Man City boss Pep Guardiola got revenge over Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, beating the Chelsea boss for the first time in England with a classy 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel had come out on top in the three previous meetings at their current clubs, knocking Manchester City out of the FA Cup, as well as winning the Champions League final, outclassing Guardiola on every occasion.
But that wasn’t to be at Stamford Bridge, with City starting the game on top, and staying there for the full 90 minutes.
Chelsea played the opening stages like an away game, sitting deep with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner well within their own half, but it wasn’t long before the Blues started crafting the better opportunities.
The plan was clear with Werner and Lukaku breaking forward at speed, but City had them covered, reducing the Belgian’s best chance to an air shot.
Unlike previous meetings between Tuchel and Guardiola, the latter then saw his side take complete control of the game, playing keep ball round the Chelsea box.
“They’ve had more corners than a dodecahedron,” said talkSPORT commentator Sam Matterface, as City continued trying to thread the ball into Chelsea’s box, only to be met by a flood of burly clearances.
Chelsea’s defending was, how it often is under Tuchel, last-ditch but with a surprising amount of calmness and confidence, meaning City had to be just as smart when they were countered on.
City began the second period as they finished the first, but with a clear instruction to take more shots, with Kevin De Bruyne seeing an attempt blocked, and Jack Grealish curling an effort wide.
“Chelsea have been too respectful to City,” said talkSPORT commentator Dean Ashton. “There were a few groans [from the fans] at half time, they want more from their European champions.”
Chelsea kept inviting pressure as if a man down, allowing Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne to wander towards the box from a corner, before Joao Cancelo sped up the play, faking a shot with his right, before unleashing with his left.
His attempt was blocked and gathered by Gabriel Jesus, who turned and fired a bobbling shot past a statue-esque Edouard Mendy.
Grealish then tricked Antonio Rudiger, sending a trademark curling shot heading for the corner of the net, only for Mendy to brilliantly put it wide with a fingertip save.
The game was nearly ended when a Bernardo Silva cross was parried into the path of Jesus, but substitute Thiago Silva brilliantly blocked his effort on the line.
And it was exactly the wake up call Chelsea needed, with Tuchel bringing on Kai Havertz for an uncharacteristically poor N’Golo Kante, with Havertz feeding Lukaku for a tap-in, but the German was offside in the build up.
It was then City’s turn to counter, with Grealish’s teammates somehow wasting a gorgeous outside of the boot cross from the £100million man.
The game soon lost all control, with chances at both ends as Chelsea looked for an equaliser, with Aymeric Laporte sending a tap-in millimetres wide of the left post, before Grealish hit a one-on-one straight at Mendy.
The chances kept on coming, but Chelsea were running on empty, with a late clash between Havertz and Ederson taking the sting out of the game, allowing City to take the win.
Things now look far more rosy for Guardiola after dropped points against Tottenham and Southampton, leapfrogging title rivals Chelsea in the Premier League table to put themselves second.
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