central position. This gave United something going forward and gave City a bit of a scare during the closing moments.
- Added by Colin: As was noted on my Twitter feed by @CityAcrossPond, Kompany and Demichelis swapped sides in Man City’s defence for the final 20 minutes of the game. Presumably this was an attempt by Pellegrini to contain Di Maria as much as possible. EDIT – @evolutionHPcal has suggested it may also have been to help Clichy with Fellaini’s aerial threat.
- City were dominant and fully deserved the three points in a game they should have scored more than one goal. Chris Smalling’s sending off was clearly the turning point, but City deserve credit for capitalizing on the advantage.