CHELSEA 2, MANCHESTER CITY 0
Manchester City lost their 22 game unbeaten record after a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea who had lost their last two Premier League matches.
Goals by N’Golo Kante and man of the match David Luiz sealed victory for the Londoners as Manchester City were punished for their first half profligacy.
Talk of matching Arsene Wenger’s Invincible Arsenal side can be put away for another season.
City boss Pep Guardiola praised his players in defeat, saying that they had played ‘outstanding’ in the first half, adding:
“Apart from ten minutes in the second half, we were there until the end.
“The guys today were incredible. We win together, and we lose together.”
Neither team started with a recognised striker, with Chelsea utilising Eden Hazard up front while Raheem Sterling was City’s front man as Gabriel Jesus started on the bench with Sergio Aguero not risked due to a muscular problem while Kevin De Bruyne was not ready to play after an injury layoff.
Guardiola also brought back Aymeric Laporte into the fold for Vincent Kompany as the other change from the Watford game.
A flawless defensive performance by Chelsea, led by Luiz, blocked and frustrated City who had efforts by Sterling, Leroy Sane, and David Silva blocked.
And City were punished for not taking the lead when chances presented themselves after Chelsea took the lead just before the break.
Hazard peeled off to the left after a Chelsea attack wasn’t cleared and cut the ball back to Kante who had been deployed as a more attacking player this season.
The defensive midfielder capitalised on hesitation by City’s defence – with Sane and Fabian Delph too slow to react as he arrived late – and put a rising shot into the roof of the net on their first attack of note.
City Willian had a free kick and shot saved early in the second half as City wobbled and their pressing game failed.
Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan were brought on for the misfiring Sane and David Silva but Chelsea won a disputed corner after Ross Barkley’s shot was adjudged to have brushed the studs of Riyad Mahrez.
Despite Guardiola’s protestations that it wasn’t a corner, Chelsea scored their second of the game when Luiz got in front of Gundogan to flick a corner past Ederson.
Jesus had City’s best chance of the half tipped away by Kepa Arrizabalaga and the defeat meant that City had now slipped to second after Liverpool continued their unbeaten run with victory at Bournemouth – the title race is on again.
- Chelsea’s victory was marred by video footage of home supporters appearing to racially abuse Raheem Sterling circulating online after the game.