Quick links

Manchester City

Mancini's tactical tinkering comes good against Tottenham Hotspur

The Manchester City manager has been criticised at times for changing to set up of his defence during matches, but against Spurs at the weekend his switch ensured three points.

Robert Mancini has been under a lot of pressure recently, a surprising amount given that his side are the only team in the English league still unbeaten, a feat only mirrored by Barcelona in any of Europe's top leagues.

However his side have been poor in Europe, and is sometimes bizarre tactics and outbursts in the press have led to suggestions he could be replaced at City in the near future.

He still faces plenty of those questions, but credit where credit is due, he won the tactical battle on Sunday. When Nastasic was taken off for Maicon with City trailing 1-0, the headlines where half-written decrying another poor decision from Mancini.

As it was, the switch to three at the back was crucial in the comeback victory, and it was another of Mancini's substitutions, Edin Dzeko, who got the winning goal. With City frustrated by Spurs in the first half, giving away needless fouls and overhitting passes, Mancini's changes settled the side and gave them the base to go on and win the match.

Maicon was famously slaughtered after Gareth Bale ran riot against him twice in Spurs' Champions League matches against Inter Milan, but on Sunday it was his presence down the right flank that helped overload Jan Vertonghen at left back, and give City the impetus to win the match. With Chelsea then drawing at home to Liverpool in the later match, Sunday was all ain all a very good day for Roberto Mancini.

Questions will remain over his future at the club though, with his admission that he spoke to Monaco in the summer doing him no favours. But the win on Sunday was the latest in an incredible unbeaten run at the Etihad, and his side lie second in the league having barely gotten out of first gear so far this season.

With David Silva now back fit, there's every chance City can put the disappointment of the Champion's League behind them and go on a run in the Premier League similar to how they started last season.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch