Kevin de Bruyne created a moment of first-class quality to consolidate Manchester City’s grip on the Premier League title by winning over Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.
The former Chelsea player broke the stalemate in a close match with an excellent curling around goalkeeper Kepy Arrizabalaga, who had 20 minutes left to raise City’s lead at the top of the table to an impressive 13 points.
Chelsea had their chances, the best came when Ederson saved Romelu Lukak in the second half, but De Bruyne made the difference and City now has a 14-point lead over Liverpool, which has two games in hand.
City deserved the victory for its greater urgency and possession, Kepa retained Jack Grealish in the first half, which represents another significant step in their efforts to retain the Premier League crown.
De Bruyne makes a difference
In a game of this nature, fought by two well-disciplined parties led by elite managers Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel, it always seemed that it would probably solve a mistake or a moment of the highest quality.
And so it turned out that De Bruyne created and completed the decisive step himself, as City and Chelsea sought a breakthrough.
The City have failed to expose Chelsea to a constant threat, even though they have so much possession, but they have the caliber of a player who can score a goal.
On this occasion, De Bruyne, who ran deep into Chelsea territory in the 70th minute, before Kepa’s outstretched left arm and twisted into the lower corner with a perfect low end with his right foot.
Etihad Stadium celebrated in fashion the appropriate moment of such class and importance, and these three points again give the impression that the City’s leadership in the fight for the title is almost unassailable.
Guardiola also has stars at the other end, and goalkeeper Ederson played his part in Lukaku’s major intervention when he was clean. He also brought punches and wild applause from his manager as he ran out of the area to avoid and put out Chelsea’s late danger.
The city closed the victory without any serious alarms, and Guardiola and his team dealt a huge blow as they tried to accompany the pursuing pack – which is actually Chelsea and Liverpool – at the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea shows effort, but no inspiration
For long spells, Chelsea seemed to be able to leave Etihad Stadium with some reward for the performance she had kept Manchester City at hand for a long time.
In the end, however, they were destroyed by the moment of genius De Bruyne, and their own incompetence seized the rare opportunities that came.
Lukaku, who seems to be fighting for form and confidence, had the opportunities you just have to take advantage of the team behind the 12th league victory in a row.
He was in a good position to shoot in the first half when he escaped, but he decided to relinquish responsibility and play against Haki Ziyech, who added to Tuchel’s frustration by getting into an offside position.
The biggest chance came when Lukaku lost in the second half in a goalless state, Kovacic lost. His ending wasn’t too bad, but he lacked a little conviction, and Ederson was able to intervene, which turned out to be crucial.
Tuchel’s dissatisfaction was evident all the time when he saw that his team had written City, but Chelsea could gain something, even though it might have been a coincidence in the context of the whole match.
Once De Bruyne ended the stalemate, Chelsea had little to offer and, in fact, all the very faint hopes for a title that could be completely dashed by the defeat.
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 17De BruyneReplaced byGündoganon 85 ‘minutes
- 47FodenReplaced byGabriel Jesuson 88 ‘minutes
- 3Rúben Dias
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 6Thiago Silva
- 8KovacicBooked in 32 minutes
- 3AlonsoBooked in 7 minutesReplaced byMounton 81 ‘minutes
- 10PulisicReplaced byWerneron 69 ‘minutes
- 22ZiyechReplaced byHudson-Odoion 69 ‘minutes
- Craig Pawson
- 53,319 th most common
The match ends, Manchester City 1, Chelsea 0.
The second half ends, Manchester City 1, Chelsea 0.
Bernard Silva Foul (Manchester City).
Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic swung in a good chance from the left, but the visitors’ defense were able to clear the ball.
Offside, Chelsea. César Azpilicueta tried to break in, but Timo Werner was caught offside.
Substitution, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus replaces Phil Foden.
Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (Manchester City) shot with his left foot from a difficult angle to the left is placed in the upper left corner. Assist: Rodri.
Substitution, Manchester City. Ilkay Gündogan replaces Kevin De Bruyn.
The attempt failed. Manchester City’s Phil Foden left the field after 80 minutes because of a nasty blow to the shin. Assist: Raheem Sterling.
Rotation, Chelsea. Mason Mount replaces Marcos Alonso.
Bernard Silva Foul (Manchester City).
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso swung in a good chance from the left, but the visitors’ defense were able to clear the ball.
Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) misses from the right foot from the center. Assist: César Azpilicueta.
Soccer goal! Manchester City 1, Chelsea 0. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne shot that was wrong with the right foot from behind the box to the right corner. Assist: João Cancelo.
Rotation, Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Hakima Ziyecha.
Rotation, Chelsea. Timo Werner replaces Christian Pulisice.
The attempt failed. Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling left the field after 80 minutes because of a nasty blow to the shin. Assist: Phil Foden.
Roh, Chelsea. Kyle Walker admitted.
Foul of Rodri (Manchester City).
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté placed the ball right at his teammate’s feet after a corner, but Jürgen Schneider couldn’t finish.
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