Yes, it’s occasionally required to be ugly, but at its best it is a combination of foresight, pace, power and, crucially, precision.
One wrong move and you can leave your team exposed, but a perfectly timed saving tackle, well, that’s enough to get supporters off their seats the way tricky wingers seem to do time and time again.
And the winner is, John Stones, who put his body on the line against Napoli in our 2017/18 Champions League campaign to prevent a certain goal.
City had ruthlessly moved into a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes against the Italian outfit, who came on strong in the closing stages and but for Stones, might have salvaged a point.
It was the trademark pressing of Maurizio Sarri’s side which created the opportunity.
The England international had already reacted to the danger, moving back to a central position in the penalty area as Ederson charged out in a bid to kill the opportunity.
As Mertens played his pass, Stones advanced and timed his slide expertly to take Hamsik’s effort on the chest, deflecting it away for a corner.
It was everything you want from a centre-half. The awareness to adopt a recovery position, the perfect timing of the challenge and the bravery to put his body on the line.
Who has been breathtakingly brilliant or won us a game on their own? Let us know on Twitter using #City30.