Premier League: Man City 0 0 Chelsea Plus Watch Football Focus

In the away section behind one of the goals at The Etihad, silverware glinted now and again in the winter sunshine. The Chelsea fans, ranged across three tiers, resolutely held up replicas of the Champions League trophy many had brought with them from London and brandished them as a reminder of their victory over Manchester City in the final in Porto last May.

‘Where’s your European Cup?’ they sang over and over again and they took their consolation there. Because history is all they have got at the moment. After this defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side, it is clearer than it ever was that the present belongs to City.

There was a time not long ago when this season was being imagined as a three-horse race between City, Chelsea and Liverpool that would go right down to the wire but those predictions withered and died as the nights drew in and City’s class began to tell. Now, the English marathon has a runaway leader.

Kevin De Bruyne curled home the decisive goal with 20 minutes to go as Manchester City moved 13 points clear at the summit

Kevin De Bruyne curled home the decisive goal with 20 minutes to go as Manchester City moved 13 points clear at the summit

De Bruyne drove at the heart of the Chelsea defence, then dug out a curling effort from 25 yards to settle the contest

De Bruyne drove at the heart of the Chelsea defence, then dug out a curling effort from 25 yards to settle the contest

It proved sufficient to carry Manchester City 13 points clear of Chelsea at the top though Liverpool have games in hand

It proved sufficient to carry Manchester City 13 points clear of Chelsea at the top though Liverpool have games in hand

City manager Pep Guardiola gives the thumbs up during a performance of class and control at the Etihad Stadium

City manager Pep Guardiola gives the thumbs up during a performance of class and control at the Etihad Stadium 

Their 1-0 victory took them 13 points clear of Chelsea and the rest of the increasingly forlorn chasing pack and within sight of retaining their title. This had felt like the last chance to halt City’s march towards winning the league and Chelsea, who frustrated their manager, Thomas Tuchel, by creating opportunities but failing to take them, could not lay a glove on them.

Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner 20 minutes from the end and it was a fine goal fit to grace a fine performance. City were the better side by a distance. If Jose Mourinho had still been in charge of Chelsea, he would have been accused of parking the bus with this performance but against a team as good as City, it is hard to find a bus big enough.

This was City’s 12th league victory in succession, a run that has defied the ravages of Covid and the pressures of the holiday period. City just march on and on and on. The forbidding reality for their rivals is that they seem to be getting better and better and better. Tuchel might have masterminded three victories over City last season but in this encounter, the gap in quality between the two sides was impossible to disguise.

‘The quality, the deliveries and the composure was absolutely not on top level today,’ Tuchel said later. ‘You need top level to get half chances and chances, and that's what we lacked in the first half. Our offensive players need to show up more. We need consistency. Chelsea is not a place to hide.’

Instead of looking upwards, Chelsea may now have to start looking nervously over their shoulders as Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham and Manchester United try to rein them in. They had one clear chance against City’s parsimonious defence but Romelu Lukaku could not take it. They progressed to the final of the Carabao Cup last week and it appears the knock-out competitions are, once more, their best chance of success this season.

MATCH FACTS:  

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne (c) (Gundogan 85), Rodri, Silva; Sterling, Foden (Gabriel Jesus 88), Grealish

Substitutes not used: Steffen (GK); Dias, Fernandinho, Mbete, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Scorer: De Bruyne 70

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga; Rudiger, Silva, Sarr; Azpilicueta (c), Kante, Kovacic, Alonso (Mount 81); Pulisic (Werner 69), Ziyech (Hudson-Odoi 69); Lukaku

Substitutes not used: Bettinelli (GK); Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, Barkley, Havertz

Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Booked: Alonso, Kovacic

 

Referee: Craig Pawson Attendance: 53,319

Season at a glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

 

 

Advertisement City goalkeeper Ederson denied Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku early in the second-half but the visitors were second best

City goalkeeper Ederson denied Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku early in the second-half but the visitors were second best

City could have led late in the first-half but Jack Grealish was denied by a sprawling save by Kepa Arrizabalaga

City could have led late in the first-half but Jack Grealish was denied by a sprawling save by Kepa Arrizabalaga 

City boss Pep Guardiola made a host of changes from the team that had beaten Swindon Town in the FA Cup third round and included Jack Grealish on the left of City’s fluid front three. Grealish has had an uneven time since his £100m arrival from Aston Villa in the summer and his recall in a match of this magnitude was a chance to make a belated statement.

