Monday, June 17, 2024

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea: What Did We Learn As Pep Guardiola’s Side Make More Premier League History At The Etihad?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 21 May 2023

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With a real party atmosphere around the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, Manchester City lifted the 2022/23 Premier League title as they secured a 1-0 victory at home against Chelsea.

While the job might have already been completed yesterday as Nottingham Forest claimed a season-deciding 1-0 win against Arsenal, Pep Guardiola’s side have now extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches.

Getting their hands on five Premier League crowns over the past six seasons and making more domestic history here, it was Julian Alvarez who proved to be the match-winner as the 23-year-old produced a clinical finish in the 12th minute.

With Guardiola electing to make nine changes on Sunday afternoon and leaving out the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, it was certainly an occasion where City’s fringe stars stole all of the headlines.

With Chelsea in the midst of what has been a public crisis this season, Frank Lampard’s downbeat squad would have always known that they faced a monumental challenge here.

While the Blues might have hoped that City had taken one eye off the ball following yesterday’s result in Manchester, Sunday’s guests have now remarkably recorded just a single win across all competitions since the start of March.

On an afternoon when City made even more Premier League history, what did we learn from Sunday’s Etihad party?

City cement their spot as the greatest team in the Premier League era

Although Manchester City might have marked their return from March’s international break in a real uphill battle to defend their Premier League crown, Guardiola’s superstar squad have only underlined just why many feel they’re the greatest domestic side in modern history.

While Arsenal might have struggled with their constancy over the past six weeks, the Sky Blues have only continued to find top gear at a crucial time and they have demonstrated the mental resolve that Guardiola has placed in this City squad.

With the likes of striking sensation Haaland only breaking records by the week since arriving from Borussia Dortmund last summer, City’s success this season means they have been crowned Premier League champions in five of their last six campaigns.

Knowing that they can still potentially end the 2022/23 campaign holding a remarkable 10-point buffer over the chasing pack, it is hard to see who can dethrone the Premier League record-breakers while Guardiola is at the helm.

Now unbeaten in each of their last 24 straight appearances across all competitions, Sunday’s 1-0 victory also means that the Sky Blues have won each of their previous 12 Premier League outings – a run that stems all the way back to a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham on February 5th.

History awaits for Guardiola and his superstar squad

While Manchester City might have been hugely excited to write another chapter of Premier League history here, it is no secret that Guardiola has European success at the very top of his agenda in 2023.

Suffering Champions League final heartbreak at the hands of Sunday’s opponents two years ago, the English icons have certainly dusted themselves down and they’re finally ready to get their hands on a first European trophy.

Making a major European statement last week as they eventually stormed their way to a famous 5-1 aggregate romp against Real Madrid, the one-time Barcelona boss has made it clear that his time in Manchester would not be complete unless he could bring a maiden Champions League title to the Etihad.

Looking to become the first English club since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were crowned treble champions way back in 1999, it is no surprise that City are seen as a landslide favourite to match their arch-rivals’ historic achievement.

Ticking off on of their trio of tasks here and with an FA Cup final against their bitter local rivals now fast approaching at Wembley, Guardiola will know just how empathetic a treble-winning campaign could be.

Now regarded to be world football’s very elite, City appear to be on a crash course for the history books over the final few weeks.

Chelsea can not wait to see the end of their nightmare campaign

Already knowing that Manchester City were going to lift this season’s Premier League crown prior to Sunday’s showdown at the Etihad, Chelsea would have almost felt like they were the sacrificial lamb here.

Traveling to a party atmosphere in the blue half of Manchester, Lampard’s side simply can not wait to see the back of what has been a woeful campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Already accepting that they will have to settle for an infamous bottom-half finish this month and failing to punch any kind of European adventure for next season, Chelsea have rightfully found themselves under a huge amount of scrutiny this year.

While the former European champions might have broken a string of financial records over the past two transfer windows, Sunday’s guests have remarkably recorded just a single win from any of their last 12 straight appearances across all competitions.

Knowing that they need a major squad overhaul this summer and with many of their blockbuster arrivals from the past 12 months failing to offer anything since arriving in SW6, Mauricio Pochettino appears to have a huge job on his hands.

With it expected that the ex-Tottenham boss will be officially unveiled as Graham Potter’s permanent replacement this summer, Chelsea face what is a crucial few months behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ortega, Walker, Akanji, Laporte, Phillips, Lewis, Gomez, Foden, Mahrez, Alvarez, Palmer

Subs: Stones, Rodri, De Bruyne, Haaland

Chelsea: Kepa, Fofana, Silva, Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Hall, Gallagher, Havertz, Sterling

Subs: Koulibaly, Pulisic, Madueka, Mudryk, Chukwuemeka

Goals: Alvarez (12’)

Yellow Cards: Havertz, Fernandez

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Michael Oliver


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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