How to beat City? | without Pogba

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by sammsky1, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Nov 27, 2017

    RedCurry Full Member

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    There are ways to beat City by just playing better more attacking football than them but we just aren't ready for that. So given what we have, I'd go with something like this:

    1. Play with three CBs. Specifically - Rojo, Bailly and Smalling.
    2. Have three central midfielders. For me Pogba and Herrera must start and then pick one between Fellaini or Matic.
    3. Lukaku and Rashford to stretch the play further up the pitch. Isolate Delph against Rashford as often as possible. Given City will want to attack, we should get plenty of joy here.

    Regardless of what we do, we need to get hold of the ball and have some courage to play with it. Hoofing it up will not get us anywhere. If we lose the ball in our half, so be it. Hoofing it to Lukaku with Kompany, Otamendi and Fernandinho sitting will just be quite pointless.
  2. Nov 27, 2017

    SteveTheRed Full Member

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    I think we need to be better/faster on the counter attack, need Rashford and Martial to play out of there skin. Unfortunately I think Mourinho will have us sitting deep, cutting out Ederson and the defenders moving the ball quickly with passes around us.

    They are very good at short passes, If we press high, they will open us up from a few short passes and before you know it, KdB is in our half and it's 3v3 at the back.

    Our best chance is most likely to sit and defend, wait for the wing backs to get involved in attacks, lose the ball and break as fast as possible.
  3. Nov 27, 2017

    Hawks2008 Full Member

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    Match their intensity, press their defenders on the ball, exploit the space behind their fullbacks.
  4. Nov 27, 2017

    roonster09 Full Member

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    After watching Owen and Phil Neville's expert analysis on various games, I finally cracked the formula on how we can beat city. We just have to score one more goal than city.
  5. Nov 27, 2017

    The holy trinity 68 The disparager Scouse Lover

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    Instead of Lukaku it is and a fully fit Zlatan.
  6. Nov 27, 2017

    iKeano Full Member

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    You're right, but it's depressing that we have to adopt the damage limitation approach at OT these days, rather than going all out.
    There is an argument that it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees, but I suppose a tactical 1-0 win would be the best outcome.

    NB if it's a 1-0 tactical win with the most boring 90mins in history, I'd be over the moon!
  7. Nov 27, 2017

    Water Melon before it dries out, eh

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    Winning both Watford and Arse games prior to the derby would do worlds of good for our confidence.
  8. Nov 27, 2017

    mark3448 New Member

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    i had a long thinking about it, this game will be decided in the middle of the pitch.

    city whole beautiful game is allowed only because they can overload the center of the pitch using their full-backs. which allows to play only with one defensive midfilder and lets silva and KDB the freedom to advance and help the attack.

    so, we need to play with 4-3-3, with martial standing wide and not allowing walker to push forward, and on the other flank rahsford doing the same.

    in the center we'll play with pogba and matic in a triangle with fellaini further up the pitch, the reason is so fellaini could link up with lukaku and bully fernandinho which lacks height.

    pogba and matic will play against silva and KDB and try to stop their play while sending long balls to fella and to our quick wingers.

    our defense should consist of bailly and lindelof, the reason is so we could have another player with the ability to send good balls to our forward line because i think city will try to close down pogba and prevent that with sterling or sane double teaming him with kdb/silva (depends if pogba plays on the right or on the left).

    valencia should be our RB to handle sane and our LB should be darmian due to him being the best defensive LB.

    i think that our midfield can bully city midfield and prevent the link up play with aguero and sane/sterling. and if we'll have a free kick we should be able to do damage with our superior aerial ability.
  9. Nov 27, 2017

    Andersons Dietician Full Member

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    Fellaini,Zlatan, Lukaku up top. By pass ever other aspect of play and just launch balls to them and hope Pogba and Herrera latch on to any scraps or Matic
  10. Nov 27, 2017

    Son Of Sam Full Member

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    They are miles ahead of us in terms of personnel. We only have Pogba to open up locked defences. They have Silva, KDB, Sane & Sterling. Any of their front 5 is capable of finding an intelligent forward pass, receiving a pass under pressure and general ball retention.

