Toure de force, Arsenal back five

“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


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