Man City 3-0 Bayern | Tactical Analysis

Manchester City

In possession

Manchester City beat Bayern with a tactical novelty from Guardiola We see Man City in a 3-2 structure with Stones and Rodri in the double pivot. Stones in all the games he had played in this role was the right-back, as Cancelo or Rico Lewis had previously done, but in this game he played as a center back.

We see it here, City regaining possession and Stones is already moving to join Rodri in midfield.

City’s 3-2 build-up was matched with a narrow 3-1 and Goretzka and Kimmich controlling the central channels. When a midfielder had to jump to press, one of the centre-backs came out to the midfield or as in this case with Haaland droppin back to receive, Upamecano chases, then Goretzka covers the Norwegian and the centre-back occupies Kimmich’s position to prevent Gündoğan from receiving alone.

Another way for City to progress was down the flanks with the height of the centre-backs. Both Aké and Akanji positioned behind Bayern’s narrow pressing line, with Rúben Dias finding them with good passes.

Here we can see Akanji carrying the ball and how De Bruyne goes to the wing to link up.

The Belgian’s position was key in the first half, playing a lot in that region, although Bayern were very aggressive, winning the ball back in some plays, as in this one that ended with a great chance for Musiala when the game was still tie.

Despite this the Belgian stuck to the plan, combining with Bernardo Silva and attacking the space behind Davies, finding good crossing situations, with superiority in the box.


That influence of De Bruyne was seen in the first goal with up to 4 Bayern players in the left. Gnabry leaves the mark of Rodri, therefore the midfielder gain a space, receives and shoots from the edge of the box to score a great goal. A well known position for Rodri where he already finished many plays during the season.

FC Bayern

In possession

When Bayern had the ball, City pressed in a 4-4-2 formation with the 1st line of pressure jumping on centre backs losing in some plays their coverage to passing lanes. Goretzka changed heights, sometimes being in the back of the midfielders and in others at the same height as Kimmich who was always closer the ball. City’s pressing was very aggressive forcing Bayern to play a lot of long balls, generating aerial duels that were easily won by the Citizens’ center backs.

Jamal Musiala

The solution to Bayern’s problems in possession was Musiala with a great reading of the game, creating a problem for Guardiola. The doubt was who had to mark the German, as Stones didn’t want to get out of his position not leaving a lot of space at his back. As Musiala tried in many plays to receive behind the midfielders’ backs, nobody covered him and he could turn with speed to continue the attack.

Aké, Dias, Stones, Akanji

Except in the case of Musiala in the rest of the long balls, anticipations and pressing all over the pitch, City’s defensive line was outstanding, with Aké, Akanji and Dias playing a perfect game. 

In one of those came one of the best chances of the game, ball recovery, Gündoğan links up with Grealish who sees Haaland running towards his back and the wideman flicks a pass to Haaland inside the box, but his low finish is too close to Sommer.

When City lost any duel and Bayern launched a counter the defensive transition was very good,  keeping all attackers under control.


The last 20 minutes were a disaster for Upamecano, who was already having a poor game but made 2 goal-worthy mistakes. In the first Upamecano is inexplicably caught in possession by Grealish, who sends Haaland clear with a neat backheel. The Norwegian shapes to shoot but instead lifts a great cross towards Silva, who heads in despite Sommer getting a touch.


And in the third City work a corner short and deliver from a deep position on the right, with Stones waiting at the back post, but the problem is again in Upamecano’s side who is too far away from Haaland and when the ball arrives in the box he decides to turn, losing sight of the Norwegian. Stones nods across goal to Haaland, who stretches to knock in.

Great win for City against Bayern who deserved a better result, until the individual mistakes.

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