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- 2nd Half
- David Luiz78'
- 1st Half
Chelsea - Manchester City
Premier League - 8 December 2018
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That's a brilliant win for Chelsea, who hung on in the first half, took the chance they created, and were excellent in the second. They move third, while City stay second with Liverpool top.
Full-time: Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City
City work it forward and my picture cuts out but returns in time for me to see Jesus bend one that Kepa dives high to shove away.
Chelsea knock it about and the crowd cheer each pass, administering a firm dose of own medicine.
McManaman gives man of the match to Luiz just ahead of Azpilicueta - amazingly, given his award to Matic just the other night, I agree with him in both aspects. He'll be thrilled when someone tells him!
There'll be four added minutes.
City win a corner and go short, Barkley and Luiz throwing themselves at it when the ball comes into the box. Sterling then picks it up and has a shot booked before a further clearance falls to Fernandinho, who cuts across a volley very nicely, sending a shot steaming wide.
Literally 10 minutes later, Guardiola is still bitching at the fourth official.
How unexciting this game has been tells you how well Chelsea have played.
Lovely from Azpilicueta, who takes a ball from Pedro and flicks it back to him. The cross is decent too, picking out Barkley, who gets up well but heads wide.
Final City change: Foden gets his big chance, sent on to replace Mahrez.
The ground is alive again as City move the ball along the back four. They don't look like a side about to launch a stirring comeback, it must be said.
On the touchline, Guardiola is bitching that it wasn't a corner, but it was - the shot deflected of Mahrez's studs.
That was Chelsea's first corner of the match, and Luiz's first goal of the season. They've been good second half - solid in defence and likely in attack.
GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City (David Luiz) Luiz comes into the box late, wanders towards the six-yard box, and when Pedro crosses flat, an arch of the back and a shake of the locks gets a fine flick over Ederson and into the corner! The champions are going to lose for the first time since April!
Loftus-Cheek and Barkley work the ball between them allowing Barkley to shoot low - a deflection takes it behind...
Loftus-Cheek replaces Willian, who's done a lot of nothing.
A loose touch from Kante sees Sterling speed into him but somehow he can't quite gather the ball into stride and yerman wins it back.
Azpilicueta has been very good today, and he finds Hazard in space; Hazard holds the ball, waiting for Laporte to foul him, which he does. Basically he gets played, but the free-kick comes to nowt.
City haven't made a chance so far this half, which tells you how well Chelsea have defended and how poorly they've played.
Brilliant from Sterling, cutting in and diving between two defenders like a man sneaking onto a train as the doors close. He then beats a third but can't make anything of it.
I should add, Luiz has been very good tonight. He's been sold at the back and his pass began the move which culminated in the goal.
City win a corner when Azpilicueta didn't touch behind and go short, Gundogan to Bernardo. He takes the return, then shoots low from outside the box, Luiz kicking away.
Currently, Sterling is on the left so Mahrez can play on the right, but I wonder if they might swap at some point, as Sterling is City's most likely scorer and creator so they might want him in his best position.
But Silva is feeling his hamstring, so Gundogan comes on to replace him. It doesn't look a bad one, perhaps a "pre-injury", but this is not the time you want one of your best players incapacitated.
If the score stays as it is, we'll see what Guardiola thinks of Foden, because he has no other attackers on the bench.
Bernardo, who's been very quiet today - likewise Dayvid - crosses, and Luiz is up early to head clear. I'm not sure what he was looking for there.
Kovacic can't continue, so is replaced by Barkley.
Kovacic is down and Jorginho wants Mahrez to put the ball out. He doesn't because why should he, and is rattled in retaliation. Jorginho is booked.
City have gone quiet again, and for maybe the first time, they're really missing De Bruyne, who gives them those clean lines that set up the play. Being without Aguero at the same time is also a problem - his ability to find space in the box and shoot from around his bum would be very handy against a team sitting back as Chelsea are.
Pedro does really well, coming off the front and turning to slide Azpiliceuta into space. Nothing comes of it, but Chelsea are enjoying this and City have now been behind for longer than at any time so far this season.
Walker looks like he'll have the free-kick and he goes over the wall, but over the man nearest Kepa, giving the keeper the chance to dive and parry.
Sterling wastes a corner then gets the opportunity to redeem himself but crosses to no one. City maintain the pressure though, and just outside his own box, Hazard handles with Laporte up his arse.
The flow has changed again - it's all City now. But don't be surprised if Chelsea punish them on the break because they look in the mood.
