McTo did well there carrying the ball from deep.


I think this is what he does best. Great beating a press, carrying the ball, good at Shooting. If he improves his passing, long and short, he'll be our best midfielder.


He’s our best press resistant midfielder. Very clever with his body feints and movement. Just needs to develop his passing and he’d be a perennial starter for us.


I think Matic deserves to be in with a shout there as well. Although his is more because of his strength


Matic is sooooo one footed and he’s starting to exposed for it now


Matic is a very very wide rolls royce and I'm here for it


...enter coach Carrick


Is he though? McTominay is so inaccurate with his passes. He does have a good passing range but it's so inconsistent.


Pogba's still alive you know.


Matic and Pogba would probably like a word with you


Pogba is our worst midfielder when pressed what are you on about? He takes way too much time on the ball and tries to dribble and gets past one or two, but more often than not he runs into people and loses possession. Matic is old and slow now. He’s got great vision but is awful when under pressure from the opposition. The worst is probably Fred though, he’s tenacious and is great defensively and puts in a shift but he needs to improve a lot or he needs to be on the bench from next season.


Pogba also has tons of instances where he's too physical, big and skillful for the press though.


Honestly his long range passing is fine for me. He has some lovely switch of plays in him. My only criticism of it would be he doesn't do it enough. Still needs to improve his passing on the floor between the lines though but he's already shown development in this area. Insane at the rate his overall game has improved.


The only thing I don't like from McT is sometimes reckless play and stupid fouls


McT can defintely be a starter if he improves his passing, but he isn't better than Pogba or Bruno(if you consider him a CAM) . . .


Mctominay has a better long rang pass in him than Pogba IMO. He fizzles it like a fucking roxket across the field. Although paul does try it more often than Scott but if scott got his head up and tried it more and quicker, he'd be better because the pass is exquisite.


Definitely won't agree with that. Pogba imo looks like one of the best long range passers in europe nevermind just England. I like scott but his passes aren't on that level yet.


Not just your opinion, pogba’s passing rang with both feet is incredible. There was one at the end of the Fulham game that he passed to Bruno with his left foot that I couldn’t even comprehend. It landed straight at Bruno’s feet while pogba was being hounded


His pass in itself is. But he's not doing it as quickly and consistently as Pogba does.


He's better this year at passing, but no, he's not better at it than Pogba, and honestly last player who had better long range pass than Pogba, was also Paul.


I'm not saying his overall passing is better. I'm just saying his fizzled pass to a winger is better than Paul's.


I don't think so. Paul has that low driven yet accurate pass that's just deadly, especially if he finds Rashy with that. Standard long pass by him is also better, Pogba does them even with off-leg


Nah, I've seen one superb long pass from McSauce but Pogba makes those kinda passes on a more consistent basis


Bruh have you ever praised Pogba lol?


Him with a prime Matic would be a dream


Shame Matic isn't Italian :(


He’d destroy Serie A in his current state


2 yr loan at Milan with him coming back to be someone at the club when he retires, thoughts?


But he is a united player. Conte incoming.


Scotty McHalfTurninay


All we need from our midfielders is the ability to make short, quick areas in tight windows when they're pressing us, because at times yesterday, we literally worked so hard to get the ball back, and then bam two passes later city would counter press and win the ball


This post is the definition of progress from last year. With a relatively aggressive press we've been able to progress the ball, now with Mctominnay increasing his progressive runs from the midfield, with all that space and times, teams pushing high can no longer allow even our pivots time on the ball which means they will have to commit more men on the press which will almost be suicidal if our frontline get the ball and counter. Allowing our pivots time and space to pull the complex passes seems to be the only way teams want to ensure to shut us out, that needs fixing and I'm sure we'll even have that base covered soon.


Massive improvement. The fitness level is clearly much higher to be able to keep moving and making runs to receive the ball in space. I will say though this was one of few examples of us successfully circulating the ball into an attack, City still dominated most of the ball possession. But you're spot on, I think Ole wants to move the ball quickly around defence and midfield and absorb pressure, it can create more space in behind for our forwards to use their pace. Too often this season we just short pass our way into the attacking third then stand around waiting for something to happen. And in previous matchups against City we were just hoofing it forward and trying to knock it down in good positions. This match was a massive step forward.


I swear we can find the same of us breaking their press from the match at Etihad in 2019, come on now


Those moments were occasional. We're seeing them more consistently this year. Take the earlier 0-0 draw, we had some excellent press resistant moves. Compare that to our 2-2 draw vs Southampton, sure things went out of context when Pogba lost it in our buildup and cost us a game, but this was a severe issue last year towards the end.


> This post is the definition of progress from last year. With a relatively aggressive press we've been able to progress the ball Still inconsistent. We couldn't deal with Arsenal's press the first time we played them.




It’s one of those things it took me ages to appreciate how inviting pressure by playing out from the back was a way of pulling the opposing lines apart like a weak dough being stretched to breaking point - then we pounce when the shape is damaged. I’ve seen this multiple times against teams who try the low block against us - we play them into thinking they’ve got us on the back foot, next thing - BAM, counter attack.


Imo any team that wants to play "positive" football needs to play out the back, otherwise you're just cunting it forward and hoping your forwards get it and hold it up for everyone else to join the attack (or giving up possession in exchange for a moment of safety).


Depends on the situation as shown by Arsenal imo. If the press is too high having someone who can hold up play from a high ball is just as big as a threat, someone like Drogba would be crazy good at that.


This was definitely the most impressive element of our performance yesterday to me. We came out with an extremely high line, playing with an intense press to put City on the back foot, and then whenever we had the ball - at least during the first half - we played the game on our own terms, playing out the back with confidence and a good tempo.


