Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City: Premier League – live reaction | Premier League

City move to within five points of Arsenal after a hard-fought victory at Stamford Bridge. The first half was cagey and tactical, but City upped the tempo in the second half and two of their substitutes, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez, combined for the winning goal.

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Chelsea’s poor run continues, though there are mitigating circumstances. Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic both went off injured, and Chelsea ended the game with three teenagers on the field. Two of them, Carney Chukwuemeka and Lewis Hall, almost combined for an injury-time equaliser.

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City take the lead with a beautiful goal!

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That was a surprisingly cagey first half. City set up in an unusual 3-2-4-1 formation and struggled to find their usual attacking rhythm. Chelsea were a bit better, despite losing Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic to injury, and the substitute Carney Chukwuemeka hit the post on the stroke of half-time.

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Graham Potter makes two changes to the Chelsea side that drew at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. The more mobile Mateo Kovacic replaces Jorginho in midfield, and Hakim Ziyech is in for Mason Mount, who suffered a knock in training. Not sure what that means tactically; we’ll find out at 8pm.

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Pep Guardiola picks a more grown-up City side, with Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden replacing Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish.

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Chelsea (possible 4-2-2-2) Kepa; Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Thiago Silva, Cucurella; Zakaria, Kovacic; Ziyech, Pulisic; Havertz, Sterling.
Substitutes: Bettinelli, Jorginho, Aubameyang, Chalobah, Gallagher, Chukwuemeka, Humphreys, Hutchinson, Hall.

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Manchester City (4-1-2-3) Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri; De Bruyne, Gundogan; Bernardo, Haaland, Foden.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Grealish, Alvarez, Gomez, Akanji, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis.

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Referee Paul Tierney.

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We know it’s coming, or at least we think we do. All four of Pep Guardiola’s title-winning seasons at Manchester City have included terrifying winning runs to either burn off or reel in their rivals: They won 18 consecutive Premier League games in 2017-18, 14 in 2018-19 – when they had no margin for a draw, never mind a defeat – 15 in 2020-21 and 12 last season. The streaks in 2017-18 and 2020-21 included statement victories at Stamford Bridge, and they’d love another tonight.

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Everyone expects City to go on another run, and this would be a good time to start. They are eight points behind Arsenal, with tonight’s match in hand, and five of their next seven games are against Big Seven teams. A couple of months ago it was unthinkable that anyone other than City would win the league; now it is merely unlikely.

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The reason I said the Big Seven rather than the top seven is that Chelsea start tonight’s game in tenth. The last thing they need, given the hysterical criticism they have received either side of the World Cup, is a game against City. They have two: tonight and then a trip to the Etihad in the FA Cup on Sunday. But like City, Chelsea know a win tonight could be a line in the sand.

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Kick off 8pm.

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Key events

“Chelsea’s version of The Young Ones – Hall. Hutchinson and the galloping Gallagher – all got a run around and will have sent out a message to their elders and supposedly betters,” says Colum Fordham. “Could they become the Chelsea equivalent of Radiohead’s Kid(s) A?”

Arf. Given the performance of some of the senior players, I’m sure there’s a How To Disappear Completely joke in there somewhere.

Full time: Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City

City move to within five points of Arsenal after a hard-fought victory at Stamford Bridge. The first half was cagey and tactical, but City upped the tempo in the second half and two of their substitutes, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez, combined for the winning goal.

Chelsea’s poor run continues, though there are mitigating circumstances. Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic both went off injured, and Chelsea ended the game with three teenagers on the field. Two of them, Carney Chukwuemeka and Lewis Hall, almost combined for an injury-time equaliser.

Erling Haaland celebrates as the final whistle blows.
Erling Haaland lets it out as the final whistle blows. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

90+4 mins Koulibaly is booked for fouling Mahrez, who was leading a City break. Time’s up for Chelsea.

90+1 mins: Chance for Hall! That would have been a huge moment for Chelsea – and Arsenal. The impressive Chukwuemeka ran half the length of the field before easing the ball outside to Hall on the left side of the area. His first touch from him was slightly errant, which made the angle really tight, and he sprayed a shot wide of the near post.

Lewis Hall blasts his chance wide.
Lewis Hall blasts his chance wide. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

90 mins Four added minutes.

89 mins Grealish is cynically fouled by Kovacic, who is booked.

89 mins Zakaria, who has quietly had a decent game, beats two players in midfield to start a Chelsea move. Hall dances away from Phillips and Lewis and drives a low cross that deflects dangerously across the area before being cleared by Grealish. Hall looks a good player, really confident and purposeful even against a team as intimidating as City.

