Media Watch

Media Watch: Pep praised for tactical tweak

TALKING TACTICS: Pep Guardiola's decision to play thee at the back against Everton has been praised in the media.
Pep Guardiola’s decision to play three at the back has generated plenty of column inches the morning after City’s 2-1 win over Everton.

The Catalan deployed Rodrigo, Fernandinho and young Eric Garcia at centre-half against the Toffees, a decision which has been praised by the press.

There’s analysis of why that tactical tweak worked so well, whilst Garcia, Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden also receive positive reviews for their performances at the Etihad Stadium.


Sky Sports: City’s back three could be the answer for Pep Guardiola

Writes Adam Bate: “Switching to a back three was not the solution of choice following Aymeric Laporte's injury early in the season.

Guardiola has turned to it only after other options have been exhausted. But it solves some of the problems that City have been having - not only in dealing with the opposition counter-attack but in building their own attacks with greater confidence than we have seen this season.”

Manchester Evening News: Cancelo does what Pep Guardiola asked for against Everton

Simon Bajkowski reports: “There were a few teething problems early on as he got to grips with the task and his man but Cancelo soon showed Guardiola exactly what he wanted.

“The quality going forward was on display again as he exchanged crisp passes with Riyad Mahrez early on before a textbook City slideball across the box for Phil Foden to turn home at the far post.

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“The offside didn't take away from the intent. A defence-splitting ball deserved more from Jesus. Defensively, he was excellent too.

“Digne was often lurking or lingering in the space behind him as Everton targeted that channel but the Portuguese defender was at the top of his game, making a serious of crucial interceptions and shepherding the ball up the pitch and away from danger.”

The Independent: Guardiola lays out blueprint for the future in Manchester City's win over Everton

Writes Mark Critchley: “This was another impressive showing in the centre of defence by Eric Garcia, suggesting he could have been used in the Premier League earlier, right at the start of City’s defensive crisis.

Guardiola believes Garcia has a tactical understanding and game intelligence beyond his 18 years of age, and the way he has shouldered greater responsibility over the past weeks suggests he is right.”

ESPN: City 2-1 Everton: Player ratings

Tom Fenton reports: “Phil Foden returned to the starting XI, this time on the left wing, and looked sharp throughout, with crisp passing, and intelligent runs.

“Additionally, City's new-look formation, consisting of a makeshift 3-4-3, appeared to provide greater defensive stability, with two midfielders (Rodri and Fernandinho) making up the back line, alongside the 18-year-old Eric Garcia.

“Despite the lack of defensive pedigree, Pep's tactical tweak appeared to work well.”

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