Basle may have been down 2-0 after only 17 minutes against Manchester United but there were clues in their first half performance that all may not have been lost.
Manchester United have been giving up a lot of chances in the Premier League and such was the case against Basle. The problem was that in the first half the Swiss team could not hit the target – as this graphic shows.
But it must have been a case of finding their range because in the second half it was very different. Again, seven attempts but this time five were on target and three turned into goals.
Out of all the passing statistics Michael Carrick’s 28 out of 28 in the attacking third of the field stood out.
Bayern defence fell under a lot less pressure than their Manchester City counterparts as the graphic shows. Only one clearance for Bayern provided unsuccessful while City’s success rate was only 40%. The areas the clearances were made from are also interesting.
Bayern were also extremely good at keeping Manchester City on the periphery and City rarely penetrated the Bayern penalty box with passes in the final third of the field. The graphic shows that City were able to play across the park but once they tried to move forward with any penetration Bayern shut them down.
Although Schweinsteiger was the player Bayern looked to in order to set the tempo and rhythm to the game it was Franck Ribery who carried the most potent creative threat. His battle with Micah Richards was a feature of the games during the first half in particular.
The Carlos Tevez incident has overshadowed the fact that Roberto Mancini was extremely displeased with the performance of Edin Dzeko.
The CSKA Moscow game against Inter had 5 goals, and lots of attempts on goal as both teams traded chances.
But overall both teams were careless in possession and were often devoid of any really creativity. Both sides emphasized the need to get the ball into wide attacking positions but the final cross by both teams was woeful.
CSKA in particular were wasteful and pumped aimless balls into the Inter penalty box that the defenders dealt with easily.
With Diego Forlan cup-tied Diego Milito started in attack with Giampaolo Pazzini.
With Inter playing away from home both players were forced to drop deep to pick up passes and help their defence. Milito worked through the middle and both sides of the field.
Pazzini was substituted in favour of Zarate just after half time and he was also forced to drop deep to stay involved. Pazzini did however manage the score from the one chance that he was offered to him in the CSKA penalty area.
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