Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea: Sky Blues complete first-half comeback to return to winning ways

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Manchester City recovered from their defeat to Liverpool before the international break by defeating Chelsea 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The visitors actually claimed first blood during the game, with N’Golo Kante showing striker’s instincts to run in-behind and score with an accomplished finish. Kevin De Bruyne levelled matters only minutes later with a deflected effort from the edge of the penalty area. Riyad Mahrez then produced a wonderful solo strike to claim the lead for the hosts for the first time before the break. Raheem Sterling thought he had extended the lead late on but was ruled offside by VAR.

As it happened though, their one goal buffer was enough to see Manchester City return to winning ways.

Close but not quite

Former Chelsea midfielder De Bruyne almost gave his current employers the perfect start to the match as he marginally fired wide of the far post from a tight angle. Willian then had a chance of his own as he was released by Tammy Abraham down the right but he too sent his effort fizzing just wide.

Defender Fikayo Tomori also had a brilliant opportunity as Manchester City failed to deal with a Chelsea corner. The ball fell to the centre-back on the turn but he could only drill his shot wide of the base of the post.

Kante shows how its done

The scoring was eventually opened however and it was an unexpected goalscorer in the form of Kante. The French midfielder collected Mateo Kovacic’s lofted ball and managed to hold off the challenge of Benjamin Mendy before expertly guiding the ball underneath the advancing Ederson.

Chelsea’s lead did not last very long though as De Bruyne did indeed have a say. Following a great break, the ball fell to the Belgian midfielder. He produced a great feint to manufacture some space before shooting at goal. The ball took a big deflection off of the toe of Kurt Zouma before nestling into the net.

Mahrez magic puts City ahead

That flurry of goals was not finished there though and Mahrez completed the first-half turn around. The Algerian wideman picked the ball up on the right flank and showed good feet to dance between two challenges and then fired the ball into the far corner beyond the despairing grasp of Kepa.

Chelsea were then almost the architects of their own downfall as they sloppily gave the ball to Aguero but the Argentine smashed the ball into the crossbar.

Kante could have scored a crucial equaliser early in the second-half but had a low shot deflected behind by Fernandinho before Joao Cancelo had his effort cleared off of the line.

VAR chalks off late Sterling strike

Both sides looked dangerous throughout the second-half and Mahrez again went close as he drew the best out of Kepa in the home goal. Willian then also sent a spectacular effort just over the crossbar.

The hosts thought they had finished the game off in the final seconds as Raheem Sterling ran in behind and finished into the far corner. However, VAR intervened and ruled the strike out. It mattered not though as they claimed the three points and moved up to third in the table.

Final Thoughts

Judging the match as a spectacle, Manchester City probably deserved the three points. Following Chelsea’s opener, the hosts were the far more positive and looked the most likely to score. The three points could be huge come the end of the season as they aim to continue challenging Liverpool for the Premier League crown.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson (7); Mendy (7), Fernandinho (6), Stones (7), Cancelo (7); D. Silva (7) (Foden (7), 67′), Rodri (6) (Gundogan (7), 52′), De Bruyne (8); Sterling (6), Mahrez (7), Aguero (5) (Jesus (N/A), 77′).

Chelsea: Kepa (6); Emerson (6) (James (6), 59′), Tomori (6), Zouma (7), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (7), Jorginho (6) (Mount (6), 74′), Kante (7); Pulisic (6), Abraham (5) (Batshuayi (5), 73′), Willian (6).

Goals: Kante (21′), De Bruyne (29′), Mahrez (37′)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Yellow Cards: Jorginho (61′), Gundogan (90+1′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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