    The only advantage we have(on paper) is the aerial advantage and guess what? we don’t have any one in the squad capable of delivering set pieces as good as Eriksen or even Ozil. City have more than 5 of these players in their midst.

    So in all honesty, let’s just take 1-0 ugly & grotesque win and run with it. Jose will need another summer transfer window to match the creativity in City’s squad. He dropped a ball this summer. I am not sure if it’s entirely his fault or our stingy board.
  11. Nov 27, 2017

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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    Let them worry about United. If that fails, stop KDB and Silva physically.
  12. Nov 27, 2017

    tomaldinho1 Full Member

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    We'll clog the midfield.

    Play Lingard as free and have him cling to KDB like a limpet. Start Rashford up top alone and play on the counter.
  13. Nov 27, 2017

    Sing you a song New Member

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    I'd go 433

    Hopefully Valencia, Baily and Jones/ Rojo young ( oh god even as I write it how poor do our fullbacks look compared to City !! )
    Matic , Fellaini Pogba
    And personally I would go Zlatan ( much more of a big game player than Lukaku and will have a point to prove ) with Rashford and Martial either side .
    Hopefully that will give Pogba the freedom to roam and interact with Zlatan and the pace of Rashford and Martial will give City something to worry about .
    I think in a single match we are capable of beating anyone so we should go into this with no fear
  14. Nov 27, 2017

    Kostur Full Member

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    This is how I would approach it too, bully them in the same sense we were said to be bullying Arsenal back in the days.
  15. Nov 27, 2017

    Ish Lights on for Luke Scouse Lover

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    Yea, stopping KdB and Silva will go a long way toward stopping City. That’s their supply line right there. Easier said than done of course, but Matic and Fellaini/Herrera (I’d go with Herrera personally but current form it should be Fellaini) could do a job there.
  16. Nov 27, 2017

    hn4manunited Full Member

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    I'm pretty sure we'll play a very narrow compact setup. With lots of balls in the air or longer passes to get beyond the middle of the pitch. We will have to deploy all of our players who are good at holding up the ball when the ball gets up there. So, I would imagine Fellaini, Zlatan, Lukaku, and Pogba will all play a big role in that sense. If I were to guess, Herrera and Matic will play the holding midfield generals with Herrera as the man marker to break things up. We will likely just depend on our fulls backs to push up when they can. I don't see a free flowing game for them or us.

    One of Rashford or Martial might start but likely to be brought on if we are chasing the game.

    IMO, once teams can get the ball into the City's defense areas, they are not unbeatable. Otamendi and Walker are the weaker links in that defense. I have watched Walker play for Spurs over the years. Not sure if age has provided him with more wisdom and experience yet but at the core, Walker is error prone in decision making when under pressure.
  17. Nov 27, 2017

    Class of 63 Full Member Santa's Favourite Twats

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    We've just got to want it more than City, if the players show that it'll get the crowd up, then anything can happen....

    Don't think City will win, but not sure we've got enough to beat them either.

    I'd settle for an entertaining 0-0 now
  18. Nov 27, 2017

    Bearded One New Member

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    Hello family. Good to be back here.

    From watching them a number of times this season, there are a few things worth noting about City as follows:
    1. They do not exactly rely on a single individual to get them over against opposition. When you think De Bruyne is the one to stop, there comes Silva who remains their underestimated creative spark, creating space for himself with his silky moves/runs. When you think Sane is the attacking outlet they rely on, there comes Sterling running rings around opposing full backs.
    2. They seem a lot more physically stronger than last term. Walker has no doubt helped in this regard but generally as a unit they seem more tenacious and hungry than before.
    3. They look better when Jesus plays. Jesus tries to run past the last defender. Whilst he gets caught with offside traps a fair few times, he has managed to score a number of goals like that (some offside goals). On the other hand Aguero tries to dribble his way through danger to create space for himself. For what it's worth, I think Aguero has lost some pace and dynamism and he'll struggle against a back 3 consisting of Baily, Jones and Rojo. If Jesus plays, one of Jones and Baily (hope he's available by then) should have a firm grip on him and try to keep him quiet.
    4. They respond better to counter attacks than before. This is partly resultant from Walker's pace and then because Delph likes to tuck in and help out Fernandinho whilst Silva and De Bruyne roam with freedom upfield.
    To stop them I think we need to pay attention to areas where they can be got at and a few things we can do as follows :
    1. They look weaker on their left and most goals they have conceded have come from that side. I think Delph is not doing badly but they seem to shut down whatever comes their way on the right more quickly. Added to that is their CB in Nico Otamendi. Whilst he too has vastly improved from last season in my opinion, I think he'll struggle if he's left all on his own with a pacy trickster. We need to find ways to drag Delph out of position and isolate him in one-on-one situations. Rashford would be ideal for executing this plan.
    2. We need to really harass them. I don't mean give up obvious fouls. Hmmmm...I wish I could put this down more articulately but I don't know if anybody was able to see the game they first lost last season. It was against Spurs. Spurs were so clever not to give up silly fouls especially in dangerous areas but you know what is often described as "a fly in their ointment". That was what Spurs was to them.
    3. Undo any space in our final third and give Silva and De Bruyne little time to conjure something. They are at the heart of everything they do. I was talking to my United supporting mate and his strategy was that we should mark De Bruyne out of the he game. I shook my head in disapporoval and told him that in so doing, we'd be giving Silva more room to function. I think we need to man-mark both players. Fellaini on De Bruyne and Matic on Silva because Matic is the more clever of the two (no disrespect meant to Fellaini). Silva is the one that actually allows them control games. I'd love Matic to be assigned the role of having him see as little of the ball as possible. Everton was able to man mark both players and kept them at bay for long periods.
    4. Sterling has been receiving the plaudits in recent times and deservedly so but I think Sane is actually the more lethal. Sterling's case is helped by a Walker who hugs the touchline allowing Sterling some room for unpredictability. Sane on the other hand has do it alone quite often. It's because of this duo that I'd rather we set up in a 3-5-2 formation. Young and Valencia on either side and Young with the available LCB (preferably Rojo) particularly keeping an eye on Sterling and Walker runs/movements.
    5. Once we dispossess them we should try to find Pogba whose dynamic passing and cross field long passes would come handy for finding target men in Martial and Rashford (I'd like to give Lukaku a break for this one but I doubt Mourinho will leave out Luke and Zlatan).
    Upwards and Onwards!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  19. Nov 27, 2017

    MZX7 @Vato @Varun @moses @Hectic @Solius

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    I enjoyed reading that. Thanks.

    The problem is we have so many players who have mistakes-waiting-to-happen allover the pitch that City can fail several times at grabbing opportunities and still be presented with more due to enforced errors by our players.

    Aguero may start this since he has a good record against us but I think Jesus will come on to score the winner late in the game if they haven't already destroyed us by half time.

    Mourinho will park the bus which will be a major mistake. But, in all honesty, Pep's City has quality all over the park. Any other team in the PL would be foolish to think they can out-football this City team.

    I predict a 0-2 to City. We will try and fail to stop them from scoring.

    Anyway, if we lose/draw at Vicarage road and lose at Emirates, none of this will matter. In fact if we do that, Mourinho might have to go all out attack to win over City.

    I think Mourinho is already playing for the 2nd position. More than gaining on the title race with City, he is concerned with not losing our to Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal on the race to 2nd spot. Maybe rightly so?
  20. Nov 27, 2017

    robinamicrowave Wanted to be Bran, ended up being littlefinger

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    Do what Huddersfield did but with better attackers. That simple really.
  21. Nov 27, 2017

    Bearded One New Member

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    Thanks man I do appreciate you feedback but why do you think we should be playing for second? For some weird reason I am more concerned about the next 2 games ahead of us than the City game. Jose is the one of the best if not the best big games manager around so keep the faith. The way to play City is to limit the space in which their creative maestros try to function in. For all their brilliance, Sané and Sterling really struggle when there is no space to run to. It does help when Sterling has a full back to with whom he can play with but if there is no space in behind, you would have cut down 70 percent of the wings with which they fly and so the focus should be on limiting De Bruyne and Silva's involvement.

    Sure they will get few chances but that's way different from them having loads of chances by not giving Silva and De Bruyne the required attention. If we can easily deal with he few chances they create (which should not be hard), we can beat them by converting at least one of our few chances. If Burnley, Huddersfield, etc did it there's no reason we can't.

    Keep the faith!
  22. Nov 27, 2017

    MZX7 @Vato @Varun @moses @Hectic @Solius

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    Is Jose really a good Big Game Manager? I mean, maybe he's good at churning out draws. At least that's what his record against the big teams says.

    Plus we have to play CSKA Moscow at home before the City game. Don't know who will start that game.

    Let's see if we manage to win at Watford first. They have a good team and a good coach. That game should tell us a lot about the attitude of our players.


    And again the Wenger-Mourinho saga should be fun on the weekend.
  23. Nov 27, 2017

    RedCurry Full Member

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    Not just stop them, they are the weakest links in that midfield when City are defending. City tries to defend with narrow fullbacks and Fernandinho in front of their CBs. Rest of their players are basically parked near the opposition's box. There's a lot of space behind them if we just play with composure.
  24. Nov 27, 2017

    prtk0811 Banned

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    I want us to go With a 4312/442 diamond and bring a tactical master class out there. Need to press high front the front too.
  25. Nov 27, 2017

    Womp Full Member

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    He uss to be the best big game manager around. He’s gotten some results that have defied logic. Inter-Barca etc. he hasn’t been as great at them recently but games like the Liverpool one when he was at Chelsea and when we beat Chelsea last season prove he’s still capable.

    We are going to need a big performance from both him and the players.
  26. Nov 27, 2017

    Treble Full Member

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    The teams that created most difficulties to City so far have great work rate.

    Bournemouth: 1st re: distance covered and 5th re: most sprints.
    Huddersfield: 10th re: distance covered and 3rd re: most sprints

    United are 20th and 15th respectively.

    Without great work rate all tactical solutions won't work. Match their running to stand a good chance.
  27. Nov 27, 2017

    FCBarca Mes que un Rag City Lover

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    I suspect Wolves are ranked similarly in the Championship
  28. Nov 27, 2017

    MZX7 @Vato @Varun @moses @Hectic @Solius

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    The Inter, Barca Mourinho is long gone though. We see a very cynical Mourinho these days. Even the last title he won with Chelsea involved mundane performances by the team.
  29. Nov 27, 2017

    adexkola American Arse

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    He hasn't been that since 2010 with Inter. Guardiola got the best of him in most meetings, and he was flummoxed in the CL by Klopp and Heynekes.
  30. Nov 27, 2017

    serghei Banned

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    Beat as in what? one game? A lot of factors can get you a win. They catch a bad day, you play well, they miss a lot of chances and you are clinical, refs make a mistake or two in your favor, this and that...

    Beat in the long run? Almost impossible this season. City will win the league.
  31. Nov 27, 2017

    Womp Full Member

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    I don't pay much attention to his Spain stint. Credit to Guardiola for providing the players the platform to perform, but that was the best club team of all time, with the best player of all time at his peak, no manager would have succeeded. Mourinho eventually did stunt his dominance though and start winning things with Madrid.

    A better comparision will be their times at Manchester, with both being underwhelming so far. (If City continue like this and win a title etc. obviously that'll change though)

    Also I disagree that he isn't that manager anymore. I think he still has the tactical nous that made him as good as he was back then, his understanding of the game is still one of the best around, it just looks as if he's lost the passion he use to have for those big games. He's still capable of winning tactical battles in those big games, he was the first manager last season to make Conte look clueless, for example. Conte had no idea what to do in that Chelsea game. Benching Ibra who was literally the only player we had who could put the ball in the back of the net for an 18 year old and Jesse Lingard seemed like a laughable decision but in hindsight was genius.

