Manchester City v Chelsea: Premier League – live! – The Guardian,

Manchester City v Chelsea: Premier League – live! – The Guardian,

That was a very impressive performance by the champions.They were all over the shop for the best part of half an hour, and having fallen behind to N’Golo Kante’s goal, will have started to fret a little about the title race. But this City side aren’t back-to-back champs for nothing, and they refused to panic. They slowly reasserted their authority in midfield and will wonder how they didn’t win by a larger margin in the end. Not that it matters a whole lot. A win’s a win’s a win, ain’t that the truth.Chelseameanwhile can take heart from their performance in the early stages. It didn’t bear fruit today, but there’s no shame in a young side losing to this Pep machine. And here’s Mary Waltz with the tl; dr version: “Chelsea ran out of gas or ideas, City kept their cool and got the win they had to have. Kudos to them. ”

FULL TIME: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea

But it doesn’t matter! City move into third, leapfroggingChelseaand keeping on Liverpool and Leicester’s tail!

VAR! NO GOAL! Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea

A hair on Sterling’s arm had wafted offside, apparently. What a fiasco VAR is.

GOAL! Manchester City 3-1 Chelsea (Sterling 90 3)

Sterling has done next to nothing today … except seal the deal for the champions! He latches onto Jesus’s header down the middle, swivels, and guides a shot into the bottom left! Kepa should have done better, but a decent finish nonetheless.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City scores his team’s third goal which is later disallowed by VAR.
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City shoots … Photograph: Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga watches as Sterling’s shot beats him only to be disallowed after a VAR review.
Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga watches as Sterling’s shot beats him and goes into the net. Though he would have been pleased to see that it was ruled out by VAR. Photograph: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images


(min 2:) Mount’s effort – from the best part of 30 yards – flies wide left. But not a million miles away from the top corner. Ederson was diving over at full stretch, taking no chances whatsover.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount takes a free-kick.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount takes a free-kick. Photograph: Paul Ellis / AFP via Getty Images


(min 1:Kante latches onto a loose Sterling pass in midfield and races into the City half. Gundogan clips his heel cynically, taking a booking for the team. Mount is preparing to take a belt at the free kick from long range.

90 min:The Etihad is a little bit nervous. For all City’s dominance in this second half, they’re still just one lapse away from dropping a couple more precious points in the title race. The four minutes to be added on won’t go particularly quickly for them.

88 min:Mahrez flicks Foden into acres down the left, but the young midfielder hits a blind cross to nobody in particular. He may as well have taken a shot.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden surges forward.
Manchester City’s Phil Foden surges forward. Photograph: Andrew Yates / Reuters

Updated (at 2.) PM EST

(min:Mount attempts to release Willian with a long pass down the inside right, but Mendy reads well and intercepts, before drawing a foul that eases the pressure on the champions. Time is on their side.

(min:) Ederson plays a lazy pass out, straight at Batshuayi. The ball balloons off the striker’s backside, over the keeper, and fortunately for City, out of play to the right of goal. On the touchline, Pep simmers quietly.

84 min:Chelseahave enjoyed nearly 70 percent of possession in the last ten minutes. However only six percent of the play has taken place in City’s final third.

(min:Chelseaare beginning to ask the odd question. Mount bombs down the middle and tries to release Batshuayi with a sliderule pass along the inside-left channel. Batshuayi should take up possession just inside the City box, but falls over and the ball rolls out for a goal kick instead.

80 min:Chelsea spring forward. Pulisic breaks fast down the left and swans inside. He lays off to Willian, whose first touch isn’t the best, but the ball sits up and allows him to take a Le Tissieresque lash at goal. It’s going over the bar, but Ederson fingertips over anyway. ButChelseadon’t get the corner they deserve. Willian isfuming.

Willian has a pop from distance.
Willian has a pop from distance. Photograph: Mark Cosgrove / News Images / Shutterstock

Updated (at 2.) pm EST

79 min:Chelseaknock it around the back, but City are pressing hard and they’re struggling to break out of their final third.

77 min:Foden takes another speculative effort at goal. His sidefoot slap flies harmlessly wide left.

76 min:Augero is limping. City are taking no chances, and on comes Jesus in his stead. Aguero takes an absolute age to trot off; expect a little time to be added on for that brazenly drawn-out farewell at the end.

Referee Martin Atkinson looks on as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is substituted.
Referee Martin Atkinson times Aguero’s exit from the pitch. Photograph: Carl Recine / Action Images via Reuters


74 min:A double change for (Chelsea) . Batshuayi and Mount replace Abraham and Jorginho.

71 min:Willian, Abraham, Kovacic and Pulisic combine artfully, pinging first-time passes to each other down the middle and nearly opening City up. The move comes to a pitiful end, however, as Abraham miscontrols, then assumes he’ll win a corner off Fernandinho. But the Brazilian isn’t giving it up, and draws a foul from the young striker, who panics upon realizing he shouldn’t have powered down.

69 min:James makes another run down the right. He whips a Beckhamesque cross towards Abraham by the far post. The striker is an inch or two away from connecting. But what delivery by the young full-back. He really does look like a player.

