Chelsea started with the 3-5-2 formation – which has become a staple since Thomas Tuchel took over the club. The Blues fielded three midfielders in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic to stop Man City’s flow in midfield.
Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner started up-front to mount counter-attacks, while Marcus Alonso and Reece James provided support down the wings.
This is how the team looked at the beginning of the match:
The 3-5-2 formation has given the Blues success under Tuchel and it was opted to stop City from controlling the game.
But, Chelsea failed to do so as Pep Guardiola’s side dominated chunks of possession. They were swift in robbing the Blues of the ball whenever they received it.
With Reece James picking up an injury at the half-hour mark, Thiago Silva was brought in – with Cesar Azpilicueta taking over the right wing-back role.
As the Blues failed to gain control in the first half, Tuchel opted to change things up after Gabriel Jesus’ goal. Kai Havertz replaced Kante to give Chelsea more penetration in the attack. It almost worked as the German helped set up what looked like the equalizer for Romelu Lukaku, but he was judged offside.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also brought on towards the last 15 minutes to add more physicality & attacking drive for Chelsea. He had an impressive cameo, winning key duels in midfield & bullying the City midfielders.
Here’s how Chelsea set up in a more attack-minded style towards the end of the game:
The Blues didn’t have a genuine defensive midfielder anymore, with Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek acting as a more advanced midfield duo. Havertz took up the floating no.10 role, while Timo Werner continued to play just behind Lukaku to trouble the defenders.
Alonso and Azpilicueta also drove forward to support the attackers as Chelsea were desperate for a goal. But, despite a few nice attempts, the Blues were unable to break down City’s strong defence and couldn’t take out anything from the game.