City win a free-kick that's only partially cleared. Mahrez collects and steps inside, looking to bend powerfully towards the far corner - Luiz gets in the way and heads away well.
Guardiola has to act and does, replacing Sane with Jesus.
Look at this! Chelsea break again, Hazard stretching the play and finding Kante, who squares for Willian ... his shot is saved easily enough by Ederson, but Chelsea are coming!
Possession is 70-030 Chelsea so far this half, and Azpilicueta arcs a lovely ball down the line for Hazard, who's one-on-one with Laporte. He teases a pass into the box for Pedro, who can't quite collect, and Delph thrashes away.
Chelsea are playing pretty well now; City haven't got going this half.
It's Willian, who curls around the wall but Ederson, diving to his left, prangs it away easily enough.
Chelsea break quickly, Jorghinho into Kovacic, and the ball works its way out to Willian who comes back it so Fernandingho mows him down. Free-kick Chelsea, dead centre, 22 yards out. Alonso, Luiz and Willian are all there....
What does Matteo Kovacic do, please?
Apparently Ross Barkley was warming up rigourously.
Rio ferdinand reckons City don't need to change much but I'm not having that - they were dominant without creating enough. It all seemed a bit easy for them and they weren't playing with their usual intensity.
Off we go!
The players are back with us.
City have dominated possession but created little, and Chelsea punished them as per their game-plan, getting the ball forward quickly and finishing with precision. The second half should be a belter.
Half-time: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City
My favourite genre of tweet.
The ground is alive now, and Chelsea have something onto which they can hang.
There'll be two added minutes.
GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City (Kante) Look at that! Luiz slings a long pass into Pedro, who clips out to Willian. His touch is wonky, but he doesn't lose possession and finds Hazard close by. A shake and he's conjured a crossing angle, sliding the ball across the box and into the path of Kante, who arrives to punch a sidefooter high into the net. We have ourselves a ball-game!
It's possible that Pep Guardiola knows more about football than I do, but I can't help but wonder if a striker would be useful.
Apparently it's a moral victory for Chelsea if they get to half-time at 0-0. Er, ok then.
I guess Chelsea have done ok, in that they're not trailing. They've done sod-all else, but that's enough for now: stay in the game, then see what happens in the final 20.
Sterling tries a cross and the ball ricochets off Alonso; he brings it down beautifully with one touch, then wins a corner off Luiz. Nothing comes of it.
Christensen is warming up but Luiz seems ok - his back is sore, but we're back underway and he's back on the park.
Sterling and Luiz collide; Luiz is hurt and there's a break while he's treated.
The corner is a good one, flat and fast; Bernardo gets the flick-on and it goes across the face, but there's no one around to redirect it.
Sterling turns up on the right and slows it down, then pirouettes and dashes away from Alonso, who looks a right Charlie. Sterling then looks up and slides a cut-back to the other side of the box, where Sane waits; he drives hard, but Azpilicueta hurls himself in its road. That's a brilliant block and saves a certain goal.
Sane breaks into the box but he's down its left so need to trick inside Azpilicueta to fashion a shooting angle. Azpolicueta knows this though, so stands up and forces the shot which Kepa blocks; Bernardo runs into the rebound, but his effort is blocked too.
When was the last Premier League game that was of a proper standard? I really can't recall. There are a few good players around, but Liverpool are top of the league and look at their midfield - Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum - and remember when they had Mascherano, Alonso and Gerrard. As for Chelsea, they once had Cech, Carvalho, Drogba, Terry, Lampard, Makelele and Robben - and now they do not.
There's not a lot going on.
Chelsea have a bit of the ball and Alonso wins a throw off Walker. That's about as good as it's got for them so far, but it's still 0-0 and City have only created one serious chance.
Fernandinho isn't well covered in the City squad, but were he to get injured they'd have the option of moving Delph into his position or bringing on Gundogan. They'd probably cope.
Alonso fouls Sterling to concede a free-kick that Silva will swing in. In the meantime, Fernandinho goes to the site for a massage and the free-kick misses all the men in the middle.
if Chelsea are going to play three wingers across the front, then they really must press City's defenders in possession. But they're sitting off and letting them build the play.
Chelsea have improved a bit, or at least City don't look like they're about to score. They probably are though.
When you play City, you need an out ball - either someone who can hold the ball up, like Giroud, or someone who can take it for a walk like Hazard. But if you've got both, I really don't get why you wouldn't play both. Hazard is much more dangerous coming from out to in than standing in the middle where defenders can see him.
Chelsea have yet to complete a pass in the final third.
Can't argue with this.
