Chelsea 4-0 Everton: Chelsea get the better of Everton’s 4-4-2 with good combinations

Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Stamford Bridge did not go to plan as Everton conceded four to a Chelsea side whose combinations outwitted Everton’s 4-4-2 mid-block.

Goalkeeper Kepa regained a Premier League starting place having played in Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Liverpool. Marcos Alonso had licence to get forward from left-back and Frank Lampard opted for a midfield three of Ross Barkley, Billy Gilmour who impressed in a deeper midfield role against Liverpool and Mason Mount.

Everton again set up in a 4-4-2 this time with a wide pairing of Bernard who is arguably better on the left than on the right and Gylfi Sigurdsson who is certainly not best suited to a wide role. Both was nominally out on the flanks but had licence to drift infield whilst the full-backs overlapped.

Chelsea Everton shapes
Shapes when Chelsea were in possession. 4-3-3 v 4-4-2 with lots of movement beyond Olivier Giroud and Everton’s 4-4-2 was static yet ineffective.

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Hull City struggle to contain Leeds United’s 3-3-3-1 in massive defeat

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United tore apart a Hull City side struggling for form and having sold their two key players in the January transfer window. The away side came alive particularly during the second-half, with their flexible shape playing its part in the side putting four past the Tigers.

Shapes when Leeds were in possession.

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Tactical report on Jack Grealish v Leicester City

A fantastic last-minute winner from second-half substitute Trezeguet ensured Aston Villa’s place in the 2020 Carabao Cup Final after a tight two-legged semi-final with Leicester City.

After a 1-1 draw in the first-leg, Villa took the lead but then lost that lead following constant attacks from Leicester, only to win the match 2-1 in stoppage time. Leicester could have taken the lead a few times had it not been for some crucial saves from stand-in goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland.

And although Villa created less than the away side, 9 shots to 22, when they did create, much of it was down to talisman Jack Grealish.

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Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United: City outwitted by United on the counter-attack in the first-half

Following a brilliant and much needed win against Tottenham Hotspur, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United travelled a short distance to the Etihad to face rivals City in the Manchester Derby.

United were facing a greater challenge than on Wednesday, but Pep Guardiola’s side going to the match had been plagued with varying defensive issues and needed a win as much as if not more so if they were to reduce the gap between themselves and League leaders Liverpool.

City set up in their usual 4-1-4-1, with John Stones and Fernandinho as the centre-backs; Fernandinho has started as a centre-back in every league game he has played this season. Gabriel Jesus started up front and was flanked by Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.

United once again started in a 4-2-3-1 shape, with Jesse Lingard linking midfield and attack. This time however oversaw Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial replace Ashley Young and Mason Greenwood respectively. Daniel James would retain the width on the right side.

United v City 2

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Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: United’s left-side got the better of Spurs’ right

The game that many had been waiting for since Tottenham Hotspur’s appointment of Jose Mourinho. Mourinho came up against his former club and his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United looked for their first league win in three matches.

United set-up in a 4-2-3-1 with Ashley Young at left-back. The line-up also saw the return of Scott McTominay in midfield alongside Fred. Mason Greenwood started up front and acted as a foil for Marcus Rashford who started in an inside-left position.

Spurs started with their nominal 4-2-3-1, which had been noted for changing shape in recent games, becoming a 3-2-5. Serge Aurier v Rashford was likely to be a key battle down Spurs’ right, whilst Dele Alli was in-between midfield and attack looking to receive the ball between the lines.

Man Utd v Spurs

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Valencia 2-2 Chelsea: Exciting game with goals and key build-up v press battles

Valencia faced Chelsea in a potentially group table-deciding tie; going into the match, both Chelsea and Valencia as well as Ajax were all tied on 7 points in Group H.

The home side, now managed by Albert Celades following the early season sacking of Marcelino, set up in their expected 4-4-2 but forward Rodrigo had more positional freedom to drop deeper and drift out wide, while Daniel Wass, usually a full-back, being shafted into midfield – although not an unfamiliar position and not for the first time this season. Wass was partnered in the centre with captain Dani Parejo who was expected to pull the strings.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on the other hand set up in a 4-3-3 as they have done in Europe so far this season, opting for it over the 4-2-3-1 adopted in the Premier League. Reece James started at right-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta shifting to the left, whilst Andreas Christensen was drafted in at centre-back ahead of Fikayo Tomori.

Valencia v Chelsea

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Flamengo 2-1 River Plate: Comeback in dying minutes turns game on its head

This year’s Copa Libertadores final, contested between Flamengo of Brazil and River Plate of Argentina was a unique one from the outset in that it was decided by one match at a neutral ground rather than over two legs. After dominating for the majority of the match, River Plate succumbed to a comeback from Flamengo in the dying minutes that the game really needed to come to life.

Flamengo are coached by Jorge Jesus. Previously at Benfica and their first European boss since 1950, Jesus has helped Flamengo become highly regarded in Brazil for their possession-based game and intensity without the ball. The side was lined up by the media as a 4-4-2, but was at times arguably much closer to a 4-2-3-1, with an attacking trio in behind a centre-forward. The two full-backs – Rafinha and Filipe Luis were expected to overlap but both being aged 34 brought concerns as to how effective this would be.

Marcelo Gallardo’s an astute tactician and is the most successful coach in River Plate’s history having won 10 titles since his appointment in 2014. River were the holders of the title going into the match and set up in what seemed much like a 4-diamond-2, more notably without the ball. Nicolas De La Cruz was seen as one to watch on the left of midfield prior to kick-off.

Flamengo v River

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