Ajax 3 Man City 1: We struggled with Mancini’s tactics, admits Richards
Ajax 3 Man City 1: Micah Richards says the Citizens struggled with Roberto Mancini's tactics after slumping to a loss in Amsterdam
Micah Richards admitted Manchester City struggled with Roberto Mancini’s tactics after the Citizens were beaten by Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena.
France international Samir Nasri put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute before Dutch striker Siem de Jong levelled for Frank de Boer’s side just before half-time.
Ajax defender Niklas Moisander completed the home side’s comeback with a timely header in the 57th minute, prompting Mancini to switch to a 3-5-2 formation.
The change proved disastrous as the Eredivisie winners ruthlessly exploited a visibly confused Citizens rearguard, and Christian Eriksen added a third to seal the victory.
“We’ve been beaten by a very good Ajax team but we should have done much better,” said Richards.
“When we went a goal up in the first-half they were probably the better team, but in the second period, we just crumbled.
“We are all very disappointed with the way we performed.”
He added: “I mean it [3-5-2] is something that we haven’t worked on a lot.
“We’re used to a straight back four. We’ve gone to a back five twice and we’ve conceded this season.
“But the manager likes it, and if we want to do well in Europe, we’re going to have to work on it a bit more. The players just want to play.
“It’s a hard system because we’re not used to it and the players prefer a 4-4-2. But he’s the manager and we’ll do what he says.”