In a match which Manchester City dominated from start to finish, they rightly were with victors with a 5-0 scoreline, which could have been even more. City enjoyed 67% possession throughout the game and had many attacking opportunities, with 26 shots in total.
As per usual with the City team, there was a lot of fluid movement of the players. Often Nasri would come inside, Aguero push to the left and Tevez go to the central point of the attack. This allows them to be able to have more time on the ball as defenders often don’t pick up their movement immediately.
Aston Villa in defence were retreating very deeply, with Weimann and Agbonlahor coming back to make it a 4-4-1-1 in defence. This, however, meant they didn’t cause too many problems in transition as they weren’t able to break quickly and put the Manchester City defence under much pressure.
City started very brightly, with the obvious tactic from Aston Villa to defend deeply and try and hit City on quick counter attacks. This tactic meant that Manchester City enjoyed huge amounts of possession for long periods. While that was the case, City didn’t create a great number of goalscoring chances in the first half. One bright moment of play for them was in the 12th minute when Nasri was able to play a nice cross field pass to Maicon who was able to draw the Villa defensive players out of position. However, Maicon’s cross just flashed across goal, but was signs of the pressure that City were placing on Aston Villa.
As time passed in the first half, it was clear to see that Villa were defending very deeply. As they were trying to defend as a 4-4-1-1 or even a 4-5-1 at times, it was very difficult for Aston Villa to pose any attacking threat, although they did on a few occasions.
This action is just after Aston Villa had cleared the ball from inside their box. What it shows is exactly how deep Villa were defending at times, and how isolated Benteke was. As it is almost 30 metres between Stephen Ireland and Benteke, there was little pressure on the defenders and central midfielders of Manchester City for much of the first half, which is highlighted.
In the second half, Manchester City came into their own and showed their superior quality with 4 goals in 30 mins. After the half time break, Paul Lambert decided to change their formation to a 4-4-2 with Agbonlahor moving up front, Stephen Ireland moving to the left side of midfield with Weimann moving onto the right side of midfield.
With Aston Villa giving away 2 dubious penalties for handball, Manchester City were able to run away with the game. Lambert made 2 substitutions to try and add more attacking impetus, Ireland and Weimann coming off with Brett Holman and Marc Albrighton coming on.
The 5th Manchester City goal showed that as the game wore on, Aston Villa’s defending become much less structured and loose. As Tevez ran at the Aston Villa defence, he tried to thread a ball through for Edin Dzeko which came out to Samir Nasri who played an inch perfect cross for Tevez to score his 2nd, and Manchester City’s 5th, goal. The defensive shape of Villa was poor for this goal, and Paul Lambert wouldn’t be happy with how this goal was scored without a defender clearing the ball.
Manchester City dominated this match from start to finish with Roberto Mancini saying how happy he was with the win and the 5 goals scored. The tactic of sitting back deep held strong for almost the entire 1st half but with David Silva scoring just before the half time break, this caused Lambert to change his thinking, which played into Manchester City’s hands.