Instead, most of City’s attacks went down the right where Raheem Sterling gave Marcos Alonso a torrid time, particularly after Alonso had been booked early on for fouling him. On the other flank, Grealish toiled in vain to make an impact, his halting efforts stymied by the formidable combination of Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta. Too often, he ran up blind alleys.

Chelsea found it hard to get a foothold in the game. They could not get the ball and on the rare occasions that they did, they could not keep it. Tuchel appeared to be particularly exasperated with the contribution of Lukaku whose interventions in the action were sporadic.

Lukaku has been rehabilitated by Tuchel after his controversial interview with Sky Italia but the relationship between manager and centre forward still appears uneasy. Time and again, Tuchel leapt from the dug-out to remonstrate with Lukaku, spreading his arms out wide, looking for an explanation why he had misplaced a pass or given away possession. Lukaku did his best to ignore him.

Lukaku was responsible for one of the only half-chances of the opening 45 minutes, though. He took the ball midway inside the City half with his back to goal and bullied his way past the wrestling of John Stones. But as he advanced on goal, there was another clue that Lukaku is still lacking confidence. Instead of shooting, he tried to play in Hakim Ziyech with a reverse pass. The pass was mishit and Ziyech was offside anyway. A rare opportunity had been wasted.

It had been an opening period of few clear-cut chances but Grealish should have done better as he closed in on goal

It had been an opening period of few clear-cut chances but Grealish should have done better as he closed in on goal

There was an early moment of panic for Chelsea when Kepa blasted his clearance against Cesar Azpilicueta

There was an early moment of panic for Chelsea when Kepa blasted his clearance against Cesar Azpilicueta 

Romelu Lukaku charges away from John Stones but the Belgian opted to pass to Hakim Ziyech instead of going for goal

Romelu Lukaku charges away from John Stones but the Belgian opted to pass to Hakim Ziyech instead of going for goal

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  • ‘Sometimes he has to do the service,’ Tuchel said of Lukaku after the match when he was asked if he was getting enough service. ‘He had many ball losses and a huge chance. Of course we want to serve him but he's part of the team. The performance up front in the first half, we can do much, much better.’

    When Ziyech returned the favour a few minutes later by overhitting a through ball that would have freed Lukaku, Tuchel exploded out of his dugout again, inconsolable about the waste. It was hard to blame him. City were so dominant in every area that it was hard not to wonder when a Chelsea chance would come again.

    For all their superiority, City were finding it hard to create clear chances, too, but Chelsea started to look exhausted by the chase and demoralised by City’s dominance. Finally, five minutes before half time, it looked as if City were going to break through when Kevin de Bruyne dispossessed Mateo Kovacic on the edge of the Chelsea area. The ball ran on to Grealish but when he tried to slip his shot round Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Chelsea keeper deflected it wide with his left leg.

    There were more chances after the interval. De Bruyne slid a ball across the Chelsea box and Sterling seemed to have got ahead of his marker in the race to meet it when he went down. The referee waved away claims for a penalty. A minute later, Chelsea broke and Kovacic played Lukaku in on goal.

    Manchester City's Raheem Sterling tries to break away from the Chelsea defence during his team's win at the Etihad

    Manchester City's Raheem Sterling tries to break away from the Chelsea defence during his team's win at the Etihad

    De Bruyne receives a warm embrace from his manager Pep Guardiola as he is substituted late in the match

    De Bruyne receives a warm embrace from his manager Pep Guardiola as he is substituted late in the match

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  • Lukaku has yet to score against a top six club this season and this was his chance to put that right and silence jibes that he is a flat-track bully. He tried to curl a left foot shot round Ederson but the City goalkeeper pushed it out with his right hand and Ziyech blasted the rebound high over the bar.

