Ivanovic puts Chelsea 1 nil up at the Etihad with a goal that took merely 0.7 seconds to hit the back of the net. Kompany walked away in disgust as his team-mates picked the ball up from the net. He did everything he could to make sure no holes opened up. But what went wrong?
Hazard received the ball and went on an amazing run. In the process he shielded the ball from Demichelis and walked right past him, as the Argentinian slowed down with disgust at himself. Kompany at this time was holding the line very well. The players were well positioned and ready to repel Chelsea’s counter-attack.
Hazard came face to face with Yaya Toure, and to avoid trouble, the Belgian poked the ball towards Ramires. Here’s where the problem starts. Demichelis is loitering around at the far end of the field, when he should actually be in the middle, assisting Toure from blocking out Matic and Ramires.
Toure is busy covering Willian , Eto’o and Hazard, as Kompany and Zabaleta have their hands full ( he converts a 2v3 situation into a 3v3) . So Nastasic is forced to press or Ramires has the liberty of taking his own sweet time to pick out a pass or have a pop at goal. Ivanovic at this point smartly makes an entrance.
Hazard knows that he needs to shift the game to the other side, so he tries to make a run in-behind Kolarov which would give Ivanovic more freedom to attack without getting ahead of the play.
The extent of the damage is seen. Red circles denote the City defender covering the Chelsea attacker and the white circles denote the culprits. Toure is standing still when he should be moving towards Ivanovic. What this does is that Kolarov is now concentrating on Hazard and Ivanovic while Nastasic has to cover both Hazard and Ramires.
Nastasic drifts towards Hazard, confidently knowing that Kolarov will cover Ramires. However the poor Serbian is in a dilemma as he has to cover the Brazilian and his fellow countrymen lurking at the edge of the box. The ball is played in by Hazard , the architect again, and Ramires’s shot is blocked by Kompany who throws himself at the ball.
The ball however ricochets off him and we all know what happened.
To end it, Demichelis is the one who acts as the catalyst for Hazard to pull the strings, Toure makes it even worse by making Torres look like an expert in positional play and Ivanovic, well, doing what you would expect a Serbian to do so. The tale of two Belgians, we all know which one wasn’t swearing at his team-mates in the locker-room.