Vincent Kompany explains Burnley’s tactical setup for opening night Manchester City defeat
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That’s according to manager Vincent Kompany, whose usual back four became a back five for Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at Turf Moor in the club’s return to the top flight.
Despite the scoreline, the plan appeared to be working relatively well, especially in the first-half where the Clarets were more than a match for Pep Guardiola’s side.
But the reigning champions, and Erling Haaland in particular, proved too strong and were clinical when chances came their way.
While Kompany’s men would later shift into different shapes in the second-half, Vitinho initially began the game at left-wing back, Connor Roberts at right wing-back with Ameen Al-Dakhil, Dara O’Shea and Jordan Beyer the three centre-backs.
Explaining his decision to switch things up tactically, Kompany said: “I wouldn’t even call it a back five, it’s just you’re trying - within the zone - to have the profile of players that can match what their players can cause you in terms of problems.
“We didn’t have to compromise too much in terms of how we were able to manipulate the ball ourselves, because that’s what a so-called back five can cause, and we were flexible enough to switch it during the game where during the second-half it was essentially a back four.
“They adapted, we adapted, they adapted, we had to adapt again. But when you have seven years of cohesion it gives you a little bit of an advantage.”