Big big win!
There were many eyes on this game, Chelsea fans and City fans for sure but Liverpool fans, United fans, Wolves fans, Spurs fans maybe. The result meant that Chelsea and Liverpool fans left the game happiest as Chelsea maintained their 5 point gap from 5th and moved within a point of Leicester while Liverpool were confirmed Champions after 30 years once City had lost. Congratulations to Liverpool but that is that, Chelsea is the key here. The lineup was again a brain tickler as Kepa started in goal, with the same defence as Aston Villa. Kante, Mount, and Barkley started in midfield with Pulisic, and Willian on the wings and Giroud up front. Pep also started a strong team with a false 9 formation and Jesus on the bench.
The game started in an expected fashion as Chelsea relied on the counter while defending well while City dominated possession. Chelsea had some decent chances on the counter but up till the 20th minute mark it was mostly City. The water break and pep talk from Lamps helped the mood of the players and Chelsea went on the front foot. The opening goal came in the 36th minute as De Bruyne’s cross was headed out and a mix up between Mendy and Gundogan allowed Pulisic to latch on to a loose ball. Mendy tried to go in on Pulisic and Christian dribbled past him and then slotted a beautiful finesse effort past Ederson. 2 in 2 and Pulisic seems to be flying. Chelsea headed into half time the stronger of the two teams.
City started the 2nd half in better fashion but never really threatening. The equaliser came in the 55th minute as Mahrez was brought down by Kante. The free kick was then brilliantly executed by De Bruyne to restore parity. City then dominated possession wise as there were several quick passes played but Chelsea stayed strong in defence. The water break once again came at a brilliant time and Chelsea were able to grow back into the game. A brilliant ball by Christensen was met buy Pulisic who broke the line and held off Fernandinho who probably would have been sent off and Christian dribbled past Ederson and shot at goal only for his shot to be cleared off the line by a speeding Walker. Mount then missed a brilliant chance as his shot hit the side netting. The lead was restored in the 78th minute as a penalty was given. Willian did well to dribble down the right and cross in for Tammy who’s shot was saved into Pulisic’s path whose shot was saved into Tammy’s path who’ shot was saved by Fernandinho who handled the ball. The Brazilian was sent off a penalty was given and Willian gave Chelsea the lead. The remaining 20 or so minutes were dominated by Chelsea as Gilmour, Pedro, Kovacic, and Abraham had come on in the 2nd half. Ederson made some decent saves as the scoreline stayed 2-1. The full time whistle was blown and Chelsea won a massive game although the general narrative was all about Liverpool.
Player wise Kepa was good made a brilliant save in the first half and could not be blamed for the De Bruyne free kick. The defence was solid while Christensen stood out once again as he and Rudiger did not let anyone past them. Christensen was great and I reiterate that it is him plus another centre back for the future. Kante was his normal self as he marauded in front of the back four although he was sloppy at times. Barkley was decent but tired out during the 2nd half while Mount was again very good when it came to pressing but he needs to start working on his end product. Willian was good throughout the game as he continues to turn up for against the big teams, he worked well for his penalty and was defensively great as well. If he continues to put in decent performances he will leave Chelsea with most people happy. Giroud was great in his linkup play but the lack of possession didn’t really benefit him. The man of the match was Pulisic, he showed he can bring it in big games as his pace and dribbling while also driving towards goal at every opportunity showed why he has so much potential. Pulisic’s goal was brilliant while he could have had one more as well. A solid performance. Kovacic was decent when he came on along with Abraham who pressed well and was lively to get the penalty. Gilmour played a brilliant pass when he came on and that was enough to excite people once again. Pedro was Pedro as ran around and used his pace as usual. Finally Lampard made a brilliant team selection and drilled the players to put in a solid performance as he continues to build something beautiful at the club.
Next up for Chelsea is an FA Cup quarter final against Leicester City as we maintain our gap at the top of the table and continue to push Leicester for that 3rd place spot. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!