Manchester City took another huge step to their third Premier League title as the Citizens cruised to a 1-0 victory against current holders Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
It was a surprisingly dominant performance from the home side, with Chelsea seemingly looking to grind out a narrow result in their quest to secure Champions League football for next season, after a failed attempt to challenge for their crown in the current campaign.
City outclassed and dominated their opponents into submission, picking off passes and pockets of space when they could, as they looked to break down Antonio Conte’s “brick wall” defence. Pep Guardiola’s men proved their worth as champions-elect with another stellar performance against a top six rival.
The first half chances were all from City as they looked to gain an advantage before the break. A Kevin De Bruyne free-kick was whipped into the box, with Leroy Sane taking the ball down and almost opening the scoring if it wasn’t for the heroics of Cesar Azpilicueta off his own goal line. Bernardo Silva also had two great chances that should have seen a better outcome.
After the break, City took the lead with just 30 seconds gone as Sergio Aguero laid the ball off to David Silva, who’s squared ball found his namesake Bernardo unmarked to tap in and give the home side a well deserved lead. Towards the end of the match, Chelsea failed to really threaten City until the last few moments of the match. Leroy Sane’s pace and trickery caused many problems for the Chelsea defence and on another day, it could have been a bigger scoreline.
For the away side, it is another wasted opportunity to gain some ground on the top four and puts more pressure on Blues boss Antonio Conte. Whereas for City, it’s another win and a big step towards Pep Guardiola’s first domestic league title in England.
Here are our player ratings from the match.
Ederson - 6
Surprisingly, he had nothing to do for the entire game other than ensure that small instances of Chelsea pressure were dealt with efficiently.
Kyle Walker - 7
Was a useful, offensive weapon against Chelsea’s resolute defensive wall, but should have done better with some wasteful passes.
Nicolas Otamendi - 7
A comfortable game for the Argentine defender, giving isolated front man Eden Hazard no opportunities to break through. A rock at the back from the first minute to last.
Aymeric Laporte - 7
This game looked to be his first proper test against top opposition, but it was arguably his easiest performance of the season so far as Chelsea showed no interest in attacking.
Aleks Zinchenko - 6
Made a couple of bad challenges that saw him gain a booking, which on another day could have cost City. Needs to eradicate it from his game. Offensively, he was very useful.
Ilkay Gündogan - 8
His ball over the top at the start of the second half was crucial in the buildup to the winning goal. He impressed in the centre of the park and lived up to the performances that Fernandinho has been putting in in the same position.
Kevin De Bruyne - 7
His never-say-die attitude was alive and well again for City, which was key in the way him and his team-mates dictated the tempo of the match. Didn’t really need to put a big performance in as he would normally do, with the lack of fight from his former team.
David Silva - 8
A sublime performance from the masterful Spaniard as he effortlessly created chances from the off. His eagerness to get into dangerous positions paid off again, as he found his namesake Bernardo unmarked to open the scoring.
Bernardo Silva - 9
His work rate was exceptional and he redeemed himself for two missed opportunities in the first half, by ensuring that he buried his first one in the second. Top performance from the Portuguese man.
Sergio Aguero - 8
The good thing about Aguero now is that he can put in top performances without having to put the ball in the back of the net. Good hold-up play throughout and helped created Bernardo’s goal in the second half.
Leroy Sane - 8
Would have scored a brilliant goal if it wasn’t for Azpilicueta, but shrugged it off with some brilliant bursts of pace and trickery as he looked to help his team push back Chelsea.
Gabriel Jesus (for Aguero 84) – No time to mark
Danilo (for Zinchenko 87) – No time to mark
Phil Foden (for D.Silva 90+3) – No time to mark