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Premier League, Stamford Bridge – Chelsea 2 (Kante 45, David Luiz 78) Manchester City 0
A canny, doughty performance from Chelsea dealt a disappointing City their first defeat of the season,. They move third, while the champions stay second, a point behind Liverpool.
City dominated the first half, but without the injured Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero lacked their usual edge, making only one clear-cut chance, which Raheem Sterling wasted. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Chelsea struck: an excellent long pass from David Luiz set up a break which finished with Eden Hazard cutting back for N’golo Kante, who spanked high into the net.
In the second half, the anticipated City onslaught never materialised. Chelsea started faster and looked more dangerous throughout, sealing their victory on 78 minutes when Luiz contorted his body to impart a fine header to Pedro’s corner.
Still City created little, and at full-time had been dealt their first defeat since April. It will still be a shock if they do not retain the title, but perhaps, for the first time in five seasons, we will have a proper race for it. And perhaps, in years to come, Chelsea will look upon this win as the spiritual start of the Sarri era.
Photo: Eurosport /David Luiz
Did City get too cocky? With Sergio Aguero injured, Pep Guardiola moved Raheem Sterling from the wing into the middle, keeping Gabriel Jesus on the bench. And they missed a focal point inside the box while lacking their usual intensity – the game was easy for them in the first half, so easy, that they forgot they were paying a match not an exhibition, so didn’t bother to score. This defeat was no more than they deserved.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Luiz (Chelsea) Cesar Azpilicueta was also excellent, but Luiz began the move which led to the first goal, scored the second, and generally defended his box very well.
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 8, Rudiger 7, David Luiz 9, Alonso 6, Jorginho 6, Kante 7, Kovacic 5, Pedro 6, Hazard 8, Willian 5. Subs: Barkley 6, Loftus-Cheek 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Walker 6, Stones 6, Laporte 6, Delph 6, Fernandinho 6, David Silva5, Bernardo Silva 4, Mahrez 5, Sterling 5, Sane 5. Subs: Jesus 6, Gundogan 6, Foden 6.