87 mins “Enzo Fernandez is throwing a tantrum so he can join THIS?” sniffs Sean Orlowicz.

Heh. Don’t forget the injury list. This run of form is about as representative of Chelsea as Pablo Honey is of Radiohead.

86 mins: City substitution Rodri, who has cramp, is replaced by Kalvin Phillips. “Looks pretty trim there…” says Jamie Carragher. Azpilicueta runs over to hasten Rodri’s departure.

85 mins Chelsea have been much better in the last 20 minutes. Part of that is human nature, City easing off after going 1-0 up, but I also wonder whether Graham Potter might have had his fill of certain older players, Aubameyang in particular.

83 mins Gallagher is basically playing as a centre-forward, and his approach so far brings to mind Dave Bassett’s pre-match instructions to Billy Whitehurst back in the day: “Go and cause some bo11ocks, Billy.”

82 mins Chelsea work the ball nicely from right to left, only for Kovacic to inexplicably overhit a pass to the unmarked Hall.

80 mins “Pep torching the hopes and dreams of fantasy football managers across the land,” says Andy Bollen. “Meanwhile Cancelo, Walker and Foden all fighting over the magic sponge to valet his motor.”

Ederson, De Bruyne and Beast are the only City players worth touching in Fantasy Premier League, a lesson I still haven’t learned. Kyle Walker got one point tonight, and I had Mitoma on the bench an’ all.

79 mins Another dangerous low cross, this time from De Bruyne, is well defended by Thiago at the near post. Gundogan was waiting behind him to score.

78 mins Gallagher has energised Chelsea with his intense pressing, but he goes a bit too far when he deliberately leaves one on Stones. Paul Tierney gives him a warning.

Conor Gallagher of Chelsea keeps the ball in play.
Conor Gallagher seems up for the challenge. Photograph: Javier García/REX/Shutterstock

77 mins If it stays like this City will be five points behind Arsenal with 21 matches remaining, two of them head-to-heads.

74 mins Kovacic collects a loose ball 30 yards from goal and thrikes it over the bar. Chelsea have been pretty good since the young players came on.

74 mins Havertz’s looping header is comfortably saved by Ederson, though he was offside anyway.

73 mins City work the ball nicely down the right, and De Bruyne’s low cross is just too quick for Haaland, stretching in front of an open goal. They’ve been fantastic in the second half.

72 mins The more you see City’s goal, the more it looks like Kepa should have stopped it. He might have pushed the ball out to an onrushing forward, Beast maybe, but that’s better than letting it roll behind you when somebody has an open goal.

71 mins This is a decent spell of possession for Chelseaprobably their best of the second half.

68 mins: Triple substitution for Chelsea Conor Gallagher, Omari Hutchinson and Lewis Hall replace Aubameyang, who only came as sub in the first half, Ziyech and Cucurella.

66 mins “Pep did ‘play the bucket’!” says Gary Naylor, taking his own idea and running with it.

65 mins It was a brilliant ball from Grealish, into a perfect area, but on the replay it looked like Kepa had a decent chance to push it away had he dived full stretch. Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports has also been very critical of Cucurella for allowing Mahrez to run off him.

The two substitutes who came on three minutes ago have combined to give City the lead. De Bruyne charged forward from midfield and slid a simple pass to Grealish on the left side of the area. Grealish is a tactile footballer but this time he slides a devastating first-time cross with his left foot. Kepa decided not to dive towards it, a little weirdly, and Mahrez got the wrong side of Cucurella to tap into an empty net.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates his goal.
Super sub Riyad Mahrez! Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters

GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Pep Guardiola (Mahrez 63)

City take the lead with a beautiful goal!

Riyadh Mahrez scores.
Riyad Mahrez pounces to break the deadlock. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/IKIMAGES/AFP/Getty Images

62 mins Grealish plays a nice little pass to the overlapping De Bruyne, who flicks a cross with the outside of the boot towards Haaland. Koulibaly gets in front of head clear.

61 mins Ziyech flips a long pass from the edge of his own penalty area towards Havertz, who threatens to get the wrong side of the last man Akanji. Ederson comes miles out of his goal, doesn’t get the ball and is very relieved to see Akanji get to it before Havertz.

60 mins: Double substitution for City New wide forwards please: Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez are on for Foden and Bernardo.

59 mins: Chance for City! Bernardo Silva beats Cucurella thrillingly on the right, not once but twice before pushing the ball back to De Bruyne on the edge of the area. He takes a touch and smashes a shot wide of the near post.

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