City are having their way with Chelsea now, and Fernandinho and Sane surprise Hazard to win the ball high up the pitch. Sane takes it on, exchanges passes with Mahrez and finds Silva outside him. The return comes, of course it does, but not in perfect position for a shot so he opts to take it on and seek a better angle. He can't find one and the opportunity goes.
Also going on:
Tangentially, Jadon Sancho scored a derby winner for Dortmund today - they're top of the Bundesliga and you have to wonder if City really needed Mahrez. I suppose he plays on the right, but if Sancho can't make it under Guardiola, who can?
Pedro finds space down the right and looks to fire a pass into Hazard but his radar is off and Laporte intercepts.
City are starting to play, and Chelsea don't really know what to do with them. They're hoping for a break or an error, basically.
Again City find Sterling inside the box and this time his touch lets hi down, before Alonso allows Mahrez in off the line onto his left foot and is forced to concede a corner. It comes to nowt.
First chance of the match! Fernandinho mugs Jorginho and Sterling breaks through the middle, moving the ball left to Silva. The return arrives as expected but he can't adjust his body-shape and plops a tame left-footer straight at Kepa.
But now Chelsea get the ball into Hazard who moves from centre to right and waits for Kante to give him some support. Kante decides to do nothing, so he wins a free-kick out of Delph instead, which is directed directly onto Laporte's bonce. He heads clear.
The game has yet to settle, but it's City pushing Chelsea back.
Already we're seeing Bernardo - who I shall call "Bernardo", while calling David Silva "Silva" - drift into the space between Luiz and Rudiger. Nothing has come of it so far, but it's one to keep an eye on.
David Silva gets to the ball ahead of Pedro, who runs through him.
Nothing has happened so far, but City look set to start passing it.
What a pleasure it is to enjoy a camera at a decent height and close to the pitch, not somewhere on Uranus.
Phil Dowd is in the truck. YES!
Off we go!
John Stones looks like a pheasant.
Clip-clop, clop-clip - here come the players!
Of course, City aren't actually top of the league at the moment following Liverpool's thrashing of Bournemouth. Is it all falling apart?
Those programmes look well-thumbed.
BT are doing Sky-style analysis now. They're currently giving us a great shot of the back of Rio Ferdinand's head.
Guardiola says he knows Chelsea's defensive movements, and thinks Sterling is best to exploit them. That's about it.
Joe Cole reckons Kante will be snapping onto David Silva. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone man-mark him successfully. I've seen a fair few seek him fruitlessly.
And he eats his headphones.
Sarri says City don't have Aguero. Thanks for that. He thinks there'll be space so wants to play faster football and that Morata isn't injured - there's no point playing having two strikers on the bench, apparently. Er, ask Alex Ferguson about that. I wonder if it'll be Hazard through the middle.
When it comes to leisurewear, Chelsea might be top of the league.
As for City, they also play three wingers up front. The out of form Jesus is on the bench, Aguero is at home, and Sterling is through the middle. But it's in midfield where this game will probably be decided - Fernandinho and the two Silvas are, I'd expect, going to be too elusive, too skilful and too damn good for Kane, Kovacic and Jorginho. I'm going to put my few pennies on City winning to nil. You're welcome.
Mauricio Sarri goes with a 4-3-3, would you believe. In midfield, Kovacic comes back in while Barkley is on the bench - search me - while alongside him, Jorginho is also back. Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek are out. Up front, meanwhile, it's pace: neither Morata nor Giroud make it; instead, Pedro will play through the middle. I don't know about that really - I can see they're trying to get at City's centre-backs, but who's going to hold the ball up when they're forced to welly it clear?
About Chelsea then. They've done ok this season, but their hiding at Spurs was a proper place-putting. In the end, they're Hazard and change with a manager too wedded to a system that doesn't particularly suit his players and isn't good enough to mean it won't sometimes need adjusting. They will be trepidatious right now.
Last season, it was this fixture which proved to us that something was afoot at Eastlands. They played Chelsea, then the champions, off the absolute park, and the winning goal that came from Kevin de Bruyne, the league's best player, was a howitzer hit with his wrong foot - symbolic proof of their superiority.
Now, a year on, City are even better. Their defence isn't all that, it's true, but it's improved, they've added Riyad Mahrez, and play with the confidence of a team who know they're miles ahead of the competition. I would be amazed if they failed to win the league, surprised if it wasn't by a street, and nonplussed if they added various other pots to it. Chelsea have a lot to do.
Evening all and welcome to Chelsea v Manchester City!