    It did not take long for Chelsea to rue that miss. Twenty minutes from time, De Bruyne slipped away from N’Golo Kante midway inside the Chelsea half and ran at the retreating defence. When he got to the edge of the area, he used Thiago Silva as a shield and curled his shot around him. Arrizabalaga took half a step in the wrong direction and by the time he corrected himself, it was too late. The ball flew beyond his despairing dive and into the bottom corner.

    Chelsea never looked like forcing their way back into the game. As they attacked in vain, their fans still brandished those inflatable trophies behind the goal and took their pride in the memories of the past. In the present, there is no comfort for any team but City.

    ‘We won't give up,’ Tuchel said afterwards in what seemed close to a concession speech, ‘but if City keep on winning every game, nobody can catch them.’

    RE-LIVE HOW ALL THE ACTION UNFOLDED BELOW WITH ADAM SHERGOLD 

     

     

    • Adam Shergold

      Host commentator

    14:34

    Thanks for joining us

    That wraps up my live blog of the game at the Etihad Stadium.

    If you refresh this page in a few minutes' time, you can read Oliver Holt's match report.

    Keep checking our sports page throughout the afternoon for all the analysis and reaction. 

    14:21

    FULL-TIME: Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    So is that the end of the Premier League title race?

    It's a 12th consecutive league win for Pep Guardiola's side and it takes them 13 points clear of Chelsea at the top. Surely it's over now.

    A performance of poise and control from City yet again, settled 20 minutes from time by a superb curling shot from Kevin De Bruyne. 

    Liverpool have two games in hand but surely City won't collapse from here in their defence of the title?  

    14:21

    90+3min - Walker cross

    City still attacking even deep into stoppage time. Kyle Walker races clear down the right and looks for Gabriel Jesus in the middle. It’s too long but City are almost there.

    14:18

    90min - Three minutes added on

    Three minutes left for City to see out. 

    14:16

    88min - Second City sub

    City wind down the clock with a second substitution. It’s Gabriel Jesus replacing Phil Foden.

    14:14

    86min - Grealish looking to settle it

    A second City goal looking more likely than a Chelsea leveller at the moment.

    Jack Grealish ducks and weaves his way into a shooting position, albeit from a tight angle, but Kepa denies him at the near post.

    14:12

    84min - De Bruyne taken off

    Good chance there to seal the game for City.

    A brilliant run at first by Raheem Sterling, who nudges the ball left to Phil Foden on the edge of the box. Foden stretching at the shot and it clears the bar.

    A sub now for City and it’s the goalscorer, De Bruyne, who receives a standing ovation as Ilkay Gundogan replaces him. A nice hug from Pep Guardiola as well.

    14:09

    81min - Chelsea sub

    The third and final Chelsea change - Marcos Alonso off and Mason Mount on.

    14:08

    80min - Hudson-Odoi wastes a free-kick

    Chelsea win a free-kick on the left and have the chance to load the City box.

    Callum Hudson-Odoi swings it in but his flat ball is poor really and De Bruyne of all people is there to whack it away.

    Seconds later, Hudson-Odoi in a good crossing position but it's a terrible delivery. 

    14:06

    They never should have let him leave etc etc

    5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals against former club Chelsea in the Premier League; the most by a player against the Blues after having previously played for them in the competition. Tormentor. pic.twitter.com/c8tFLNSQ8u

    — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 15, 2022
    14:05

    77min - Chelsea must go for it

    Chelsea have to take the handbrake off and go for it. They’re falling 13 points behind and the title race is all but finished. They might as well go for broke enthuse final 15 minutes.

    14:02

    74min - De Bruyne picks up a knock

    A couple of minutes after scoring, a brief injury scare as De Bruyne goes down. He will be fine to continue though.

    13:58

    GOAL! Man City 1 Chelsea 0 - Kevin De Bruyne 70mins

    The deadlock is broken at long last and what a crucial goal that could prove in the title race.

    It's a moment of magic by Kevin De Bruyne, who advanced forward through the middle, decided he didn't really have a better option and curled an immaculate shot beyond Kepa and into the far corner from the edge of the box. 

