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In two of Manchester City's biggest games of the season so far—at Liverpool and at Real Madrid—Roberto Mancini made some questionable decisions.
Against Liverpool, he didn't appear to make any glaring mistakes, except for his decision not to change from the 3-5-2 formation which clearly wasn't working.
His substitutions didn't have a major effect on the game. That is, unless you count substitute Jack Rodwell handling the ball and conceding a free kick, which Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was able to score from.
Ultimately, Mancini was lucky to escape with a draw.
On the other hand, against Real Madrid, the Italian made an obvious tactical mistake.
Given the opposition, starting the game with a defensive mindset wasn't the worst decision in the world. However, unlike the game against Liverpool, Mancini was unable to get away with the one major decision that changed the matchup.
That decision was analyzed at Zonal Marking.
Rather than reverting back to a 4-2-3-1 formation after gaining the lead for a second time, Mancini handed the whole left side of the pitch to one of the players in the world and attack-minded full-back Marcelo.
In this game, with a major amount of luck, two of Mancini's substitutions worked out well.
His third was disastrous.
If the Citizens boss continues to make poor decisions against Arsenal this weekend, he and his team could be in real trouble.
Home advantage will help, but the Gunners are a confident team at the moment and have shown their effectiveness offensively thus far.