Tactic Talk – Manchester City creating goals from all angles

Manchester City maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign with a 3-1 victory over Wolves at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. Sitting top of the table with nine victories and a single draw from 10 matches played, City’s array of attacking talent has flourished, with Roberto Mancini’s side averaging 3.6 goals per game, a figure unrivalled by their title adversaries. Despite much of the plaudits being focussed on the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva, City have shown in recent weeks that the key to their success has been in the goals scored by a variety of players in a variety of positions.

In recent seasons, City striker Carlos Tevez had been seen as a pivotal figure in City’s bid for success, and often cited as a reason for City’s shortfalls in his absence. However, in Tevez’s prolonged absence from the City side, with a string of issues reportedly compromising the Argentine’s future at the club, the likes of Aguero and Dzeko have excelled in his place. With Silva in midfield already being tipped for individual honours, City already possess more prolific options than in previous years. After a series of high-profile on and off-field indiscretions, Mario Balotelli has also been praised for recent performances, to add to City’s impressive list of standout performers. However, with three matches in seven days across two competitions and 14 goals scored, the goals were shared between no fewer than seven players.

After a famous 6-1 victory over city rivals Manchester United, followed by a 5-2 Carling Cup win over Wolves before the a further win over Wanderers in the league, goals from left-back Aleksandar Kolarov, as well as Silva, Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri contributing from midfield, show City manager Roberto Mancini can look for goal threats from various positions in his side.

City’s most recent performance at home to Wolves showed their immense potential for goals, with nineteen chances created through the game, including attempts from no less than eight City players, across defence, midfield and attack, as each area contributed with one of City’s three strikes. Competition for places in the City side is high, typified by City wideman Johnson scoring and creating a goal in midweek, only to have to settle for a substitute appearance in the following game against the same opposition, before coming off the City bench to wrap up three points.

As City continue their dominant start to their Premier League campaign, the team are presenting themselves as serious title contenders. With Mancini’s team looking a well-drilled side, individual performances are drawing praise also. As City enter a key phase in the season, with an intense programme across numerous competitions, the impressive goals tally from an increasing number of players would show that City are indeed more than just a noisy neighbour, and are a real threat to Manchester United’s Premier League title.

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