Chelsea hosted Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as teams high in confidence and in great form collided. The Blues had yet to taste defeat across all competitions thus far this season and had also yet to concede from open play in the league. However, against a hyper-pressing Man City on the day, Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel just could not find a solution on the pitch. The Blues ultimately succumbed to a 1-0 loss after Gabriel Jesus’ deflected shot found the back of the net early in the second half.
Here are three lessons learnt from Chelsea’s one-goal defeat to the Citizens.
1. No need to overreact just yet
The Blues did not play well on the day. This is an undisputed fact considering just how flat the team was prior to the game’s opening goal. Registering zero shots on target across the 90’ and starved of possession for large parts of the game, the extent of City’s dominance was evident. The players clinically executed what was the perfect game plan from Pep Guardiola.
Questions certainly can be asked of Tuchel’s lack of proactiveness in the form of halftime substitutions considering how poor his team played in the first half. However, it is worth noting that it took a perfect game plan from Guardiola—coupled with a hefty slice of luck in terms of the goal—that his team did score for Chelsea to be beaten. This is not to mention the obvious quality of personnel that Guardiola has at his disposal for his game plan to be executed perfectly in the first place. The point to be made here is that while Man City was undeniably better on the day, how many other teams in the league can put up this level of performance against the Blues?
Moreover, looking at the overall picture in terms of the current league table, Chelsea is still clearly in the mix for the Premier League title this season. With 32 league matches to come, it is early days and the players will do well to take the loss against Man City as a stern wake-up call before dusting themselves off and going again.
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