Manchester City found a different way to win against Chelsea
Manchester City went to their assembly with Chelsea 12 points but they dropped back until the break from the loss at Anfield with a win which functioned as a reminder of how they became winners in the first location.
After falling behind to N’Golo Kante opener at the Etihad Stadium, Kevin De Bruyne struck a equaliser before Riyad Mahrez hit what was to be the decisive aim. The win keeps them and reveals they’re capable of finding different ways to win.
For the opening half hour, it appeared Manchester City were on track for one more damaging setback. Chelsea, after De Bruyne flashed a shot wide, having survived an early scare, were the side, going close on many occasions prior to Kante’s superbly-taken objective.
It’s a nod to City fortitude that they could fight back and take control of the match. There was a slice of good luck about the deflection that took De Bruyne’s shot away from Kepa Arrizabalaga for the equaliser, however, Mahrez struck the next eight minutes later and City retained Chelsea at arm’s length from then on.
Having been carved open repeatedly together with Rodri struggling to find a grip on the match at the base of midfield, City rallied impressively. Into getting only five at the remaining 69 chelsea moved 21 minutes.
“Chelsea did not park the busthey had a go, but they were penalized and that’s exactly what the really good teams would do to you,” said Roy Keane on Sky Sports. “City reacted like champions today. They weren’t quite in their finest, but they punished Chelsea’s mistakes and they needed to win.”
What was most impressive, though, was the City handled it despite having just 46.7 percent of their ownership. It was, in accordance with Opta, the smallest ownership share with a Guardiola facet in some of his 381 top-flight matches accountable. They accommodated to the struggle, although it was a very odd position for City.
“People expect us to own 70 per cent possession, but these men have a lot of quality,” De Bruyne told Sky Sports afterwards. “Props to these, they could keep the ball together with all the quality they’ve. However, it reveals the other side of the quality. We can control the game without having most of the ball.”
Their resolute screen was precisely what they had after all the questions that were requested of them recently. Aymeric Laporte has been a spectator again in the Etihad Stadium – it will be several months before he is about to reunite – but Fernandinho was amazing in John Stones impressed alongside him and his location.
Kyle Walker and Angelino struggled badly at full-back in the Liverpool game, but they were replaced with Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo, who maintained Willian and Christian Pulisic throughout. In midfield, meanwhile, Rodri improved before injury forced him off together using Ilkay Gundogan subsequently helping to shore up things in his place in the second half.
After they did have the ball, then City sprang forward transitioning in rate and discovering openings in Chelsea’s defence. It was thanks to some stunning reflex save midway as they did that Chelsea hung on so long.
On his very first Premier League appearance of any kind since the 2-0 loss to Wolves at the start of October, Mahrez provided a glimpse of his substantial quality. On this evidence he is going to be tough to exit in the weeks ahead, although the Algerian appears to drift in and out of favour with Guardiola.
His goal, a end that gave Kepa no chance following a mazy dribble between Mateo Kovacic along with Emerson, had been outstanding, and it was one of several standout moments. He had taken more shots and completed twice as among his team-mates as many dribbles.
Mahrez was good, in actuality, the beleaguered Emerson had to be hauled off before the hour-mark, together with the seasoned and defensively-minded Cesar Azpilicueta to stop him. Mahrez was more silent in the final stages, but his work was done.