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Man Metropolis vs Brighton: Is Pep Guardiola being surpassed by Roberto De Zerbi’s possession recreation? | Soccer Information

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It wasn’t simply Pep Guardiola’s first league defeat at Arsenal. A tangible, potential, changing-of-the-guard second. It was the fewest photographs a Guardiola facet had produced in a league recreation for greater than a decade.

Down the M23, Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton had simply drawn 2-2 with Liverpool. It was not the end result they needed, however one which cemented them because the division’s prime scorers, an accolade usually the hallmark of any Guardiola facet.

Each managers have constructed the foundations of their philosophies on possession. Proper now, De Zerbi’s appears the extra full.

When the 2 go face to face on the Etihad on Saturday, it may simply be his Brighton facet who enjoying extra expansive soccer, dealing with a Metropolis workforce whose stylistic reboot has stalled.

Guardiola’s sides have been unforgivingly ruthless ever since his first day on the Nou Camp 15 years in the past, scoring at a fee of virtually three targets a recreation throughout approaching 900 matches.

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There has at all times been an underlying pragmatism, a desperation for in-game management, however his determination to construct a backline round 4 centre-backs earlier this 12 months was far faraway from the Guardiola playbook.

However after a run to a historic treble inside months, it appeared like his newest second of genius.

The underlying artistic numbers, whereas nonetheless sturdy, weren’t these of Guardiola groups both. Now outcomes are catching up, and the answer has turn into an issue.

Pictures, opposition-box entries and most crucially targets have dropped off significantly from their earlier league-leading totals.

He’s totally conscious of the trade-off, however trigger for concern has heightened since defeat on the Emirates. Metropolis’s xG of 0.48 was their third-lowest determine underneath this supervisor, who watched his facet amass solely 4 photographs for the primary time in a league recreation since April 2010.

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Sky Sports activities’ Sam Blitz is joined by Adam Bate to analyze what has precisely brought on Manchester Metropolis’s slip in type and the way Rodri’s absence has impacted this

The champions have misplaced all three of the video games Rodri has missed by means of suspension, and he stays arguably the Premier League’s most necessary midfielder. Nobody can transfer the ball by means of the strains whereas providing a defensive defend fairly like he can.

However his absence is a symptom reasonably than the trigger given Metropolis’s longer-term tendencies.

It might nonetheless take a courageous soul would write them off. A wounded Pep is a Pep at his most harmful, however there may be a further psychological consideration this season. What do you purchase for the workforce who has every part?

“I assumed there can be a slight treble hangover for Metropolis this season. They’ve achieved utopia, they cannot do any extra,” mentioned Gary Neville after their defeat on the Emirates.

“I feel there will be a component of those Metropolis gamers simply having a bit taken out of them. What’s their trigger this season?”

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Gary Neville feels Arsenal’s essential 1-0 win over Manchester Metropolis may enhance their hopes of pipping Pep Guardiola’s workforce to the Premier League title this season

Issues get no simpler now. Guardiola has dubbed De Zerbi “one of the influential managers of the final 20 years”, and the Seagulls would leapfrog their hosts with victory on the Etihad.

In fact, Guardiola has a historical past of generosity in direction of opposition managers shortly earlier than dismantling their best-laid plans.

That might nonetheless occur right here, despite Metropolis’s dwindling targets. De Zerbi’s model is extra open than Guardiola’s. When it goes improper, it could go very improper, like a 6-1 hammering at Aston Villa final month.

However they sit 4 factors off the highest, with a model of soccer that mixes the keep-ball of Guardiola with a lot of the verve of classic Klopp.

They’ve scored 81 targets in 40 Premier League video games since he arrived. That is possession with an finish product, the hallmark of the most effective Guardiola groups.

De Zerbi ball has seen extra of the ball than Liverpool, Man Utd or Newcastle this season, racked up extra photographs from excessive presses than anybody, in addition to topping the scoring charts.

It’s a completely different possession recreation. As an alternative of pulling opposition defenders out, De Zerbi invitations the excessive press and strikes by means of it.

Ultimately, opposition sides will discover a means to withstand, however the outcomes and the targets hold flowing for now. Brighton have scored in each recreation this season, and haven’t drawn a league clean in over a 12 months.

Nobody expects Brighton to complete above Man Metropolis this season. That actually can be a altering of the guard. However on a restricted funds, with the crux of the midfield which took them to sixth final season gone and with European soccer to deal with, the 44-year-old’s outcomes are performing wonders.

His philosophy marks the league’s clearest new tactical considering since Jurgen Klopp after which Guardiola himself arrived nearly a decade in the past.

Simply as he appeared to reinvent {old} concepts again then, De Zerbi threatens to do precisely the identical to Pep and co now.

Watch free match highlights of Man City vs Brighton from 5.15pm on the Sky Sports Digital platforms

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