Chelsea – Manchester City: Chelsea Survive City’s Intense High Press Before Striking Lethal Blows (2-0)
Manchester City started the game with their characteristic swagger and a fiery intensity that completely overwhelmed Chelsea. It seemed like a matter of when, not if, City would take the lead, until Chelsea struck on the break close to half-time. The complexion of the game instantly changed, allowing Sarri’s men to create more chances and secure the victory in the second half.
Tactical analysis and match report by Om Arvind.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City had somehow improved from last season going into their encounter with Chelsea. Despite their record being marginally worse at the time, all their underlying numbers had improved, and they looked like they were way ahead of the pack despite the closeness of the title race. Their open play expected goal total The amount of goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of the shots they take. stood at a stunning 2.24 per game (close to double Liverpool’s 1.4), allowing for a league high 45 goals scored in 15 matches. You can explore these advanced statistics for all teams on our stats page.
Chelsea, who had initially started brightly under Maurizio Sarri, looked to be in a more worrying situation. They were rather convincingly beaten in two of their last three Premier League games, by Tottenham and Wolves. This created a maelstrom of doubts in the minds of pundits and supporters. Could Jorginho avoid being neutralized by man-marking? Was Kanté being wasted in a more advanced role? How long would it take before Sarri’s philosophy fully took hold?
Another question revolved around who the number one striker should . . .