- Tom Cayless
City make statement with excellent display at the Bridge – Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City Review
In what was a record-breaking victory for Pep Guardiola, his side broke their Chelsea 'curse' and dismantled Thomas Tuchel's side in a dominating display at Stamford Bridge resulting in a 1-0 away victory for the Sky Blues.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager now holds the title for the most wins of any Manchester City manager, surpassing Les McDowall's 220 wins.
Gabriel Jesus' deflected strike was enough for City to beat Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea, who they infamously struggled against last season. Tuchel's side beat City in the FA semi-final, Premier League, and the most painful of all, the Champions League final with many people noting before the game that Tuchel had this City side's number but today proved that theory wrong.
The City boss made nine changes from the team that beat Wycombe midweek, only Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne kept their place. Ruben Dias captained City, just like he did in the Champions League last week.
City started excellently. Fresh out the blocks, they pressed Chelsea high up the pitch, a rather risky method but it worked. Tuchel's side really struggled to get out and constantly lost the ball poorly in the early moments.
As good as City's press was, they really struggled to break down Chelsea's back nine in the first- half. Guardiola's side recycled the ball excellently but looked dead of ideas to interrupt Chelsea's well-drilled defence.
A star in City's performance was Rodri. The Spaniard was questioned by many fans this week but was outstanding in the middle of midfield today. He constantly won the ball back and churned down Chelsea's attempted counter-attacks. Chelsea made 0 passes in their final attacking third for the first 36 minutes and much of this has to be put down to Rodri and City's willingness to win the ball high up the pitch.
The first-half ended 0-0, both managers would have been happy with that but City were the only side that looked like wanting to score and win the game.
The Premier League champions once again started the half excellently. Chelsea looked more open compared to the first half. City were getting in behind and got more shots off at Edouard Mendy's goal but nothing came early on.
They then got their reward in the 52nd minute when Gabriel Jesus' deflected effort found its way into the back of the Chelsea net. City played the corner short and it went to Joao Cancelo, who took it past Timo Werner and shot towards goal. His shot was blocked and fell to Jesus who snapped at the ball and scored in front of the City away end - which was once again very vocal and created a great atmosphere for the City players.
After the goal, Chelsea came into life. They now needed a goal and were actually playing for it, unlike before. Nevertheless, it was City that came close to another goal. Jack Grealish drove inside, Cancelo made a decoy run around Silva, that run made space for Grealish who cut inside and struck low towards the far corner but it was somehow saved by Mendy. This would not be the final time City came close to doubling their lead.
The next time opportunity came just minutes later. Cancelo, who was awarded BT Sport's Man of the Match, fizzed the ball across the face of goal, Mendy clawed it away but only as far as Jesus who shot towards the goal but the experienced Thiago Silva was there to block it and stop City from getting a second and perhaps putting the game out of reach.
Shortly after, Ruben Dias proved his world-class ability once again. Chelsea swiftly transitioned towards the City goal and Kovacic hit a goal-bound shot but it was sublimely blocked for a corner by City's captain. They say defending is an art and that there was certainly that.
Two more opportunities fell City's way. One for Aymeric Laporte, who ran off his marker at a free-kick. A trademark De Bruyne cross was put into the Chelsea area and Laporte missed his volley from close-range. The other fell to Jack Grealish, City's record transfer was played through Chelsea's resolute defence by Phil Foden. Grealish attempted to chip the ball over Mendy but it was excellently saved.
City managed to kill the game off and marvellous game management helped them to shut Chelsea out. It finished 0-1 to City and it was totally deserved, if not they Guardiola's team deserved more.
Ederson (8) Walker (8) Dias (9) Laporte (8) Cancelo (9) Rodri (10) Bernardo Silva (9) Grealish (8) De Bruyne (7) Foden (6.5) Jesus (8)
Subsititues: Mahrez (N/A) Sterling (N/A) Fernandihno (N/A)
With how good Chelsea have been this season, a draw would have been a decent result for City today but they bettered that. They laid down a marker to the rest of the league to show they'll be back near the top once again this season. Both going forwards and defensively, it was the performance of what City are - Premier League champions.
They'll need more of this, especially after the games against Southampton and Spurs but they've got it in the tank and will be serious challengers on all fronts once again this season.
Written by: @Tom72ii
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