Manchester City did what Arsenal couldn’t on Tuesday: they won despite not playing their best. The reigning Premier League champions narrowly beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge that night.
City boss Pep Guardiola spoke of ‘must’almost perfectto catch the Gunners ahead of the game. Although they were far from perfect, City still took the three points.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Thursday’s game was the fact that Erling Haaland failed to score. The superstar striker already has it 21 league goals. That is more than the entire Chelsea team during the current campaign.
Blues currently in injury crisis
Chelsea started the massive game with eight players sidelined due to several injuries. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Armando Broja, Edouard Mendy and Mason Mount all missed the City game. Mount was a late scratch as he was knocked over during practice the previous day.
Injury problems for the Blues would only get worse on Thursday. Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic were both substituted early in the first half with injuries. The attacking duo both appeared to have muscle problems in the lower body.
Despite the injuries, Chelsea started the game reasonably well. They were the better team for the first 30-40 minutes. In fact, Haaland didn’t get the ball until the 20th minute of the game and City didn’t register a shot until the 33rd minute.
Still, City eventually woke up and soon turned up the pressure. With the score 60 minutes into the game, Guardiola brought in Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez. Both players would link up for the only goal of the night. The England international fired a low cross straight in front of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Mahrez only needed to make contact with the ball to get it into the net from a few yards away.
Although it was a good pass from Grealish, there are certainly questions to be asked of Kepa. The Spanish keeper froze when he saw the ball pass right in front of him. It certainly looked like Kepa could have tried to collect or clear the ball.
Manchester City and Chelsea are going in different directions
The defeat keeps Chelsea inside 10th place. They are currently behind fellow London clubs Fulham and Brentford. The Blues have now collected just six points in their last eight league games.
City, on the other hand, are now just five points behind leaders Arsenal. Both clubs have yet to face each other twice this season in the Premiership.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage
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