Opposed to Chelsea on behalf of the 22e Premier League day, Manchester City made the difference thanks to Kevin De Bruyne twenty minutes from time after having dominated for a long time. The locals, thirteen points ahead of their runner-up and opponent of the day, continue to crush the competition following this twelfth victory in a row…
Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea
But : De Bruyne (70e)
Twelve. Twelve consecutive wins. This is the incredible series that Manchester City is surfing in the league at the moment. A string of good results which puts the outgoing champion in a very good position to retain his crown, and which frightens everyone in England. Chelsea, second in the table, is no exception to the rule: during the 22e Premier League day, Blues got exhausted running behind the sphere and eventually broke down. A logical defeat (the first since December 4) against a monster of mastery, which has the best defense and the best attack in the country. A chasm of thirteen points now separates the two teams, one of which will be very difficult to dislodge from its throne.
Domination, according to Kepa
A revived championship, or a king almost already crowned? This is the question this shock is supposed to answer, the leader receiving his runner-up with no less than ten points in advance. Victory is therefore urgent for Chelsea, who can count on the power of Lukaku to start the game. But very quickly, it is Manchester City which is in a dominant position. With a fairly enlightening first half, in terms of statistics: five shots to nothing, six corners to nil, 63% possession of the ball and zero yellow cards against two. Still, the score did not unlock despite a dangerous header from Stones, an off-center strike from De Bruyne or a face-to-face loss by Grealish against Kepa following a small ball from Kovačić. Because each time, the goalkeeper – yet author of an error during the first minutes and who takes advantage of the absence of Mendy, gone to the African Cup of Nations – responds present.
Ederson to save, KDB to finish
When they return from the locker room, the local supporters logically think that their team will continue their work of undermining in order to finally create the fault. Except that it is Lukaku, served by Kovačić in depth, who fails to find the way to the nets on the counter. At the time, it takes a decisive save from Ederson to avoid the unpleasant surprise in Manchester City. A flash in the pan, in reality: after this big opportunity, Chelsea (diminished by the absences of James, Chilwell, Chalobah and Christensen) folds back on itself again by undergoing the opposing assaults. And what had to happen happened: superiors, the Sky Blues make the difference twenty minutes from time thanks to a personal achievement by De Bruyne. Despite Kanté and Silva, the Belgian indeed manages to afford space and send a magnificent rolling winner from twenty meters. 1-0, the hardest part is done on the Mancunian side and the most complicated begins on the London side. Because if Werner tries to react, the Citizens seem in total confidence and Foden is very close to the break while the real opportunities for the visitors remain rare. What could be more normal, when you have just lined up twelve successes in a row?
Manchester City (4-3-3) : Ederson – Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo – Rodri, De Bruyne (Gündoğan, 85e), Silva – Sterling, Foden (Jesus, 88e), Grealish. Trainer: Guardiola.
Chelsea (3-4-3) : Kepa – Rüdiger, Silva, Sarr – Azpilicueta, Kanté, Kovačić, Alonso (Mount, 80e) – Ziyech (Werner, 69e), Lukaku, Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi, 69e). Coach: Tuchel.
By Florian Manceau