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Play Right to Expose Left

Man City won 4-1, and Liverpool were certainly hamstrung with the players available for selection, but City capitalized. How? notes that City preferred to attack down the left. How did they get out there?


Cancelo has been an outstanding addition to the City line-up. The ball often finds him as City look to build. In this instance, Rodri played wide to Cancelo after a transition.

Most defenders will look long here due to being isolated and under pressure.


Having gotten a little lucky with the skill to beat Thiago, Bernardo checks in as Jones drops away. The resulting 2v2 begins to favor City and their preferred style of play.


The ball finds Bernardo. The touch from Bernardo attracts the attention of Salah, Thiago, and Firmino. It free's up Cancelo and also the center of the field.



Cancelo, now with a second of time, can find Gundogan checking in. The ball drops into Dias and is then played wide down the LEFT for Zinchenko.

So, the ball goes to the City right, and pressure follows.

Therefore, space will always be on the left side for Zinchenko.

Note, that ahead of Zincehnko was Sterling. Sterling had 4 dribbles and 55 touches on the ball. City wants him on the ball and he won the penalty that Gundogan missed.

Purposeful possession got City into the positions they wanted to exploit.

Play right, to expose left.

What do you think?



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