Blades pressing choices help get the most from a very difficult task against City

The best way I can sum things up is that the Blades managed the game against Manchester City as best they could and grabbed chances when possible.

The xG shotmap and xG timeline show City’s dominance.

Meanwhile, the PPDA maps show we didn’t press them high up at all compared to other matches (see vs Arsenal away the weekend before).

Whether that was by choice or simply because Man City have the ability to dominate possession and to keep the ball in our half/final third is impossible to say, but I suspect a good chunk of both was in operation.

As with the opposite fixture, and against Liverpool, the approach seems to be to not press high anywhere near as much.

The danger in pressing high as a blanket approach during a match against extremely high quality opponents risks the team being strung out the length of the pitch (although, of course, our transitions are fantastically rapid).

Instead, we seem to have often left their back line alone, which means an overload to us higher up, almost man-for-man in cases, or at least paying close attention to key opposition players (eg, De Bruyne on the night in question).



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