Manchester City Beat Chelsea At Stamford Bridge, Keep Pressure On Arsenal

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Graham Potter’s difficult start to life in the Stamford Bridge dugout continued on Thursday evening, with Manchester City recording a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in London.

The Blues hoped to pile the pressure onto Pep Guardiola’s team following their shock draw with Everton, yet they couldn’t make a strong first-half showing count.

City know they still have to play Arsenal twice, but they can’t afford to drop too many more points, especially given the fact their Champions League campaign is about to resume.

Whilst much of Chelsea’s pre-match focus was on possible new signings for the January window, the team started the match well.

This was, in spite of Raheem Sterling pulling his hamstring after just one minute of play.

Manchester City made Chelsea rue missed chances

Guardiola’s selection of Rodri at center-half didn’t work as intended, it left the visitors with a lack of control in midfield.

Chelsea were able to take advantage of this and control the game in the middle of the pitch.

Denis Zakaria, Mateo Kovacic and Carney Chukwuemeka were all outstanding, creating chances for Kai Havertz, which the German failed to take.

Chelsea’s best moment of the first-half came through the substitute, Chukwuemeka, when he slalomed through City’s defense before rattling the post with a low shot.

Guardiola, though, tends not to be bested for too long and he made changes at half-time which earned his side the victory.

Whilst Erling Haaland remained isolated in a lone-forward role, the introduction of Manuel Akanji at center-half gave the team a more familiar shape.

Riyad Mahrez was also introduced and the Algerian took full advantage of Marc Cucurella’s inability to defend.

The former Leicester City forward would score the winning goal just after the hour mark.

Jack Grealish provided a perfect cross across the face of Chelsea’s goal, evading both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Cucurella and finding Mahrez unmarked at the back post.

The Algerian applied a smart finish and handed the visitors the lead which they would hold until the final-whistle.

The onslaught from Chelsea never really came, despite playing in front of new owner, Todd Boehly, the Blues lacked the cutting edge to truly test City’s defensive resolve.

Zakaria displayed a few nice touches but lacked clarity in the final third, whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was yet again a disappointment.

Conor Gallagher’s introduction make life difficult for John Stones, mainly in the sense that his overzealous style of pressing left the England defender in a heap on the floor on at least two occasions.

Winning on Thursday evening was importing to Manchester City, especially after Guardiola implored his players to be perfect until the end of the campaign, whilst Chelsea were left looking at an increasingly difficult task of getting into the top-four.

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