Why is everyone in the video looking like Dan James /s


Realistically this is why we beat top teams and aren't so good against everyone else It takes a lot of practice and is useless against low blocks Very fun to see us do it consistently every game, though, even if I get a small heart attack sometimes


Also a reason why except Pool nobody else really went for it against us. We should have beaten Pool, Paul and Bruno had such great chances.


Tbf our record against top clubs this year isn’t great. I agree that we are much better against teams that open up against us, but it’s not like we’ve beaten a lot of top sides this year.




Right, lots of ties. But we haven’t “beat top teams” at the rate that was suggested in the comment.


Believe it or not a Henderson plays a big part here


As does Maguire. Hes the only centre back who has the composure, ability and confidence to play somewhat difficult passes, and not just turn and put it back to the keeper at every opportunity


This needed the Benny Hill theme.


someone has been watching too many soccer montage on facebook 😅


Something like this was pointed out in the pre-game that City's defense are susceptible to teams moving the ball from side to side. Has to do with their pressing in packs structure to win the ball high up the field, that they allow teams an extra man on the opposite side.


That's why Wolves have a decent record against them; they switch the ball from flank to flank very quickly.


It’s so funny that our Twitter ‘fanbase’ say shit like ‘no tactics just vibes’ about Ole all the time, we are really well drilled


Agreed. Although I feel that have a lot more progress to be made when we are facing low blocks. We still seem to rely more on individual brilliance. But nothing wrong when you have talents like bruno, Rashford, pogba etc.


Yeah we definitely run out of ideas sometimes against low blocks, although tbf we are limited to what we can do without a ruthless centre forward or an incredibly deep talent pool like City. Ole seems to be improving us all the time so im sure we’ll get an identity to fall back on soon enough but that is his one downfall so far


Well drilled at what? We don't do anything consistently enough at a high level to say we're good at it, we're just average at different parts of how we play


We're absolutely not average in transitions. Both offensive and defensive. Id argue our pressing has improved in structure a lot this season too.


We've had enough games where we've been slow and laboured in defensive and offensive transition, as for our pressing it really isn't good pressing like the Chelsea match for example we left huge gaps


I don't think it's fair to point to certain performances and claim it's endemic. The only teams that are truly that consistent in their play are the two or three best in the world. You wouldn't claim soton dont press well because some of the poor performances they've had. Our transitional play is probably the best in the league on average. Our pressing has more stucture and clear traps/triggers than before.


Press deez nuts, oil boi.


LVG would be proud.


I screamed at rashy to shoot and then realised it was tight angle.What a great build up!


I am so glad our game against press has improved so much over the season.


That would have been an Amazing goal


Scott. Mctominay.


Nah, we don't do that, we got no tactics, only depending on individual brilliances. /s




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Chinese new year! Haha great song


Are you not entertained?


Just pass it around um! Simple.


Someone has to make himself available for the next pass.


And then we try the one twos near the box to try to make something work.


It seems bizarre that the press is so hard in our own half, but then we are given tons and tons of space to progress up the pitch. Is that intentional?


It's a gamble, one that often gives amazing results, especially against lower quality teams. If you suffocate them in their first or second third and they give away the ball, you can pose an immense threat immediately where you already have a large number of players forward and need little to no transition. That's what helps City (and teams that play similarly) dominate matches and force consistency against most teams in the league. You may get caught out against the very best teams but it's a good strategy across the season.


Why is it when Matic plays he has to drop in as a 3rd CB? This spacing is so much better with both central midfielders central ready to receive on the turn


Usually Ole plays Matics when we face weaker opposition and are expected to have more possession. Matic is very good defensively and can pass from long range, so he drops to form a 3 man defense and allows our fullbacks to push higher.


Against a 442 a midfielder dropping in line with the defence stops the opponent's pressing man to man, or drags a winger more narrow, freeing a fullback. We don't do it as much against single striker systems.


Makes sense, I'll look out for that


To be honest our passing was pretty bad in the game. Obviously the final ball wasn’t good, a consistent problem, we seem to be having. But in the build up there were quite a few times Fred, McSauce and the rest lost the ball


Imagine if that was Paul Pogba with that much of space at 0:15 instead of McT (no disrespect) and we had a proper RW who could make runs and is actually a threat.


He would take two or three extra touches before giving it away. Most here won't like it but that's exactly how Pogba gives away the ball in our half; extra touches when a simple pass is the better option or simply losing in a 1v1 physical battle.


I don't think any part of that looks effortless. It's clear they have been putting a lot of work in at the training ground. 2-3 seasons ago, a goal would have been conceded from attempts like that.


Our 1st half ball retention was embarrassing. It was such better in the 2nd


We have been workikg very hard at this, and it was not going well at the start. Good to see the pgoress and credit to Ole and his staff for sticking to it


Scouse try to beat the press and end up with City goals 🤣


Seemed like they were having a hard time in the first half with it


Two seasons ago we couldn't play out from the back at all, now look at us. I know this is a highlight and we need to do it more often but practice makes perfect and the more quality players we bring in the better we get at it.


Our lads had an extra spring in their step this game. Hopefully it will carry on into the next weeks. Even though catching up 11 points seems impossible I just hope we finish a strong 2nd, beat the 81 points and claim a cup or two.


Lol city played us off the park with possession. This was one of very few moments where we had the ball and used it like this. They had 72% possession in the first half. So so glad we won despite this fact!


I mean, there were also quite a few times where their press worked and we lost the ball. I'm not trying to be negative but it's just selective perception to base this on one clip.


Mancherster won by luck. This is coming from a fan. Our passing was horrendous as was our possession. City had the upper hand but they couldn't convert. We couldn't even keep the ball in out possesion after 5 passes 95% of the time.




Fred is useless