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Hripsime Hayrapetyan

26-11-2019 | 17:44 Football
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Gary Neville points out the key change in Manchester City's midfield this season

Gary Neville has questioned whether Manchester City's midfield are playing with the same intensity as they did during the previous seasons under the club boss Pep Guardiola. The Citizens had a morale-boosting 2 - 1 win over their Premier League rivals, Chelsea. Now they are sitting on the 3rd place of the league table 9 points behind the leaders Liverpool. After the Blues' unsuccessful fixture with Liverpool, some of the media have mostly criticized the club's defence because of the loss of Vincent Kompany and injured Aymeric Laporte. However, Neville has questioned the City's midfield in comparison with the previous years. He explained on Sky Sports Monday Night Football. "Over the last few months there has been a lot of focus on Man City, even from us, around the back four about not being good enough and there is no doubt that City back four is weaker. But what I would say is that on Saturday, at times you get so close to it at the game, that you start to get consumed Laporte being injured and Kompany gone because it’s obvious. But I saw it on Saturday and thought that the midfield were not working as hard. Pep Guardiola’s team, two years ago I was mesmerised by what he made David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne from a defensive point of view without possession. On transition, those two were unbelievable. Off the ball, you never really saw them as great defenders, but two years ago they were great at it. I was watching them on Saturday from a point of view of recovery when they lost the ball and when City gave the ball away, the intensity and the transition was unbelievable two years ago, but here the intensity isn’t there, they’re almost jogging a little bit, and it’s almost like what normal teams do. They don’t go after the ball but when you see City’s shape there, it’s like a 4-4-2 and that’s what ordinary teams do, we’ve never seen Pep Guardiola’s teams do that. We’ve always seen them in that initial snapshot of giving the ball away sprint after everything and it was really noticeable on Saturday."
Source: MEN

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