Manchester City beat a resolute Chelsea side 1-0 in their Premier League game at Stamford Bridge – ending a run of three consecutive losses against the Londoners and destroying Chelsea’s unbeaten record in all competitions this season.
The visitors dominated the ball from the off, holding 67% possession at HT, but the Chelsea defence was so strong that Édouard Mendy was hardly tested on his return from injury. The ‘Blues’ showed some attacking threat around the quarter-hour mark, with a last-ditch intervention from João Cancelo thwarting Romelu Lukaku in the box.
However, they received a blow just before the half-hour, as Reece James was forced off after struggling with injury – being replaced by Thiago Silva. City’s best chance fell to Gabriel Jesus five minutes before the break, after a wonderfully clipped ball from Phil Foden, but the Brazilian couldn’t control his strike to hit the target – meaning there wasn’t a single shot on goal all half.
Jesus made up for that in the 53rd minute, carving out a chance for himself with neat footwork in the box before squeezing his effort through the crowd and into the bottom corner, via a deflection off Jorginho.
This forced the game to open up, and City almost took advantage with Jack Grealish being denied by a brilliant Mendy save shortly before Jesus’ attempt was cleared off the line by Silva. Lukaku thought he’d equalised in the 63rd minute, but substitute Kai Havertz was offside in the build-up.
Mateo Kovačić came closest to restoring parity, in the 71st minute, but was denied by a great block from Rúben Dias. City also came close to a late goal, as Aymeric Laporte sent his shot whistling past the post and Grealish was denied well by Mendy again. Chelsea endeavoured and looked the side most likely to score in the final ten minutes, but City stood firm to take three points that may prove vital in a compelling title race.
This is a historically tough fixture for Pep Guardiola, who has never lost against a team more than Chelsea, so he will be especially delighted with the victory. Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel’s side have now lost their unbeaten record in all competitions this term.
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