Premier League 2018/19: Chelsea prove that Manchester City are not invincibles anymore
Until today, Manchester City looked like an unstoppable force. They were unbeaten home and away in the Premier League this season and lost only to Lyon in the UEFA Champions League. But their seemingly unstoppable run was stopped by immovable Chelsea tonight as they managed to win against the league leaders in Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea managed to be the only team in the Premier League 2018/19 so far to dominate Manchester City. At their own den, they started out as the second-best team but eventually fought their way to a 2-0 win against the league leaders. This victory leaves Liverpool at the top by a point and Chelsea are now third, just seven points off Manchester City.
Chelsea's victory also leaves the Premier League race wide open. Liverpool are the only unbeaten team in the league now and the real winner today is Jurgen Klopp. Although Chelsea had a recent dip in their form, they managed to turn it all around against the best team in England.
Chelsea were initially slow to get things going and were thoroughly dominated by Manchester City, who were without their two talisman- Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne. But they have repeatedly shown their strength despite missing their starters and fielded a strong XI with Raheem Sterling, Mahrez, Sane, David and Bernardo Silva - all in the lineup.
Maurizio Sarri surprised with his line up, as he kept the likes of Alvaro Morata and Giroud out from the first team and deployed Eden Hazard as a lone centre-forward in the false 9 role.
Football is definitely a game of two halves as Manchester City started in their usual manner filled with creativity. They created chances early but the likes of Sterling and co. were reluctant to pull the trigger and show efficiency in front of goal.
At the end of a dominating first half from City, they were surprisingly caught out by a David Luiz long ball and Chelsea managed to pounce on their limited number of chances in the first half. Hazard cracked open City's resistance on the break and managed to grab an assist late in the first half as N'Golo Kante stormed the ball into the net.
It was out of the blue and Sarri's tactics took its sweet time but Chelsea captivated on their lead as they went into the second half. They were resilient and worked really hard to keep a relentless Manchester City at bay and their resilience finally paid off when David Luiz rose higher than anyone else to put the ball in from a corner kick. In the end, a 2-0 lead was enough to settle the tie.
It was a terrific match with almost perfect precision from both the sides but Chelsea were more efficient in the final third and with their finishing. They didn't miss their natural goalscorers but Manchester City definitely missed Sergio Aguero. Hazard can't stop assisting as he had his say in both of Chelsea's goals today.
All's well that ends well. It is definitely an achievement to keep a clean sheet against a team like Manchester City and Sarri will be proud of his players. Certainly, this victory over Manchester City proves that Premier League title is not a procession but a tightly contested race.