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A post-match analysis of why Chelsea's new 3-5-2 formation failed so miserably against Man City

When Chelsea's team news for their game against Manchester City was released, many fans were not only excited about the new formation, but were also confident about the game. However, when Michael Oliver blew the final whistle at Stamford Bridge, most Chelsea fans could barely believe what they had just witnessed.

What happened was not supposed to happen. The scripts were not written that way. The Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku combination was supposed to cause the City defence all sorts of problems but what happened was far from this. What went wrong at the Bridge?

Going into the game, Chelsea had 3 consecutive victories over Manchester City in the bag, with the last one coming in the UCL final. While Pep Guardiola had more than enough materials to motivate his players ahead of the game, it was always going to be a difficult task for Thomas Tuchel to motivate his team who are unbeaten this season against a team the had beaten three times in quick succession.

From the very first second of the game, it was clear which team was more motivated to win. It was very obvious that it was the visitors that wanted the 3 points more.

City put Chelsea on the back foot from the very first second of the game, pressed them hard and rarely let the blues cross the halfway line in the first half.

Chelsea fans would be forgiven to think that the second half was going to be like the Aston Villa and Tottenham games with the City players tiring out. Alas, it was not to be.

Pep Guardiola's men kept running all game long and fought for every ball. It was as if every Chelsea player was surrounded by two City players in every area of the pitch for 90 minutes.

Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner looked very isolated up front as the Chelsea midfielders were too busy assisting the defenders in preventing an inevitable City goal.

**Romelu Lukaku (l) and Timo Werner (r)

Marcos Alonso was the closest player to the blues attacking duo for most of the game and the Chelsea winger wasn't afforded any form of space in the attack by the very fast Kyle Walker.

The few times Chelsea's forwards did manage to touch the ball, there was always an Aymeric Laporte to tug down Lukaku or a Rúben Dias to stop Werner in his tracks or a combination of both scenarios.

Mateo Kovacic was supposed to be the midfielder closest to the forwards but the City midfielders gave him no space whatsoever to make his trademark driving runs.

The tenacity of Mason Mount was, perhaps, missed in the game. Maybe, just maybe if he had been fit enough to start, he could have helped win balls high up the pitch and support the attack.

Chelsea's other wing back for most of the game, César Azpilicueta was pinned back by Jack Grealish. The Spaniard struggled one-on-one vs the City record signing, leaving him unable to support Chelsea's attack. Perhaps, if James didn't come off early with an injury, he could have be able to deal better with Grealish and join the attack on occasions.

**Reece James (m) was forced off early on due to injury. Source: The 5th Stand

Chelsea's defenders did a very brilliant job in keeping City at bay despite being left under too much pressure by their teammates in front of them. It could have been more but for the top class defending by Chelsea's defenders. In the end, City had to make do with one moment brilliance by Gabriel Jesus to seal the win.

Did Tuchel get his tactics wrong? Maybe he did, maybe not. But the fact is that Manchester City came into the game far more motivated and far more desiring of a win than Chelsea and that gave them a big advantage over the blues.

The fact that there was no attacking midfielder to support Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku also played it's part.

**Jorginho (l) and Mateo Kovacic (r) started together with N'golo Kanté for the first time in over a year

Thomas Tuchel is likely to make an immediate return to the 3-4-2-1 formation. If he is ever going to back to the 3-5-2 formation, Mason Mount is a player who is likely to be very key to it working.

In the meantime, Pep Guardiola can enjoy a well deserved victory over Chelsea at the fourth time of asking.

Content created and supplied by: PhysioTEA (via Opera News )

Chelsea Manchester City Romelu Lukaku Stamford Bridge Timo Werner


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