Manchester City take ‘fake’ free-kicks in matches to beat offside trap, it’s clever

A fascinating insight into one of Manchester City’s free-kick routines is yet another example of their impeccable attention to detail.

Earlier this month, City and Spurs and played out a pulsating 3-3 draw that featured two goals in the opening 10 minutes.

Son Heung-Min gave the Lilywhites an early lead after an impressive counter attack, although the visitors conceded three minutes later, when Son turned the ball into his own net.

It was an unfortunate moment for the South Korean, who has been in superb form for Ange Postecoglou’s side this season.

But plenty failed to recognise that Son’s own goal came as a result of an incredibly well-worked free-kick.

@beyourbest_pr0 Why do players fake freekicks? 🧠 #football #soccer #footballvideo #footballtraining #soccervideo #footballer ♬ original sound – Be Your Best

As you can see from the footage above, Bernardo Silva fakes a shot, which forces Spurs midfielder Giovani Lo Celso to take a step back.

As a result of Lo Celso’s movement, the majority ofCityplayers who were previously offside in the final third found themselves in an onside position.

In addition to that small detail, defender Manuel Akanji can be seen pushing into Dejan Kulusevski, who keeps several City players onside as a result.

“Keep an eye on Akanji at the back post,” TikTok userbeyourbest_pr0explained. “He’s not even thinking about winning a header. His sole purpose is to push his man back so all of his teammates remain onside.”

He added: “Amazing game intelligence from champions.”

Image credit: TikTok/beyourbest_pr0

Here’s how social media reacted to the set-piece routine.

One fan commented: “Pep’s tactics are just too smart,” while another said: “This is exactly how City scored against Arsenal just before half-time last season. Akanji pushing White forward to play Stones onside.”

A third wrote: “That’s so smart,” and a fourth added: “I would be very very surprised if this isn’t one of the first pages in any coaching/tactics handbook.”

Away from the set-piece routines and Pep Guardiola’s side have struggled to replicate their form of last season, especially in the league.

Guardiola, however, is convinced the Citizens can turn things around and prove people wrong in the coming months.

After their 2-1 win over Luton on Sunday, he said: “The way we have been playing this season has been good in most of the games. I try to analyse that, but we need Bernardo to put the ball in the goal – we needed it.

“They fought like we’ve always done. It was important for belief. People have said it’s over but we want to make them wrong and to believe the season is not over. Will we be there? It depends on us and how we perform.”

He added in his press conference: “They don’t need to prove what they are capable of, extraordinary group of players. But in general it’s normal. City is not the same, it’s over.

“Let them prove us wrong. Let’s prove that we want to be there.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top