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Zonal Marking - Mon Oct 2 10:03 AM
Chelsea came into this game on the back of a midweek victory at Atletico Madrid, probably the tactical performance of the season so far – they showed defensive discipline, midfield control and completely outwitted Diego Simeone’s usually-formidable Atletico. The key was Antonio Conte’s use of 3-5...
Zonal Marking - Fri Mar 18 11:55 AM
Bayern achieved a brilliant comeback in one of the best Champions League knockout games for many years. Pep Guardiola was without Arjen Robben, so Douglas Costa switched to the right flank with Franck Ribery playing on the left. Xabi Alonso started in the holding role rather than Thiago, while Me...
Zonal Marking - Wed Feb 10 8:34 AM
Leicester’s incredible season continues – they’re now five points clear at the top of the Premier League after this convincing victory. Manuel Pellegrini’s most interesting selections were down his left flank. Fabian Delph was fielded in a narrow left-sided role, as he was for the 2-1 defeat to A...
Zonal Marking - Wed Dec 23 3:48 PM
Goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud won the game, and Arsenal move four points clear of Manchester City. Arsene Wenger named an unchanged side, the XI he’s depended upon in recent weeks because of injury problems. Alexis Sanchez wasn’t fit enough to make the squad. Manuel Pellegrini welcom...
Zonal Marking - Wed Oct 7 9:58 AM
Bayern Munich maintained their 100% record in the Bundesliga by thrashing second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Pep Guardiola brought Jerome Boateng and Mario Gotze back into his side, although surprisingly Arturo Vidal remained on the bench. This seemed set to be a straightforward 4-2-3-1 system, alt...
Zonal Marking - Thu May 7 3:30 PM
Barcelona eventually prevailed thanks to some fantastic Lionel Messi play, at the end of a fascinating, high-tempo contest. Barcelona selection Luis Enrique continues to use Marc-Andre ter Stegen as his cup goalkeeper, with Claudio Bravo dropping to the bench. Otherwise, the team was as expected....
Zonal Marking - Fri May 1 12:32 PM
Dortmund progressed to the DFB-Pokal final on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Bayern selection Pep Guardiola started with a three-man defence, and surprisingly named Rafinha, traditionally a right-back, as the left-sided centre-back. Further forward, Mitchell Weiser was handed the right-sided mid...
Zonal Marking - Mon Jan 19 2:47 PM
Arsenal produced a tactically mature performance, largely nullifying Manchester City’s attacking threats. Manuel Pellegrini welcomed back Sergio Aguero, who played as the lone striker with David Silva just behind, and captain Vincent Kompany. Samir Nasri was out, while Yaya Toure is at the Africa...
Zonal Marking - Tue Jun 10 12:39 PM
Of all the players omitted from their naton’s World Cup squad, arguably Samir Nasri was the biggest-name absence. Whereas some players, like Argentina’s Carlos Tevez, had been ignored by their national team manager for years, Nasri had recently been involved for his country, and seemed to have a...
Zonal Marking - Wed Apr 30 12:11 PM
Real Madrid produced a remarkable performance at the home of the European Champions to progress to the final. Pep Guardiola named a more adventurous team than in the first leg, playing Thomas Muller at the top of the midfield, with the knock-on effect that Philipp Lahm was moved to right-back. Ca...
Zonal Marking - Mon Apr 14 12:09 AM
Philippe Coutinho’s late goal handed Liverpool a crucial victory in a superb match. Brendan Rodgers named his expected XI, which meant Joe Allen – often an option in big games – only on the bench. Manuel Pellegrini played Gael Clichy ahead of Aleksandar Kolarov because of his his defensive discip...
Zonal Marking - Thu Apr 10 12:50 PM
Pep Guardiola played an unusual system, but it didn’t help Bayern break down Manchester United. Guardiola fielded Toni Kroos in the pivot role, with Thomas Muller in midfield and Mario Mandzukic returning upfront. David Moyes brought Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher into his midfield, and recall...
Zonal Marking - Tue Apr 1 4:00 PM
Arsenal and Manchester City played out an enjoyable 1-1 draw. Arsene Wenger was still without Laurent Koscielny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a knock, so Thomas Vermaelen continued at the back and Lukas Podolski returned to the side. Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side were unchanged from...
Zonal Marking - Wed Mar 26 11:59 AM
Manchester City recorded a comfortable victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. David Moyes named Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley in the same team for the first time, with Danny Welbeck returning to the side. Rio Ferdinand was fit enough to return at the back. Manuel P...
Zonal Marking - Mon Mar 3 11:28 AM
Two superb goals saved the day for City, after they’d struggled to break down a well-drilled Sunderland side. Manuel Pellegrini welcomed back Sergio Aguero, who partnered Edin Dzeko upfront. Samir Nasri was selected on the right, with Aleksandar Kolarov at left-back. Costel Pantilimon continued a...
