1-0 wins are not flashy. They are not ideal. Even so, they are necessary. On Saturday, Manchester City collected three important points winning 1-0.
The 1-0 Win
For possession and attack-minded teams, 1-0 wins often seem dull. For these teams the expectation is to win and win by a lot. These teams, like Manchester City, a 1-0 win can be disappointing.
There is importance to the 1-0 win, however. Obviously, it is three more points in the table or a ticket to the next round, but it goes deeper than that. A 1-0 win is a mentality win.
Winning 1-0 is a grind. It requires persistence in the attack and relentless defense. It tests patience. To be able to see out a 1-0 win is great show of character. It requires every player to be alert for the one opportunity to score, and every opportunity to concede.
Leicester City vs Manchester City
On Saturday, this is the mentality Manchester City put on full display. In seasons past, the club would struggle to see out 1-0 wins. Typically either conceding a goal from one shot on target, failing to put a goal away or both.
Defensively, the introduction of Ruben Dias last season combined with the return to health and form of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, Manchester City has conceded just one goal across four matches this season.
In the attack, the introduction of midfielder Jack Grealish has added a spark of creativity. Despite the club’s inability to bring in a striker over the summer, Ferran Torres is revealing himself as an option.
Other midfielders are also stepping up take on the scoring responsibility as well. In fact nine players (and an own goal) have scored the club’s 11 goals this season. All are staying alert and ready to score given the chance.
On Saturday, Manchester City’s win was the result of the 1-0 win grind. It required midfielders to be alert to tap home the rebound and the defense to stay sharp and shut down every counterattack.
These types of wins build championship titles. To repeat as Premier League Champions, Manchester City will need to see out more 1-0 wins. Even though they are not flashy, they are the bedrock of champions.