    He almost digs the ball out of his feet, like the shot was a last minute decision over the pass. But what a glorious finish. 

    The Etihad erupts and City are going 13 clear. 

    13:57

    69min - Two Chelsea changes in attack

    Those two Chelsea changes have been made - Timo Werner on for Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Hakim Ziyech.

    Fair to say Pulisic and Ziyech have enjoyed better afternoons.

    13:57

    69min - Sterling slides shot wide

    City spark into life and Raheem Sterling picks the ball up on the right side of the box.

    He has Foden in space in the centre but opts to go for goal, rolling a shot across the face of goal and harmlessly wide.

    13:55

    67min - Chelsea corner

    Chelsea with a rare foray forward and they win a corner in front of their travelling support at one end. Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi are imminent from the bench.

    Ziyech aims the corner looking for Lukaku but he is crowded out and City deal with the danger.

    13:51

    63min - Kepa equal to De Bruyne free-kick

    Grealish showing neat feet to run at the Chelsea defence until Cesar Azpilicueta brings him down near the corner of the penalty box.

    It offers Kevin De Bruyne the chance to swing another ball in or maybe go for goal from 25 yards.

    He shoots and Kepa punches it out for a corner.

    13:47

    60min - It's a stubborn stalemate

    The hour mark approaching fast and we await the breakthrough. Perhaps it’s time for one or both of the managers to look to the subs’ bench.

    13:43

    55min - Sterling wants a penalty

    City thought they had a penalty there for a split-second. Sterling weaving his way into the box and goes down after Marcos Alonso clips him.

    It looks like the referee is going to point to the spot but actually he blows for an offside against Kyle Walker in the build-up. The curse of the late flag once again. Not convinced it was a penalty anyway.

    13:41

    53min - City free-kick wasted

    Kyle Walker is caught by Mateo Kovacic right on the edge of the Chelsea box and City have a free-kick chance in a very good position.

    Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne chatting over it. The Belgian chips the ball into the box but it’s an easy collect for Kepa.

    13:38

    50min - Alonso high and wide

    The game already feels a lot more open in the first few minutes of the second half. Chelsea with another shot but Marcos Alonso fires high and wide. They already look more up for the scrap, however.

    13:36

    48min - Ederson denies Lukaku

    That’s a lot better from Chelsea who race down the other end with Romelu Lukaku played in behind. His effort is blocked by Ederson, who hasn’t had anything to do so far.

    The ball rebounds out to Hakim Ziyech, who can’t keep his shot down on the follow up.

    13:35

    47min - City penalty shout

    De Bruyne skips away from Azpilicueta down the left and crosses low into the box, where Raheem Sterling goes down under pressure from Malang Sarr.

    VAR check it but quickly concluded it isn’t a penalty and Sterling, to be honest, didn’t really look too bothered.

    13:33

    SECOND HALF: Man City get us started again

    We are off and running again in Manchester with no changes at the break.

    13:28

    Chelsea need to be more direct

    The main theme of the first half was Chelsea being unable to get any service into Romelu Lukaku and their wide forwards, much to the annoyance of Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines.

    Too often they became trapped while attempting to pass out from the back and were hustled out of possession with City playing their press so well.

    Early on, Chelsea did get some joy with longer balls forward but seemed to abandon that tactic. That just allowed City to enjoy more and more of the ball.

    13:17

    HALF-TIME: Manchester City 0-0 Chelsea

    So Chelsea survive in tact until the interval but City have dominated this game. 

    They have had almost all the possession and Jack Grealish really should have given them the lead, with Kepa making a fine save to deny him. 

    Chelsea have effectively switched between a back three and back five when City are coming at them but they simply can't get themselves out the vice to push forward.

    13:16

    45min - One minute added

    Chelsea on the ball for a change as we enter a short period of injury time.

    13:14

    43min - De Bruyne blasts wide

    Thomas Tuchel very animated in his technical area as Chelsea give the ball away once again. Flapping his hands like a bird flaps their wings.

    Chelsea have been guilty of passing backwards too often and playing themselves into trouble. They showed more intent and aggression early on but City have suffocated them.

    They just need to make it to half-time as Kevin De Bruyne smashes a shot wide while off balance inside the box. 

    13:11

    40min - Kepa big save to deny Grealish

    There was the big chance for Manchester City.

    Chelsea trying to play their way out, Kovacic trying to work the ball infield and De Bruyne is all over him like a rash to get the ball into Jack Grealish centrally.

    The space has opened up and Grealish only has Kepa to beat. But the Chelsea keeper does well to stand up and the ball defects off his thigh and wide.

    13:09

    38min - City well on top as we approach half-time

    Closing in now on half-time and City have dominated the ball without creating too many clear-cut openings. In fact, you’d say that Lukaku/Ziyech chance early on was the best of the game so far.

    But the feeling persists that City are turning the screw and Chelsea must stay resolute under the pressure.

    The offside flag goes up as Antonio Rudiger shows a fine reading of the game to clear Kevin De Bruyne's cross from the right. 

    13:06

    35min - Touch of class from Foden

    A brilliant driving run into the Chelsea box by Phil Foden after he turned sharply away from three defenders on the left side.

    Nobody really to aim at in the middle and Marcos Alonso can draw a foul from Sterling to relieve some of the mounting City pressure.

    13:04

    33min - City bossing the ball

    De Bruyne floats in the resulting free-kick like something of a tease. Looking for someone at the back post but Chelsea get it cleared for a corner.

    Rudiger gets De Bruyne’s delivery partly clear and Bernardo Silva is then boxed off and loses the ball as he appeals in vain for a free-kick.

    City dominating possession in the last 10 minutes, as high as 85 per cent. 

    13:02

    32min - Kovacic picks up a yellow

    That’s a cynical tackle by Mateo Kovacic as Bernardo Silva gets away from him. None of the ball, all of the man and a clear yellow card.

    12:59

    28min - Pulisic not fast enough

    Azpilicueta does really well to pinch the ball off De Bruyne in the centre of the park and gets it into Christian Pulisic wide on the right.

    But the American just isn’t quick enough making the pass or cross and City win the ball back.

    12:55

    24min - Nice football by City

    A sweeping move down the left by City. Azpilicueta is caught forward and Grealish is in behind, feeding De Bruyne inside the box but his rising, angled shot is easy enough for Kepa.

    24 minutes in and we await the breakthrough goal at the Etihad.

    12:53

    22min - Chelsea looking pretty resolute at the back

    The ball breaks Chelsea’s way in midfield and they’re straight onto the attack with Ziyech down the left. He tries to pick out Lukaku in the centre but his low ball is just too weak.

    Down the other end, Rodri swings a ball in searching for Grealish at the back post but Chelsea, who look pretty organised in defence, get the clearing header.

    12:49

    18min - Tuchel annoyed with Lukaku

    They just showed a replay of Thomas Tuchel’s visible frustration that Lukaku didn’t go directly for goal a few minutes ago.

    He knows Chelsea won’t necessarily get too many chances as clear as that this afternoon.

    12:48

    16min - Alonso in trouble up against Sterling

    Sterling once again has Alonso on toast and it’s looking like an unfair match-up already, especially with the Chelsea man already booked.

    Antonio Rudiger comes across to slide tackle Sterling perfectly. Foden’s corner is too deep.

    12:44

    14min - Burst of pressure by City

    Lovely ball over the top by Joao Cancelo looking for Kevin De Bruyne, who just about manages to keep it in at the byline. He tries to cut the ball back but only finds a defender.

    City attack again moments later with Sterling’s cross from the right just a little too high for Grealish as Azpilicueta does well to head it away.

    Then John Stones, forward for a resulting corner, gets his head onto a cross but straight into Kepa’s gloves. City upping it.

    12:41

    11min - Lukaku must go for goal

    That’s a golden chance for Chelsea but Hakim Ziyech has his blushes spared by an offside flag.