Zonal Marking - Wed Feb 19 10:56 AM
Goals from Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves gave Barcelona a significant lead going into the second leg. Manuel Pellegrini unsurprisingly switched to a 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-1-1 formation, but surprisingly named two left-backs in tandem, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov. Fernandinho was fit to return in m...
Zonal Marking - Mon Feb 17 11:16 AM
Manchester City gained revenge for their recent league defeat to Chelsea. Manuel Pellegrini’s side was very different from that match, with Costel Pantilimon, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, Javi Garcia, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic all included. Jose Mourinho’s, however, named the closest thing...
Zonal Marking - Tue Feb 4 12:24 PM
Chelsea kept a clean sheet and created a number of chances in a highly impressive away performance. Manuel Pellegrini was without Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Fernandinho. He kept a 4-4-2 with Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo upfront, and brought Martin Demichelis into the midfield. Jose Mourinho...
Zonal Marking - Wed Nov 27 4:07 PM
Manchester City continued their superb home form with a crushing victory over Tottenham. Manuel Pellegrini fielded his expected line-up – Martin Demichelis continued at the back, in the absence of Vincent Kompany. Andre Villas-Boas used Erik Lamela from the start for the first time in the Premier...
Zonal Marking - Tue Nov 26 8:01 PM
Pep Guardiola demonstrated Bayern’s tactical flexibility in the second half, introducing Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara to great effect. Jurgen Klopp had severe injury problems for this contest – as well as the continued absence of Ilkay Gundogan, his entire first-choice back four were out inju...
Zonal Marking - Mon Oct 28 12:40 PM
Two ex-Atletico strikers – Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero – were the most prominent players in a fast-paced, exciting clash. Jose Mourinho played Gary Cahill rather than David Luiz, and left out Juan Mata with Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard on the wings. Torres started after his two goals agai...
Zonal Marking - Wed Oct 2 11:23 PM
Bayern Munich completely outplayed Manchester City for the vast majority of this contest. Manuel Pellegrini somewhat surprisingly decided to use Micah Richards rather than Pablo Zabaleta at right-back, while Gael Clichy returned at left-back. David Silva was only considered fit enough for the ben...
Zonal Marking - Sun Sep 22 10:53 PM
Manchester City dominated from the opening moments, and completely outplayed Manchester United.. Manuel Pellegrini named Alvaro Negredo rather than Edin Dzeko upfront, the first time the Spaniard has started alongside Sergio Aguero. Down the left, Gael Clichy and David Silva were out, so Aleksand...
Zonal Marking - Tue Aug 13 10:07 AM
Bayern Munich appeared comfortable towards the end of the contest, but they endured some nervous moments during Pep Guardiola’s Bundesliga debut. Guardiola was unable to call upon Bayern’s major two summer arrivals, Thiago Alcantara or Mario Gotze, so there was a familiar feel to the home side’s...
Zonal Marking - Fri Jun 28 10:45 PM
Spain progressed on penalties after an intriguing stalemate. Vicente Del Bosque recalled Fernando Torres and David Silva to play in the front three. Cesare Prandelli was without Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate through injury, and Riccardo Montolivo wasn’t 100% fit. Therefore, he switched to a 3...
Zonal Marking - Mon May 13 12:01 AM
Ben Watson headed a stoppage time winner as Wigan lifted the FA Cup for the first time. Roberto Martinez was able to call upon Antolin Alcaraz in the centre of his three-man defence, and he used James McArthur as a right-wing-back and Jordi Gomez in central midfield. Roberto Mancini picked Joe Ha...
Zonal Marking - Sun Apr 21 11:54 PM
Manchester City dominated the first half, but some clever substitutions from Andre Villas-Boas meant Tottenham had a storming final 20 minutes. Villas-Boas was able to select Gareth Bale from the start, although Aaron Lennon is still unavailable. Emmanuel Adebayor was favoured over Jermain Defoe....
Zonal Marking - Mon Apr 15 2:49 PM
Manchester City won a surprisingly attack-minded game at Wembley. Roberto Mancini was without David Silva, so started Sergio Aguero after his excellent goal at Old Trafford on Monday. Costel Pantilimon continued as City’s dedicated FA Cup goalkeeper. Rafael Benitez used his three creators behind...
Zonal Marking - Mon Apr 8 11:01 PM
Manchester City produced a fine performance to record a rare victory at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson played two attack-minded wide players, with Ryan Giggs in the centre and Tom Cleverley only on the bench. Phil Jones continued alongside Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence. Roberto Mancini...
Zonal Marking - Thu Mar 28 9:52 PM
Spain recorded a narrow victory, and go one point clear of France at the top of Group I. Didier Deschamps used Patrice Evra rather than Gael Clichy at left-back, and the late withdrawal of Mamadou Sakho saw Laurent Koscielny start at centre-back. But the key change was higher up – from the side t...