Tactical Analysis | Manchester City 1-0 Inter Milan | Guardiola vs Inzaghi

Man City and Inter played a close Champions League final. We started with Guardiola’s side out of possesion, pressing with a tactical change that we mentioned in the preview. City’s typical front four but with De Bruyne in the central channel covering Brozovic, being Bernardo Silva in charge of pressing in most of the plays.

Inter’s solution was the same, as all season, long balls for the strikers to win the aerial duel and the wing-backs giving support to have superiority. There were many plays in which Inter achieved their objective with these passes appearing both Dumfries and Dimarco. The Italian was the other offensive weapon for Inter, with good runs, crosses and being very quick in the transitions.

Inter also managed to win back several balls in the opposition half that could have ended in a goal, like this play in which Lautaro Martinez made a mistake in the decision making.

When Lukaku came on, he gave more mobility to the attack having the Belgian several chances, with a huge one in a header, but he was very poor finishing all these plays.

Inter had so many chances to score because of their good work out of possession. Inzaghi decided to play a high pressing game with City 4v4 in the build-up. Guardiola’s main novelty was the position of Stones, who instead of being placed next to Rodri waited much higher, being one of the best players. Excellent with his back to goal and making good decisions knowing when to drop to generate superiorities in the build-up. When he received the ball, he made good first touches, nice ball carries and dribbling as if he was a midfielder during most of his career 

The key in the game was when De Bruyne/Foden received the ball, as Darmian jumped on, creating a lot of space between Dumfries and Acerbi. No City player was attacking that gap, making it easy for Inter’s 2 centre-backs on Haaland. 

We saw some plays like this one from Grealish in which he cut inside to receive De Bruyne’s pass, although City didn’t have accuracy.

Same here with Darmian out of position, Acerbi jumps on De Bruyne and Haaland now 1v1 against Bastoni, having the Norwegian the possibility to attack the space.

Rodri’s winning goal

The goal came attacking that gap but on the other flank. We see City with a lot of players against Inter’s defensive line, Bastoni is going to jump to cover Akanji who makes a good carry. Bernardo Silva reads the play, attacks the back of the Italian and the ball is left in the box to Rodri, who had many shooting situations like this all season long, scoring the goal that gives Manchester City their first Champions League.

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