So how did Brentford do it? And what can the scouts from Metropolis’s subsequent two opponents, Manchester United and Inter Milan, have taken away as hints for the way they may additionally stymie Guardiola’s ambition?
They might do properly to hearken to the Metropolis supervisor’s evaluation. He was stuffed with compliments for Thomas Frank’s facet afterwards, suggesting that in relation to threatening set-pieces, they’re the Premier League’s “greatest staff by far”.
“However it isn’t simply that,” he added. “How shortly they play, how aggressive, the unity of the membership: it’s distinctive. Hopefully subsequent season we are able to do higher. To beat them, we now have a goal already.”
It begins, Brentford’s tactical recreation, from the again. If United, as an example, needed to borrow something from observing this win, their goalkeeper, David de Gea, would battle to match his countryman David Raya’s capacity with the ball at his ft.
“He is sort of a holding midfielder,” Guardiola reckoned. That’s true, his passing ahead is fast, sharp, correct. No surprise the house crowd chanted how a lot they needed him to remain.
No surprise Tottenham are so eager to signal him. Frank additionally has at his disposal a defence ready to throw itself into each problem. The lead was preserved by three successive clearances off the road.
All over the place they press, all over the place they scrap for possession. However Guardiola was proper, it’s the set-piece the place they actually grasp.
Lengthy throws, steepling corners, fierce, arcing free-kicks: the Metropolis defenders can hardly ever have confronted such a constant aerial assault. Though not sparked by a set-piece, the profitable aim got here from relentless bombardment into the field.
Substitute Kevin Schade crossed to the far submit, Bryan Mbeumo headed again into the field and Ethan Pinnock whacked dwelling.
“We top-performed in two video games,” Frank stated of how he beat Metropolis twice. “It is extremely clear you could defend very properly. But in addition you could press excessive up with power. Set-pieces are also crucial.” That’s the Brentford method. Whether or not United or Inter have the staff to play like that, nonetheless, is one other query.