Sunday, 28 October 2012

Man City 1 - Swans 0 Chalkboards and Stats

Despite this match and the corresponding fixture last year both being goalless until an hour in, the difference between the two matches was enormous.  Last season was like target practice for Man City and only an incredible display from Michel Vorm kept the score respectable.

This season was far more of an even contest with the best chances falling to the Swans.  Whenever a big side doesn't roll over their opponent the focus is naturally on the big team 'not performing'.  It was true that some of their passing in the first half was pretty sloppy but the most shocking thing for me was the amount of space Michu found himself in as if Man City believed the 'no striker' selection and thought there was nobody to pick up.

Man City managed only 11 attempts at goal in the whole match, to put that in to perspective, that is the same as their lowest total at home for the whole of last season (which was against Liverpool where they scored early and coasted to victory) and they only managed a single attempt on goal in the first half.
Attempts by Team.  For both sides the vast majority of attempts came in the 2nd Half
Man City were keen not to let the Swans settle on the ball too much which made for a staccato tempo with relatively little flow, although when they could string a sequence together it resulted in plenty of space to attack the Man City defence.

There were a couple of areas I thought didn't go too well for Swansea and they were from long kicks from the keeper and throw-ins where possession was often lost too easily.  From the kicks the ball would usually go towards Michu but the knock down end up with a Man City player.  Similarly with throw-ins there were a number of cases where the ball was lost easily.
Long GK passes from both sides: Neither particularly successful but lack of variety in Swansea's kicking often meant second ball went to Man City.
Throw-ins from each side: Swansea had 7 unsuccessful throw-ins, more than they had in any game last season 
Overall for Swansea, there were excellent performances throughout the team but have highlighted a few in particular:

On a number of occasions, Rangel was quick of mind and feet and was able to get away and start promising moves:
Take-ons by Rangel (left) and whole Swansea team (right).  Rangel with 3 had the most successful take-ons of any player
Ashley Williams made 10 of Swansea's 13 successful clearances and had a solid game overall:

Chico was again impressive going forward and along with Ben Davies, is fitting in to what is hopefully a settled back line (although the loss of Vorm could be a big blow).
Chico with 4 tackles was joint top tackler but credit to Ben Davies for winning 4 out of 4 tackles including what I'm sure was an enjoyable 'man and ball' tackle against Balotelli
Looking back on the stats after the game I was surprised to see how good De Guzman's passing figures were with 51 from 53 attempted.  Looking at the chalkboard it can be seen that these are all over the pitch and not just 2 metre passes.
Passing from De Guzman against Man City (left) and previous game against Wigan (right) showing an impressive rage of passing
Ultimately it was still a defeat and another game without a clean sheet, but the performance was impressive and it shouldn't be forgotten how many of the players in that side have played just a handful of games together so the level of understanding between players can improve even further suggesting that there could well be some big-name scalps to match those of last season.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats: Created using Statszone
Chalkboards: Created using Statszone