Chelsea drop to 10th after 1-0 loss to City
At Stamford Bridge, Manchester City defeated Chelsea 1-0 thanks to a strong second-half performance, handing the visitors their third straight home H2H loss. The last time the Blues defeated Pep Guardiola's team was in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final.
Following the untimely substitutions of Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic, one would have anticipated nothing less for the home team's first half, especially after their discouraging 1-1 stalemate against Nottingham Forest four days prior. Unexpectedly, Chelsea weren't going to be second-best, as Graham Potter's team received more opportunities than their possession-hungry rivals.
However, Manchester City remained resilient, relying on significant stops by John Stones and Nathan Aké as well as an outstanding save by Ederson to keep them in the game. To Pep Guardiola's chagrin, the Blues' opportunities in the final third did not materialize as they seemed willing to compete for midfield dominance. Erling Haaland nearly gave City the lead, but he missed the right post with his team's first genuine opportunity. At the other end, substitute Carney Chukwuemeka hit the left post, giving Chelsea fans optimism for their first victory in their previous five league matches against teams in the top four.
The reigning champions displayed true character after the break, knowing they needed to raise the stakes if they were to cut Arsenal’s eight-point cushion at the top. Out of nowhere, Aké first struck the crossbar having latched onto a superb cross, shortly before Kepa Arrizabalaga was forced into a low save by Kevin De Bruyne. Despite the onslaught, Chelsea did well to maintain composure, but City’s relentless charge eventually paid dividends in the 63rd minute by virtue of their substitutes, as Jack Grealish fed Riyadh Mahrez with an inch-perfect assist for a tap-in at the far post.
The Blues increased their effort in pursuit of the equalizer that would prevent a sixth league loss. The hosts, who lacked imagination in the final third and suffered yet another 'to nil' loss to the visitors - a fourth straight game without scoring against them - were unable to achieve it. City adds another victory to their incredible road record in the league, winning 19 of their last 26 away games while only losing once over that span.