Chelsea – Manchester City: City Lose Out In Defensive Transitions Once More (2-1)
Predictably, City were able to press Chelsea in their own half and monopolize possession almost immediately in this match. The false nine role of Bernardo Silva and accompanying midfield arrangements posed an interesting prospect for Chelsea to deal with. Ultimately though, Chelsea came through with two decisive transition moments, firstly for Christian Pulisic’s goal in the first half, and secondly for the sequence leading to the Willian penalty that secured Chelsea’s win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
The insurmountable lead held by Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table, along with Manchester City’s probable ban from Champions League football next season, mean that for Pep Guardiola’s side, the games approaching in the next month carry little consequence. However, they have still started in a fairly impressive fashion post-lockdown, as they followed their 3-0 win over Arsenal with a 5-0 demolition of Burnley.
For Chelsea on the other hand, the remainder of this season is crucial as they seek to secure Champions League qualification, and they got underway by beating relegation-threatened Aston Villa at the weekend. Going into this game, Chelsea were just two points and a game in hand ahead of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, meaning that defeat could come back to haunt them.
The likes of Mateo Kovačić and Tammy Abraham were on the bench for Chelsea as Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud found themselves in Frank Lampard’s starting eleven. N’golo Kanté and . . .