    Strong play by Lukaku, brushing off John Stones in the centre of the park and bursting forward. Looks like Lukaku is in a shooting position but chooses to thread a pass into Ziyech, who can’t make contact and was offside anyway.

    The Belgian really should have gone for goal.

    12:38

    7min - Alonso gets an early booking

    Sterling wriggles free of Marcos Alonso and is brought down rather crudely by the Spaniard. Craig Pawson is asked the question by some of the City players and does indeed produce a yellow card for Alonso.

    Far from ideal to be booked with 83 minutes left and Sterling running at you. 

    12:35

    5min - Moment of panic by Kepa

    That’s a definite let-off for Chelsea. Ball over the top and Kepa looks like he has it under control ahead of Jack Grealish. But he hesitates and strikes the clearance off his shin, off Cesar Azpilicueta and out for a City corner. Could have gone anywhere.

    Kepa atones by catching the corner.

    12:33

    2min - City on the ball early on

    Early possession for City and Raheem Sterling is briefly in behind Chelsea lines before being forced to turn back.

    Kevin De Bruyne trying to stun a pass through into the run of Phil Foden but it’s cut out.

    12:30

    KICK-OFF: We’re off and running in Manchester

    Here we go then. First versus second in the Premier League this Saturday lunchtime.

    Both sides in their home colours, differing shades of blue and no clash.

    It’s the champions of England against the champions of Europe. Here's a reminder of the two teams for you as Romelu Lukaku kicks us off: 

    Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Grealish, Foden

    Substitutes: Dias, Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Steffen, Fernandinho, Mbete-Tabu, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand

    Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Sarr, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Pulisic, Lukaku

    Substitutes: Jorginho, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Saul, Barkley, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz

     

    12:25

    Here come the players at the Etihad

    Okay, enough chat, it’s time for some action with one of the most eagerly-anticipated Premier League games of the season. Manchester City versus Chelsea.

    The players assemble in the tunnel at the Etihad and emerge into an arena where fans are on the safe standing for the first time. 

    12:17

    Just 15 minutes until kick-off

    We don't have too much longer to wait until this hotly-anticipated match gets underway.

    Manchester City with the chance to move 13 points clear at the top, Chelsea with the opportunity to reignite the Premier League title race.

    The players just concluding their warm-ups and returning to the dressing rooms as the fans take their seats at the Etihad. 

    Phil Foden and Jack Grealish of Manchester City warm up
    12:14

    Just a little reminder…

    A Chelsea fan with a blow up Champions League trophy
    12:11

    Guardiola reveals how Covid hit City

    JACK GAUGHAN: Pep Guardiola insisted that Manchester City will continue playing on even if they cannot field any first-team stars on their bench due to absences.

    The Premier League calendar is facing a fixture backlog, with clubs able to apply for postponements if they cannot call upon 13 established outfield players and a goalkeeper.

    Twenty-one members of City’s bubble, including their manager, were forced into isolation last week and the champions have since recorded more Covid cases ahead of today’s title clash with Chelsea.

    CLICK BELOW FOR MORE

    Guardiola reveals Man City have been struck by 'some new Covid cases' "> Guardiola reveals Man City have been struck by 'some new Covid cases' Pep Guardiola revealed that Manchester City have endured fresh coronavirus cases ahead of Saturday's title clash with Chelsea. The manager was back to take training on Thursday. > >Mail Online
    12:04

    PICTURES: The players are put through their warm-ups

    Phil Foden on the ball Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Romelu Lukaku during the warm up
    12:00

    Tuchel refuses to give up the title chase

    MATT BARLOW: Thomas Tuchel’s bold declarations about hunting down Manchester City may have lost their threat but Chelsea are not yet prepared to surrender the chase.

    ‘We would love to be closer,’ said Tuchel on the eve of today’s lunchtime clash at the Etihad Stadium.

    ‘We would love to have more points. We are never happy when we are behind our own standards and this is where we are.

    ‘At the same time, we have trust. We are still hungry. The season is not finished. We will never give up. We will try to bring out the very best that is possible.’

