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Top 8 Conclusions From Community Shield

Man City’s Sergio Aguero scored twice as his side defeated Chelsea in the FA Community Shield

1- Rename Community Shield English Super Cup: In Italy, they refer to the matchup between league champions and Cup winners as Italian Super Cup. Same in France, Germany and Spain. Perhaps when the FA rename the Community Shield to the English Super Cup, teams like Chelsea can start taking the game more seriously. A Cup is a trophy. A Shield? Not so sure.

2- Serial Winner v Trialist? A simple quiz for you my dear reader. Who wants a million dollars more: someone who already owns them, or someone who only dreams about the $1m? If you answered the dreamer you’re wrong. A case in point was Sunday afternoon. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has never won silverware and passed up an opportunity to do so by fielding a weakened side. City boss Pep Guardiola knows the sweetness of success and decided to field a strong starting eleven despite having over 20 trophies to his name.

3- Jorginho influence double edged sword: Towards the back end of last season, Chelsea fell 0-1 to Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. On that occasion, Antonio Conte’s side registered less than 30 percent possession. On Sunday night, that figure had risen to 47 percent. But the increase came at a price. Chelsea were a lot more vulnerable defensively. This is because midfield holder Jorginho has already built a good relationship with Chelsea’s attackers but isn’t working well with the central defenders. Not yet.

4- Phil Foden v Hudson Odoi: The confrontation between England’s two Under 17 World Cup winners ended square. Chelsea sensation Hudson Odoi had a more difficult task, trying to shake off the shackles of England right back Kyle Walker but he emerged unscathed. He even managed a couple of shots in anger. Phil Foden flourished as the game wore on because he was playing in a better team on the day.

5- David Luiz Can’t Thrive In Flat Back Four. Chelsea number 5 David Luiz is a sweeper, not a man marker or zonal central defender. In Conte’s title winning season, the Brazilian was monumental in a 3-5-3, sweeping anything Gary Cahill and Caesar Azpilicueta couldn’t deal with. On Sunday night, he was badly exposed by Sergio Aguero as he had to mark both space and the striker. Sarri and Chelsea are in for a torrid time with Luiz marshaling a back four.

6- Alvaro Morata v Aguero v Gabriel Jesus: If Alvaro Morata was a Manchester City player, Pep Guardiola would send him on loan, or hawk him off. After starting last season like  a bullet train, the former Real Madrid and Juventus forward has been in perpetual decline. Finding a solution to the Morata form quagmire is key to Sarri keeping his job, and Chelsea flourishing in a seasons of trials and tribulations.

7- City Twice As Fit: Manchester City were twice as dominant after the halftime break because they were much fitter. Owing to their inferior physical conditioning, by the 75th minute Chelsea’s midfield was nowhere to be seen. City front three – Aguero, Riyad Mahrez and Jesus were exposing Luiz and Rudiger on almost minute by minute basis. Its one thing being beaten for superior technical proficiency and quite another getting dragged all over courtesy of poor physical shape.

8- Chelsea Press A Work In Progress: The frequency with which Maurizio Sarri’s side won possession high up in City’s half is a pointer to the direction in which he’s guiding the West Londoners. Although there was marked improvement after the break, the principal downfall of Chelsea’s approach, is that it split the team in half, with a visible gap between the front six and back four. It was this gap that Phil Foden ran into to create Aguero’s opener.

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