Manchester City’s weakness against counterattacks is exposed again by Chelsea

Manchester City’s weakness against quick counterattacks was exposed again during last night’s 1-all draw with Chelsea. The visitors used their pace and quality on the ball to get behind City’s high line and it paid dividends for Raheem Sterling’s 42nd minute opener at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola’s side fought back to salvage a point with a dominant second-half performance. But their susceptibility to quick counterattacks is becoming an issue as the season progresses.

Heading into last night’s game Chelsea’s threat on the break did appear to be their trump card up against the world champions. It proved to be the case in the first half as it led to Sterling’s opener. In truth, they should’ve gone in 2-nil up at the break with Nicolas Jackson spurning a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 24 minute. It was only Ederson’s quick reactions that prevented Chelsea from taking the lead on that occasion. It was a warning that City failed to heed as a similar counterattack led to Chelsea’s opener.

Manchester City’s weakness to quick counterattacks is fast becoming an issue as the season progresses. It has cost them at critical times this season. Games against Wolves, Newcastle and now Chelsea have seen opposing teams target City’s defensive high line to great effect. Once teams are in behind the City defence they have taken full toll as evidenced in last night’s game.

It is an issue that needs rectifying as the season progresses. Pep Guardiola’s squad has the quality to quickly rectify the issue. But it does appear that it needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later. With big games to come the champions can’t afford to let their weakness become a bigger issue as the stakes become higher.

Manchester City will look to quickly rebound from last night’s draw with Chelsea against Brentford this week. Thomas Frank’s side are another that can thrive on the counter. City will be hoping they can resolve the issue at the back for that game and the remainder of the season as they seek to defend their treble. It may become crucial as they seek to create more history in this campaign.

Tags Chelsea English Premier League Etihad Stadium Manchester City Mauricio Pochettino Nicolas Jackson Pep Guardiola Raheem Sterling