    CLICK BELOW FOR MORE

    Tuchel curses injuries and Covid in Chelsea's flailing title race "> Tuchel curses injuries and Covid in Chelsea's flailing title race Thomas Tuchel's bold declarations about hunting down Manchester City may have lost their threat but Chelsea are not yet prepared to surrender the chase as the two teams set to face off on Saturday. > >Mail Online
    11:54

    KEOWN TALKS TACTICS: City contest should suit Lukaku… there can be no excuses for the Chelsea striker

    MARTIN KEOWN: Manchester City are on an incredible 11-game winning streak. If they make it a magnificent 12 today, they will most likely knock one of their rivals out of the title race.

    Chelsea would be too far adrift to catch up if they lose. Even a draw wouldn't do much good. This is a must-win for Thomas Tuchel.

    He beat Pep Guardiola three times towards the end of last season - in the FA Cup semi final, Premier League and in the Champions League final. Tuchel's men must treat today as if it is another final.

    READ THE FULL COLUMN BY CLICKING BELOW 

    MARTIN KEOWN: Nothing to moan about for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku "> MARTIN KEOWN: Nothing to moan about for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku MARTIN KEOWN: There's been enough focus on Lukaku lately that I expect it will make him want to rise to the challenge. There will be key battles all over the pitch today, including in midfield. > >Mail Online
    11:50

    Opta facts and stats for the big game

    Chelsea won this exact fixture 2-1 last season, last winning consecutive away league games against Man City during a run of four between 2005 and 2008.

    This will be the 50th Premier League meeting between Man City and Chelsea; City won just three of their first 25 against Chelsea (D4 L18) but have since won 12 of the last 24 (D3 L9).

    This is just the second ever Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Chelsea as the top two sides in the division. The other came in January 2015, with second placed City earning a 1-1 draw at league leaders Chelsea.

    Manchester City have won their last 11 Premier League games, their fifth such run of 11+ consecutive victories in the competition. Three of their previous four such runs have been ended in a home match - 1-2 vs West Ham in September 2015, 2-2 vs Spurs in August 2019 and 0-2 vs Man Utd in March 2021.

    Chelsea have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League games (W8 D6), going down 3-2 at West Ham in December. However, the Blues have picked up just one win from their last five league games (D4), throwing away a lead in two of those four draws.

    11:43

    PICTURES: City’s players reporting for duty

    Pep Guardiola arrives for the game Phil Foden steps off the team bus Aymeric Laporte makes his entrance
    11:40

    THE NUMBERS GAME: Why Lukaku is still affected by that ‘flat track bully’ tag

    Romelu Lukaku's £97.5million club-record return to Chelsea has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, in which no one knows when the next twist is coming.

    He appeared set to lead Chelsea's charge for the Premier League title after arriving from Inter Milan, scoring three goals in as many top-flight games and bullying an Arsenal defence short on confidence.

    However, after four goalless Premier League games came an ankle sprain that kept him out of six fixtures across all competitions, before coronavirus struck soon after.

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW

    Lukaku needs a goal more than ever to shake off flat-track bully tag  "> Lukaku needs a goal more than ever to shake off flat-track bully tag  THE NUMBERS GAME - KISHAN VAGHELA: Romelu Lukaku's £97.5million club-record return to Chelsea has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. > >Mail Online
    11:34

    Confirmation of the two line-ups today

    Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Grealish, Foden

    Substitutes: Dias, Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Steffen, Fernandinho, Mbete-Tabu, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand

    Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Sarr, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Pulisic, Lukaku

    Substitutes: Jorginho, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Saul, Barkley, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz

    Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

    Both managers have made quite a few changes then.

    Pep Guardiola has made four alterations from City’s win over Arsenal a couple of weeks ago. Dias, Ake, Mahrez and Jesus out for Walker, Stones, Grealish and Foden.

    Five changes for Chelsea from the side that beat Tottenham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Christensen, Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Mount and Werner drop out with Thiago Silva, Kante, Ziyech, Pulisic and Lukaku coming back in.