    With Mourinho teams in the past you could bet your house that the players would be ready to run through a wall for him and that you'd need to be ready to go to war to get anything out of the game. He's much more passive these days and it reflects in the players imo. Still has the tactical understanding that made him one of the greatest managers of all time but doesn't have that drive that gave him the mental edge in those big games.

    If we are going to get anything out of the City game we are going to need both from him.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  32. Nov 27, 2017

    Womp Full Member

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    You're always going to get cynical performances from Mourinho, that's never been any different. Away from home we are negative, but I think that's genuinely because he just doesn't trust this team enough. At home we go for games as we've done at Spurs etc. and won this season.

    He's always going to be pragmatic, that won't ever change. His ability to nullify opponents is still the best around though imo. For example, if there is any manager I'd bet my money on to stop this City team it'd be Mourinho.
  33. Nov 27, 2017

    TRA007 New Member

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    Do not know why, but I got a feeling Jose is going to pull something out of the bag that is going to render them toothless. Chelsea last season comes to mind...
  34. Nov 27, 2017

    NoPace Full Member

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    -------------Martial-------Rashford--------------
    --------------Pogba - Matic - Herrera-----------
    Darmian - Rojo - Smalling - Bailly - Valencia
    ------------------------De Gea-------------------

    Forget about hold up play and making the ball stick. We're shit at that anyways and the players who can do it like Fellaini and Zlatan are likely too slow to trouble them even if they can hold it up a bit.

    Darmian and Valencia covering Sterling and Sane. Rojo, Smalling and Bailly holding the middle down and that midfield 3 has potential to do a solid job on Silva-DeBruyne-Fernandinho.

    Martial and Rashford will lose the ball and the former might struggle at the defensive work needed to make passes from City CBs and FBs into the midfield, so maybe we'll get torn apart, but if we do get them the ball you'd fancy them running against Kompany and Otamendi.

    If it doesn't work, it's just a matter of bringing on Lukaku and Young for Darmian and Rojo/Smalling and we're into a normal 4-3-3.

    Could also do the same lineup with Lukaku in for either frontman, he is a threat on the break too.
  35. Nov 27, 2017

    Sparky Rhiwabon Full Member

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    The difference is, with Chelsea if you stop Hazard you nullify most of their threat so that's what we did with Herrera man marking him. With City they've got KDB, Silva, Sterling, Sane, Jesus, Aguero....it's difficult to man mark all of them.
  36. Nov 27, 2017

    Womp Full Member

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    KDB is to City what Hazard is to Chelsea imo. He links the defence and midfield to the attack. I agree though that I don't think Jose will do a man marking job. I think what the poster meant was that hopefully he might have something up his sleeve not the exact same tactic he used to nullify Chelsea.
  37. Nov 27, 2017

    Toad Full Member

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    I’m all for this.
  38. Nov 27, 2017

    Alabaster Codify7 Full Member

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    The problem with expecting us to emulate to an extent what Huddersfield did:

    If Hudds had lost 0-6 at home trying to out-run and out-hussle them, it would've been a nothing result. The fans would've left thinking "these games don't come close to defining our season, and we had a proper go at the potential league winners without fear". Wagner wouldn't have come under any pressure.

    It's a completely different story if Jose's United conceded 4 at home to City trying to play them at their own game.
  39. Nov 27, 2017

    breakout67 Full Member

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    The more I think about it the more I don't think the plan is to beat City. I think the plan is to get 6 points from the next two games and try to nick a win against City. We will not try to outplay Man City. With City in better form than us, going for it could mean city beat us and seal the title.

    I think the best strategy is to keep the distance manageable between us and city, so when the business end of the season is there the pressure is on them.
  40. Nov 27, 2017

    Chipper Full Member

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    -----------De Gea
    Valencia-Bailly-Smalling*-Rojo
    ------------Matic
    Rashford-Pogba-Fellaini-Martial
    -----------Lukaku

    *Jones if fit
    Optional Herrera instead of Fellaini

    Don't know if it would work, but I wouldn't mind seeing that. Physicality at the back and through the spine with speed out wide/up top. Could easily call it a 4-3-3.