Chelsea travelled to play Man City at the Etihad on Saturday for MW 35 of the Premier League season. Man City went into the game knowing that a win would seal them the title this season. Chelsea knew that a win for the Blues would do them well in the race for the top four. Pep made 9 changes to CL side with Dias and Ederson the only players in the XI. The likes of Cancelo, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, Jesus, Sterlin, and Aguero were all on the pitch though so this wasn’t some makeshift side. Tuchel also made some changes with Mendy starting in goal. Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger started in defence. Reece James and Alonso made up the wing backs while Gilmour, and Kante started in midfield. Ziyech, Pulisic, and Werner started up front.
The game was pretty open from the get go as each side had a fair share of the possession. The first major incident came in the 12th minute as Sterling caught Werner on the ankle which was a red card but was given a yellow. Werner then had the ball in the net but he was offside in the 32nd minute. Chelsea had a couple more chances before City scored in the 44th minute. A ball over the top found Jesus and Christensen made a mess of a tackle as he went down injured. Jesus took advantage and squared the ball as Sterling finished. Conceding was not a major problem but hopefully Christensen is not seriously injured. Zouma came on for him but not before Taylor resumed play and City got a penalty after minimal contact from Gilmour on Jesus. Aguero stepped up to take the penalty but shamelessly tried to panenka Mendy who caught the shot with one hand. The half ended with City in the lead but plenty to still to play for thanks to Aguero’s miss.
The 2nd half was all Chelsea as Werner and Pulisic got close with shots. The equaliser came in the 63rd minute after Rodri was caught in possession. Azpilicueta found Pulisic who passed it back to Azpi who then found Ziyech. Ziyech took a brilliant first touch and then volleyed a shot past Ederson. 1-1 and game on. James then delivered an inch perfect cross into the box but Werner was a fraction too late in the 73rd minute. Hudson-Odoi, and Jorginho had come on by this point and Hudson-Odoi made an immediate impact. Werner then had the ball in the net but he was offside in the 79th minute. James once again delivered a perfect cross in the 81st minute and Hudson-Odoi scored with a tap in but he was just offside. Zouma made a game saving tackle on Sterling late on. Zouma was involved with Sterling again as he attempted to take the ball and Sterling went down in the box. Taylor waved play on but City were furious and adamant that that was a penalty. The winner came in the 92nd minute as Hudson-Odoi drove forward and played a brilliant pass to Werner. Werner drove down the right and cut back for an incoming Alonso to fumble the ball into the net. Another last minute winner by Alonso and Chelsea secured 3 points.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy did not manage a clean sheet in this game but saved the Aguero penalty however shameless the shot was. Mendy was a little busy but no real moment of threat comes to mind. A good game for the goalkeeper.
The whole defence did really well throughout the game. Rudiger was strong while Azpilicueta was resilient. Christensen hopefully isn’t seriously injured and can still play a part this season. Zouma was tough when he came on but also caused some problems at the back. Alonso got a clutch goal in Alonso fashion and was good defensively. Reece James for me was the man of the match. The 2nd half was all his and he should have had 2-3 assists in 45 minutes. James was a constant problem for Mendy and he handled Zinchenko as well. A top class performance from Beast James.
Kante and Gilmour were very good and Gilmour especially had a really good 2nd half. Billy got better as the game went on and he dictated play as well. There were glimpses of Billy from last season. Kante had a good 60-70 minutes and then he came off to be replaced by Jorginho who continued that intensity. A good outing by the midfielders.
Pulisic had a quite game and he found it hard to find space in behind the City defence. Ziyech had a good game in my opinion but again one of those players who had a really solid 2nd half. The goal was really good and it’s one of the reasons why he stayed on the pitch. Werner had another solid game getting an assist for the winner. His constant runs behind the City defence gave their backline several problems. Werner is really beginning to rev up along with our other signings. Hudson-Odoi came on in the 2nd half and made an impact. His forward runs and energy created chances and he was key in the winner providing a brilliant pass to Werner.
Another win for Tuchel over Pep and City but more than that a massive 3 points. Getting the 3 points while having rotated players will do everyone a world of good while the substitutions were also spot on. Tuchel just giving fans reason after reason to love him.
Chelsea get 3 big points in the race for top 4. We move into 3rd 6 points behind United and a point ahead of Leicester. We go 6 clear of 6th placed West Ham as well. Next up is a London Derby against Arsenal which is another key game in our race to secure top four. COME ON CHELSEA!!!