    11:31

    Your Chelsea side for this afternoon

    Ready for action! 👊@ParimatchGlobal | #MciChe pic.twitter.com/5JxFp7RHJ8

    — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 15, 2022
    11:31

    Here is the Manchester City side to face Chelsea

    Your City XI to take on Chelsea! 💥

    XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Sterling, Foden, Grealish

    SUBS | Steffen, Dias, Gundogan, Jesus, Fernandinho, Mbete, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand#ManCity | @HaysTechnology pic.twitter.com/LSGNkqolWj

    — Manchester City (@ManCity) January 15, 2022
    11:27

    TEAM NEWS coming up shortly

    We will bring you the two confirmed line-ups from the Etihad in the next few minutes.

    11:26

    The Premier League weekend

    Here’s the Premier League fixture list for the weekend. One game already played last night, one has fallen victim to Covid and the north London derby is in doubt after depleted Arsenal applied to the Premier League to get it called off. A decision is expected soon.

    LAST NIGHT

    Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Crystal Palace 1

    TODAY

    Manchester City vs Chelsea (12.30pm)

    Burnley P-P Leicester City

    Newcastle United vs Watford (3pm)

    Norwich City vs Everton (3pm)

    Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Southampton (3pm)

    Aston Villa vs Manchester United (5.30pm)

    TOMORROW

    Liverpool vs Brentford (2pm)

    West Ham United vs Leeds United (2pm)

    Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal (4.30pm)

    11:23

    How things stand at the top of the Premier League table

    As you can see, Pep Guardiola’s side are in a commanding position as they try and retain their Premier League title.

    They have surged clear thanks to their winning run while Chelsea and Liverpool stumbled and have remained fairly unaffected by Covid cases.

    That 10-point gap, which could become 13 this afternoon, is already a big chasm.

    But if Chelsea can get three points and close that to just the seven, we might be on for some excitement with 17 rounds of games still to play.

    11:20

    Our last hope for a decent title race?

    Is this the day the Premier League title is decided?

    It’s seems faintly absurd to be saying that on January 15 but Manchester City are playing so well at the moment, they could easily run away with it.

    Already 10 points ahead of Chelsea in second, that could move to 13 if they beat their challengers at the Etihad Stadium this lunchtime.

    You have to agree that 13 points is a daunting mountain to climb.

    So it may not only be Chelsea but neutral everywhere hoping they can win today and cut that gap, keeping interest alive at the top of the Premier League.

    Welcome along to our live coverage of one of the stand-out fixtures on the football calendar.

    Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-10402401/Man-City-vs-Chelsea-Premier-League-2021-22-Live-Result.html

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    Relentless Man City make it 12 Premier League wins in a row as Kevin De Bruynes sublime effort is enough to see off Chelsea and put Pep Guardiolas side 13 points clear at the top

    Source:Daily Mail

    Relentless Man City make it 12 Premier League wins in a row as Kevin De Bruynes sublime effort is enough to see off Chelsea and put Pep Guardiolas side 13 points clear at the top

    Premier League: Rafa Benitez out, Chelsea not good enough, Leeds resilience on show with season’s best display

    Source:The i on MSN.com

    Premier League: Rafa Benitez out, Chelsea not good enough, Leeds resilience on show with season’s best display

    Man City close to Premier League crown, Real Madrids Supercup glory, Man United drop more points

    Source:ESPN

    Man City close to Premier League crown, Real Madrids Supercup glory, Man United drop more points

    Kevin De Bruyne warns his team-mates against slacking off despite going 13 points CLEAR in the title race... as the Man City star claims the job is STILL not done for Pep ...

    Source:Daily Mail

    Kevin De Bruyne warns his team-mates against slacking off despite going 13 points CLEAR in the title race... as the Man City star claims the job is STILL not done for Pep ...

    Premier League winners and losers (incl. Premier League)

    Source:MSN

    Premier League winners and losers (incl. Premier League)

    January transfer window: What every Premier League club needs to do before January 31

    Source:Sky Sports

    January transfer window: What every Premier League club needs to do before January 31

    Man City close to Premier League crown, Real Madrids Supercup glory, Man United drop more points

    Source:ESPN

    Man City close to Premier League crown, Real Madrids Supercup glory, Man United drop more points