3 things we learnt from Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City
Manchester City dominate the Premier League champions at home who have just one win from 4 home games in their title-defending campaign so far. Kevin De Bruyne scored the one goal of the game as Chelsea struggle to find feet despite being at home.
Here are 3 things we learnt from today's game:
#1 – Gary Cahill shouldn't be starting for Chelsea
One thing Antonio Conte needs to do is stop playing Gary Cahill. The Chelsea club captain has been woeful on the ball whenever he has played this season and needs to be benched.
Chelsea were playing very well without the Englishman in the side and were able to keep a clean sheet in in the three games he didn't play. Not only does Cahill play out of position more often than not, he slows down the counter-attacking chances even before they begin.
While David Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta and Rudiger look up straight away when they get the ball, Cahill waits for the attackers to run up front and then decides to pass the ball to Kante or Bakayoko who are about 10 yeards away.
There were several occasions today where Cahill was just inches away from Christensen instead of being at the edge of th box and ensuring that Sterling did not get space. His bad positioning caused a lot of trouble for Marcos Alonso who was not able to go up front when needed as Sterling was also roaming free behind him.
#2 Gabriel Jesus needs Sergio Aguero
On a day when Manchester City were dominating, Gabriel Jesus had a quiet day. Christensen was on his toes all the time and the Brazilan was not able to do anything productive.
Jesus might have got the assist for Kevin De Bruyne's thunder goal but that was all down to the Belgian's sheer shot and nothing to do with the ball by the Brazilian striker. He has been in great form recently and that shows how much he is dependent of Sergio Aguero.
His shot only proper shot, albeit a great one, was cleared off the line by Antonio Rudiger and that was probably his only chance of the game. He was unable to break free of the Chelsea defence despite getting a lot of support from Sterling, Sane, De Bruyne and David Silva.
If Kun Aguero was playing today, City would have easily steamrtolled past Chelsea and would have walked away with a 3-0 or 4-0 victory.
#3 – Manchester City were tactically spot on
From the very start of the game, Manchester City were brilliant on and off the ball. They were at the home of the champions but were not letting that get into their head one bit.
Every time Chelsea looked to launch a counter-attack with a ball through behind the City defence, the defenders played a high line and caught their opponents offside. The Chelsea attackers were caught offside EIGHT times in the game – one almost every 11 minutes!
Pep Guardiola lost both the games to Conte last season but he has surely done his homework and the slight tweaks he made today worked like a charm. He made sure that Chelsea wingbacks were kept busy at the back thereby ensuring that any chance of a counter-attack was to go through the centre of the pitch.
Antonio Conte's tactic of counter-attacking football failed miserably today as they were not able to get past the City defence at all. Ederson was forced to make just a couple of saves throughout the game.