After an important win against Chelsea over the weekend, Manchester City entered Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League game against the run-away Ukrainian Premier League leaders, Shakhtar Donetsk.

A win or draw was all City needed to clinch their spot in the knockout phase, whereas Shakhtar looked to position themselves for the all-important final group stage game against Atalanta.

Though City would have preferred a win for the home fans, the 1-1 draw helped both teams achieve their round five objectives. City are through and Shakhtar are a home win away from advancing.

In this tactical analysis, we’ll look at the tactics used by Pep Guardiola and Luís Castro. The analysis will look at how City attacked Shakhtar’s low block, how each side prioritized their right side, and the use of long diagonal passes to break lines.


UEFA Champions League 2019/20: Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk – tactical analysis tactics
Guardiola’s side lined up in a 1-4-2-3-1, which Castro countered with a 1-4-1-4-1

With Sergio Agüero picking up a thigh injury against Chelsea, Guardiola gave Gabriel Jesus the start up top with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva playing behind him. Ilkay Gündogan and Rodri Hernández operated as holding midfielders, typically starting just behind Shakhtar’s line of four attacking midfielders. Angeliño played a more conservative wing role while João Cancelo routinely joined Silva and De Bruyne higher up the wing. Fernandinho joined Nicolás Otamendi at the back with Ederson in goal to round out the 4-3-3.

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