Manchester City made it three consecutive Premier League victories as they swept aside Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.
Ilkay Gundogan gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half by turning away from Thiago Silva and smashing home before Phil Foden swept in to double the lead. Kevin De Bruyne then extended that advantage before the break after Raheem Sterling hit the post. They were not quite as clinical after the break, with Callum Hudson-Odoi scoring a late consolation for Chelsea late on but it mattered not as City chalked up a convincing three points.
Here are three things we learned from Stamford Bridge:
City soar before the break
For a side who had somewhat struggled to score goals so far this season with just 21 in 15 matches, as many as lowly Brighton & Hove Albion, Pep Guardiola’s men put on a show of ruthless efficiency at Stamford Bridge.
Starting ironically without a recognised striker, the Citizens threatened every time they went forward with quick movement and clinical finishing. Particularly, Gundogan and Foden’s finishes were of supreme quality. If they can continue that attacking intent for the rest of the season then they could force themselves into title contention.
Guardiola masterminds midfield control
A huge reason behind City’s dominance in West London was their control in the center of the park. Rodri was an extremely useful metronomic presence just in front of the back four, whilst Gundogan controlled the ball very well, proving pivotal in a box-to-box role. He also topped off a composed and dominant performance with a brilliant goal to open the scoring.
One man who also needed no introduction to Chelsea was former Blues’ midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was effectively playing as a striker in the absences of both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. Having scored in each of his two appearances against his ex-employers last season, he once again came back to haunt Chelsea with yet another goal, eventually converting after Sterling had hit the post.
Pressure on Lampard?
Considering all of the money spent in the summer, Chelsea have really flattered to deceive throughout 2020/21. Following their defeat to Manchester City, the Blues now sit eighth in the table and already seven points behind leaders Liverpool, with the Reds possessing a game in hand.
Chelsea’s run of form is also not that inspiring considering they were talked up as potential title challengers just a few weeks ago. Lampard’s men now have just one win in their last seven matches in all competitions and have not won in any of their last three Premier League games – their longest winless run since February. It really is an aspect that they need to rectify if they want to improve their position in the league and ease the reported pressure on boss Lampard. The former Derby County man is now as narrow as 11/10 with Betfair to be the next top-flight boss to leave his job.
Chelsea: Mendy (6); Chilwell (5), Zouma (6), Silva (5), Azpilicueta (5); Kovacic (6) (Havertz (N/A), 77′), Kante (5) (Gilmour (), 64′), Mount (6); Pulisic (6), Ziyech (4) (Hudson-Odoi (6), 64′), Werner (5).
Manchester City: Steffen (6); Zinchenko (6), Stones (7), Dias (7), Cancelo (7); Rodri (6), Gundogan (7) (Fernandinho (7), 74′), De Bruyne (7) (Aguero (N/A), 86′); Foden (7) (Mahrez (N/A), 86′), Silva (6), Sterling (6).
Goals: Gundogan (18′), Foden (21′), De Bruyne (34′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Pulisic (45+1′), Kante (53′), Kovacic (71′), Silva (90′)
Red Cards: N/A
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