Where can Manchester City improve in Europe next season?

Manchester City Colin Bell Stand

For the second season in a row Manchester City have failed to get out of the Champions League group stage. Here are five things they can improve on if they qualify for next season’s tournament.

Home Form

City drew all of their three home matches which are the games where the bigger sides generally look for solid wins. It takes the pressure off of the team going into difficult away matches and City need to cash in on their home games next season because three points from nine is not good enough.

Defence

The City defence conceded ten goals in total which is only two less than Ajax in the position above them in the table. Compare this to Real Madrid’s eight and Borussia Dortmund’s five and it’s easy to see why City struggled in the competition this time round. Defensive solidity will allow the team to win tight and narrow matches.

Formation and System

It seemed at times in this Champions League that City didn’t know the right sort of system to use in each match. Sometimes they played three at the back, sometimes they played four at the back, sometimes they played five at the back with two wing backs moving between the defence and the midfield. They need to find their best system and stick with it.

Attack

Ironically the attack of the side was one of City’s weakest areas considering they have so much attacking talent. Cluj, Bate and Zenit St Petersburg have all scored more goals than City after the same number of games. Yes, City are in a more difficult group but they need to score a higher volume of goals next season to insure against any defensive fragility.

Discipline

City had five players booked during the match against Real Madrid. This suggests they need to show a little more discipline next season when playing any bigger sides. Of course it does depend on the referee to a certain extent but a similar showing of poor behaviour on the pitch could cost the side through suspensions at a vital time which may leave the side at a big disadvantage.

image: © Gene Hunt

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