Toure de force, Arsenal back five

October 7, 2012


“Roberto Mancini is a man of many formations, sometimes within the space of the same game and many of them revolving around Yaya Toure. But as Manchester City kept a belated first clean sheet of the season, their manager went back to basics. As is often the case in his tactics, Toure was crucial. In both personnel and shape, City provided reminders of the 2010-11 season when Mancini was often accused of being overly defensive. This was the 4-2-3-1 approach they adopted then, but less frequently last year because of Mancini’s preference for two out-and-out forwards in attack.” ESPN

Manchester City 3:0 Sunderland
“Sunderland’s trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon was not very rewarding. Aleksandar Kolarov contributed a goal and an assist as Manchester City dominated the match, earning a 3-0 victory over the visiting Black Cats. The hosts made a host of changes to their lineup from their midweek draw to Borussia Dortmund. The team assumed a 4-2-3-1 shape, but with two forwards in the team. Carlos Tevez played at the front, but Mario Balotelli came in to play as an attacker cutting in from the left. Gareth Barry came back into the side playing in his familiar role as a ball winner in front of the defense.” EPL Talk


Stubborn Stoke stifle Liverpool

October 7, 2012

“Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon at Anfield as Stoke’s renowned battlers fought their way to a goalless draw. A stalwart defensive display made it five draws in seven matches by Tony Pulis’ men, while a point will be scant consolation for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. It could have been worse for Liverpool, who twice almost pushed the self-destruct button, but ultimately this will be viewed as another disappointment in a stop-start season.” ESPN


Early, historic returns show Spurs, Dempsey could be set for success

October 7, 2012

“It took Clint Dempsey just five games to stitch his name in to the tapestry that tells the story of Tottenham Hotspur. His first goal for the club, Tottenham’s third on Saturday and what was in the end the difference between them and Manchester United, broke a hoodoo that had lasted almost a quarter of a century. Spurs fans arrived in Manchester hoping to see something different but dreading another defeat after 23 years without a win at Old Trafford. Dempsey’s calmly side-footed effort for a 3-1 lead was greeted with delirium; even after Shinji Kagawa’s almost immediate reply put the score at 3-2 with more than half an hour to play, the traveling supporters gave in to the opiate effects of belief.” SI