Thursday, May 23, 2024

Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea: What Were The Main Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Men Drop A Pair Of Costly Points At The Etihad?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Feb 2024

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In what was a heavyweight Premier League showdown on Saturday evening, Manchester City dropped a pair of costly points as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

While Pep Guardiola’s men might have been looking to make a major statement here and extend on their 11-match winning run, the Sky Blues were outplayed for large spells on home soil.

With the Etihad left stunned just three minutes before the half-time break as former City superstar Raheem Sterling produced a slick finish, the defending champions failed to find much fluidity.

However, while Rodri might have eventually powered home in the final few minutes as City snatched a late point, there is no doubt that Guardiola’s men missed out on a real opportunity.

Although Chelsea might have been left heartbroken here as they failed to claim a first Premier League victory at the Etihad since 2016, Mauricio Pochettino’s men do appear to have turned a recent corner.

In a showdown that saw chances fall at both ends of the Etihad pitch, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

City drop a pair of costly points

Watching both Arsenal and Liverpool pick up their own respective victories prior to kick-off on Saturday evening, Manchester City were more than aware that they had a huge amount of pressure on their shoulders this weekend.

Picking up a Champions League first-leg advantage earlier in the week as they secured a 3-1 victory away at Danish giants Copenhagen, Guardiola’s men have continued to shine since returning from November’s international break.

Opening Saturday’s showdown at the Etihad in the midst of an 11-match winning run across all competitions, the defending champions were desperate to make another heavyweight statement on home soil.

However, while the Sky Blues might have made real history last season as they became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, City have a real battle on their hands this time around.

With both Arsenal and Liverpool firing on all cylinders, Guardiola’s men know that even the most minor of blips could turn out to be a crucial blow come the end of the season.

Chelsea are turning a recent corner

While Chelsea might have been left heartbroken on Saturday evening as they eventually had to settle for a 1-1 stalemate at the Etihad, Pochettino was rightfully filled with praise for his side’s performance here.

Although the Blues might have arrived in Manchester having collected just a single point from their previous five Premier League meetings against the defending champions, they certainly impressed this weekend.

Extending on their FA Cup adventure earlier in the month as they secured a shock 3-1 victory away at Champions League contenders Aston Villa, Chelsea do appear to have turned a recent corner.

While there might have been plenty of speculation regarding Pochettino’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge, the former Tottenham boss has created a real platform to build on.

Unbeaten in both of their top-flight showdowns against Manchester City this season, some in the Blues’ camp could now be dreaming of the chance to mount a dramatic European charge.

A night to forget for Haaland

Missing Manchester City’s FIFA Club World Cup success in the Middle East back in December after dealing with a foot injury, fans around the Etihad were ecstatic to see their attacking icon make a full return earlier in the month.

However, although Erling Haaland might have bagged a Premier League brace on February 10th as they the Sky Blues secured a routine 2-0 victory against Everton, the Norwegian icon had a night to forget here.

Missing a host of golden opportunities on either side of the half-time break and epitomising City’s attacking issues, the 23-year-old has drawn a blank in four of his previous five appearances.

With Haaland and the rest of Guardiola’s squad cutting a frustated figure at the final whistle, City must dust themselves down quickly as they face an immediate turnaround.

Seeking what is an essential response on Tuesday night, the Sky Blues will welcome Brentford to Manchester as they look to move within a single point of top spot.

Match Report

Manchester City: Emerson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Akanji, Rodri, Foden, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Doku, Haaland

Subs: Silva

Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Diasi, Colwill, Chilwell, Fernandez, Caicedo, Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling, Jackson

Subs: Chalobah, Nkunku, Casadei

Goals: Manchester City: Rodri (83’) – Chelsea: Sterling (42’)

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Silva – Chelsea: Petrovic, Palmer, Caicedo

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Andrew Madley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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