68 min:James crosses from the right. The ball’s only half-cleared, and falls to Willian, who blazes over wildly from a promising position down the inside-right. A decent half-chance wasted by a rush of blood to the noggin.Chelseadon’t need to panic yet.

67 min:The old warrior can’t continue. He’s replaced by Foden.

66 min:A pause as Silva gets treatment for cramp.

65 min:Fernandinho, Silva and Sterling triangulate sharply down the let and win their fourth corner of the evening so far. De Bruyne swings long. Aguero clips it back into the mixer from the right. Fernandinho, coming in from the left, shoots straight at Azpilicueta. The ball breaks to Mahrez, whose rising shot is tipped over by Kepa. Nothing comes of the resulting corner, but City are pushing hard for the third goal that would surely put this game to bed.

(min:A rare period of second-half possession forChelsea. They stroke it around the middle, then Kovacic tries to release Willian with a quick pass down the right. Not quite. But it’s a little bit better from the visitors, for whom the opening half hour must seem quite a long time ago.

61 min:Jorginho is booked for a cynical block on De Bruyne , who was looking to make good up the left wing. No argument.

Chelsea’s Jorginho (left) fouls Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
Chelsea’s Jorginho takes out Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Photograph: Martin Rickett / PA


57 min:Chelsea commit too many players to an attack, and suddenly Mahrez is heading the other way. He’s got time and space to work in, and options either side, but instead dallies before taking a shot that’s blocked easily. Aguero is incensed, though he tries to keep the attack going, unsuccessfully as it happens.

56 min:Stones tries to guide a header goalwards, but it’s deflected wide. The second corner is a training-ground masterpiece, Mahrez pulling it back for Cancelo, who is free in a pocket just inside theChelseabox on the right. Cancelo slapshots towards the bottom left, where Aguero waits to bundle home, but Azpilicueta is on hand to block and clear.


55 min:De Bruyne romps down the right and enters the box at great speed. He hits a shot – or is it a cross? – towards the far corner. Kepa feathers it with his fingertips and that’ll be a corner.

54 min:Chelsea finally put something together in attack, Willian driving down the right and seeing his shot blocked pretty much the second it leaves his boot . City clear. ButChelseacome back again, quickly, Willian playing a reverse pass down the right to release Azpilicueta, who cuts back from the byline for Kante. The shot that follows is deflected inches wide of the right-hand post by Fernandinho. Nothing comes of the resulting corner.

Chelsea’s Willian (centre) vies with Manchester City’s David Silva (left), Benjamin Mendy and Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea’s Willian (center) causing more problems for Manchester City. Photograph: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images


49 min:And then suddenly Mahrez sashays in from the right and pulls the trigger, sending the ball inches wide of the left-hand post. Kepa might have had that covered … but you wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

48 min:City have hardly givenChelseaa sniff since the restart. They continue to pass it around, a statement of intent.

46 min:City finished the first half very strongly, and in the early exchanges of this second period, they’re looking to reestablish that domination. They ping the ball around in the sterile manner, makingChelseanip about hither and yon.

City get the ball rolling for the second half.No half -time changes.

Half-time reading.Just in case you’re wondering why both teams are going for it in such devil-may-care fashion …

HALF TIME: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea

The thrills of association football, the rhythms of basketball. That was magnificent fun. Where did those 45 minutes go?

45 min 1:They nearly don’t make it safe to the shore. Sterling is sent scampering down the left. He’s in an awful lot of space, but when he brings Silva and Aguero into the mix, the trio overthink things on the edge of the box. A couple of pointlessly intricate flicks later, and Silva’s passing the ball out for a goal kick, with Sterling standing offside.

45 min:Chelsea stroke it around the back awhile. They’re waiting for the half-time whistle, and a change to regroup, because for the first time they’re beginning to look a little ragged.

43 min:Kepa gets away with a howler! He shanks a pass upfield, straight to Aguero. The striker’s eyes light up … but he somehow fails to make Chelsea pay, lofting a shot over the keeper, towards the top left, and off the crossbar!Chelseaclear their lines.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero smacks the ball past Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and against the crossbar.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero smacks the ball past Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and against the crossbar. Photograph: Rui Vieira / AP


40 min:City scream for a penalty kick. Silva is released into the box down the left by Sterling. Silva swivels and crosses low for Aguero, who tries to nip in ahead of Tomori but falls over instead. Martin Atkinson isn’t interested …

39 min:Willian scampers down the right and reaches the byline. He flicks a pass towards Abraham at the near post, but Stones gets in the road. City clear.Chelseaare still looking dangerous every time they cross the halfway line.

(min:) De Bruyne cuts in from the right and very nearly sends a whistler into the top left. Inches over. What an effort! How is this still only 1-1?

35 min:Chelseafinally recover from the blow of the equaliser. Willian strides down the middle of the park, City’s defense lined up in the avant-garde style once again. He should send Abraham, to his right, clear on goal, but hesitates and eventually plays the easier pass to Emerson on his left. Emerson’s cross is no good, and that’s that.

33 min:De Bruyne flicks a ball to Aguero, just inside theChelseabox on the right. Aguero turns and shoots, but he’s not got much space to operate in, and doesn’t really catch it. Kepa gathers.

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