It was the match of the season, contender type of fixture and considering the form of both teams coming to this fixture was very different, the home side really needed to step up. Chelsea lost the last game against Wolves, whereas Manchester City came out on top against Watford. Adding to that Maurizio Sarri has beaten Pep Guardiola earlier and the Italian in the pre-match press conference kept his counterpart way ahead of himself.
However, like everything has a first time this was also a shocking result for all the Premier League fans as Chelsea scored one in each half to win the match 2-0 against the high flying Manchester City. The Citizens following the victory were fallen off the cliff with Liverpool’ s demolition of Bournemouth, it is the Reds who currently top the table with a single point cushion.
Kante opened the scoring in the first half and it was a stunning header from, David Luiz to seal the match and also three crucial points with it.
1. Sarri playing Kante in a more advance role is finally falling in place
The Italian has always wanted N’Golo Kante to feature in a more advanced role than usual and hence there were talks that the Italian is wasting Kante there. Since Chelsea’s loss against Tottenham at the Wembley, Kante faced a lot of criticism along with his manager for playing him in an advanced role and the positional change might be the reason why the midfield was not clicking.
However, against Manchester City the move acted as a masterstroke for the Blues as the Frenchman who always loved the idea of venturing forward kept increasing a man in attack and creating problems for City. It was his goal that broke the deadlock and gave Chelsea the self-belief going into the first half that they can defeat City otherwise Pep Guardiola’s side is not an easy team to play and win against.
2. Vulnerable David Luiz broke Manchester City hearts
The Brazilian international started the game on a pretty unconvincing note and with City already getting on top of Chelsea, it was looking more and more like another one of those nights at the Stamford Bridge. Although David Luiz turned the tables around as he started growing gradually in the game, making crucial blocks and starting important movements from the back.
The best was yet to come as the Brazilian stood there in front of City goal waiting for the corner to arrive it was Chelsea’s first corner as the Brazilian rose high up to meet the ball with is head and as the ball rolled in with a deflection from the bar post, the home crowd went into delirium leaving Pep Guardiola in rage over the corner call. The header eventually acted as Chelsea’s insurance goal in their 2-0 win over Manchester City
3. Manchester City players were visibly fatigued
Pep Guardiola is a brilliant tactician but to flourish in his system the players need to be putting their heart and soul in it. Guardiola’s style of play, build up is very physically demanding for any player. With the season entering its business end, crowded fixtures may cause some problems for any side and that is exactly what happened to the Manchester City side against Chelsea.
The Citizens did put on their hard work in the first 30 minutes and that was going to take a toll in his players was well known by Guardiola. He knew the players weren’t in their best physical condition and therefore they could not put the peddle down or pressurize Chelsea late on.
4. A tale of two false nines
The Citizens did put on their hard work in the first 30 minutes and that was going to take a toll in his players was well known by Guardiola. He knew the players weren’t in their best physical condition and therefore they could not put the peddle down or pressurize Chelsea late on.Both managers opted for a false nine.
It was not an obvious thing to see every day as both sides featured players out of position in a false nine while having a conventional no.9 in the bench. Sarri had the likes of Alvaro Morata but opted for Pedro to lead the lines as a false 9. Pep also came up with a similar plan opting for pacy front three with Leroy sane, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez after their unavailability of their main forward Sergio Aguero. Pep also had the conventional option of Gabriel Jesus but opted against starting the Brazilian.
The decision fared out pretty well for both the manager it was just that Sterling made a hash of an easy chance in the first half and had he scored there things could have fared out differently. The tactics also suggested that Sarri does not put his complete trust on Alvaro Morata to perform against a top side like Manchester City. On the other hand, Gabriel Jesus hasn’t been in the best of forms and they desperately need someone to take the burden of scoring goals other than Sergio Aguero. Hence the Citizens must cover that area with the January winter transfer window just around the corner.