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How Chelsea dismantled Man City

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Alli threatens but Chelsea prevail

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Man United impress against blunt Arsenal

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Spurs back three catches Arsenal out

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Spurs struggle up front, subs lift Leicester

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Tactics: How United were humiliated

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Conte's new system outfoxes Leicester

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Man City fail to cope with Spurs' pressing

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Wenger's triumph vs. Chelsea thanks to Ozil

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Klopp masterminds win at Conte's Chelsea

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Mourinho vs. Guardiola: The tactical battle

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 By Michael Cox

Is Pep Guardiola tinkering too much with Man City? Or is it something else?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to escape a 'tough' UEFA Champions League group with a game in hand.

Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea left Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola in a spot of bother. He had formatted a team specifically for the task of coping with Chelsea's 3-4-3 system, and the subsequent loss prompted inevitable criticism. Guardiola, they say, can be too much of a tinkerer.

In truth, the weekend defeat was tough to analyse. On paper, it was indeed a crushing defeat against the new Premier League title favourites, but it wasn't as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests. City...

Antonio Conte exposes Pep Guardiola as Chelsea humiliate Manchester City

ESPN FC's Mark Ogden says Chelsea are the team to beat this season.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden says Chelsea are the team to beat this season.

Antonio Conte secured an eighth straight league win on Saturday at Manchester City, though the Italian needed a slice of luck in a testing first hour. Pep Guardiola initially seemed the victor in the strategic duel, but squandered chances meant his team failed to sink a resilient Chelsea side whose blistering counterattacking delivered a 3-1 triumph.

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The tactical match-ups featured Conte keeping his 3-4-3 and Guardiola wheeling out the 3-2-2-3-ish system he often uses at home. Such unusual formations...

Chelsea deal with Tottenham press as Conte outfoxes Pochettino

The ESPN FC crew discuss Tottenham's defensive wobbles in their defeat to Chelsea.

Chelsea recovered from a poor first half to beat Tottenham 2-1 and extend their Premier League winning streak to seven games. Antonio Conte lost the initial tactical duel with Mauricio Pochettino, but adjustments at the interval led to improvements that sealed the points.

Pochettino felt he couldn't fault his players at the end, which was understandable given how Spurs started the game. They pressed high and moved the ball quickly, particularly between the lines, where Dele Alli kept emerging unchallenged....

Mourinho frustrated as Manchester United impress but fail to beat Arsenal

ESPN FC's Craig Burley says Jose Mourinho will be very disappointed with Manchester United's draw with Arsenal.

Manchester United delivered a vigorous display that should have seen off Arsenal on Saturday, only for Olivier Giroud to snatch a late point. Their effort had several hallmarks of a vintage Jose Mourinho performance -- resolute defending, energetic pressing -- but an unusual lack of physical presence in the box ended up costing them two points.

That left the Portuguese with a bitter taste, given his tendency to throw on big players when defending narrow leads. The hosts got most things right until...

 By Michael Cox

Chelsea's three-man defence the most intriguing tactical decision of the year

Alison Bender and Gab Marcotti discuss whether Manchester United's Memphis Depay would benefit from a loan move.
Antonio Conte's switch has transformed Chelsea. But the three-man defence hasn't worked for everyone.

The Premier League has never boasted such a fine array of managerial talent from across Europe, and, as a result, the tactical level of the division has already improved considerably. Amid talk of Pep Guardiola's emphasis on possession play and Jurgen Klopp's focus on counterpressing, however, it's Antonio Conte's switch to a 3-4-3 formation at Chelsea that has proved the most effective tactical decision in the Premier League so far.

Last season, a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal prompted...

Arsenal caught out as Tottenham go to three at the back at the Emirates

Mauricio Pochettino switched to an unexpected back-three system to help Tottenham earn a point at Arsenal on Sunday. Spurs entered the north London derby on the back foot, with Harry Kane not fully fit, Dele Alli injured and no wins in six games, but the tactical tweak initially troubled an Arsenal side who had not anticipated the move at all.

In fairness, nor had many others. Tottenham hadn't used a back three since their 2-1 win at Watford on 28 Dec. last year and while Pochettino said they had...