Gameweek 3 of the group stage represents the point at which Champions League ambitions can be ended, but for some teams it also featured some interesting tactical and selection adjustments. Naturally, The Coaches’ Voice team of professional coaches have revisited the tactical stories that underpinned some of the week’s most significant results.
Manchester City 5-1 Atalanta, Group C
The margin of victory may have suggested Pep Guardiola’s team eased to their third victory from three in Group C – but they only did so having been forced to adjust to overcome Atalanta’s high-pressing 3-4-2-1 formation. City often register their first attempts on goal during the opening minutes, but their visitors’ approach meant that they struggled to create goalscoring opportunities.
Guardiola started with a back three made up of Kyle Walker, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy, behind the double pivot provided by Rodri and Ilkay Gündogan, but Atalanta’s narrow attack occupied that back three, ensuring City struggled to progress into their half. Marten de Roon and Remo Freuler covered forward passes being played by Walker and Mendy; with City’s attackers too far away to connect with, they struggled to penetrate through midfield.