Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City: Match Review
After a shocking 1-2 defeat away at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the midweek, Chelsea were hoping to get back their early season form with a win. There is a chance, however, that the Londoners would be forced to wait a bit longer for their next league win as they now faced Manchester City, the English top division's best team and perhaps one of the best in Europe.
The two clubs, sharing the last two Premier League titles between them first met in the early season glorified friendly- The Community Shield. The defending champions humbled the Blues 2-0 with Argentine striker Sergio Aguero scoring a brace.
Going into the game, Chelsea's current league form featured two losses in their last three outings which was a small warning sign ahead of their clash against the league leaders. The "Sarri-ball" which wowed everyone at the beginning of the season now featured lack of ideas with the ball and frailty without it. Eden Hazard, who enjoyed a splendid start to the season looks slowed down due to injury he endured last month. Jorginho would like to forget his outing against Spurs as soon as possible.
The Chelsea which looked invincible at the start of the season have suddenly hit a roadblock. In all fairness, this was expected as a new manager coming in with a completely new philosophy would take time to settle. But it was the early season form which raised expectations so much that the current slump has seen plenty of overreaction from the fans across the social media spectrum resulting in plenty of negativity going into the match.
Manchester City, on the other hand, are the team that the hosts are aiming to be- fluid in possession, comfortable at the back, scoring for fun and winning games left, right and center. Pep Guardiola's men were second in the table going into the game having played one match less than Liverpool, the table toppers at the time. The citizens have by far been the best team in the Premier League-similar to last season. Raheem Sterling has been absolutely sensational to watch, Bernardo Silva has built on his debut season in England and the scariest part is that the team has not had the luxury of fielding their best player- Kevin De Bruyne who is out due to injury.
A win for Manchester City was widely anticipated as Maurizio Sarri continues to implement his system, five months into his new job and looking to iron out the deficiencies in his team. A Manchester City win would see them get back to the top of the table with 44 points, 2 more than Liverpool while a Chelsea win would see them leapfrog Arsenal into the third position, leading them on goal difference with Tottenham breathing down their neck with one point less (33 points) and a game in hand.
Alvaro Morata missed the matchday squad as Brazilian left-back Emerson got a place on the bench. Olivier Giroud started on the bench with Eden Hazard starting as a false nine, flanked by Willian and Pedro.
Manchester City missed Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne due to injury while Raheem Sterling was looking like he would play through the middle as Gabriel Jesus was dropped to the bench
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azplicueta (c), Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, N'Golo Kanté, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro, Eden Hazard, Willian
Subs: Willy Caballero, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Cesc Fàbregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud
Ederson | Fabian Delph, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Kyle Walker | Riyad Mahrez, Fernandinho, David Silva (c) | Leroy Sané, Bernardi Silva, Raheem Sterling
Subs: Arijanet Muric, Danilo, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Nicholas Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden.