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Chelsea vs Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Stamford Bridge Referee : Michael Oliver
8th December 2018 5:30 PM (GMT)
  • 2 Chelsea

    • ‘45' N'Golo Kanté
    • ‘78' David Luiz
  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By David Clayton


Signing off

That's all from me.

A disappointing day but by no means detrimental to our season. Hopefully, a mere setback.

Stay tuned to for more post-match reaction, including the thoughts of Phil Foden, who has reflected on the defeat and also provided an update on David Silva.

See you again on Wednesday night for our final Champions League group game. Farewell!



"It does strengthen our resolve. It's never easy right after a game to digest it but the harsh reality of the league and playing every three days.

"To be where we are with how we played - and take nothing from Chelsea: they're a top team with top players - we should be proud.

"It was surprising (that Chelsea played with a 'false 9'). I played against Hazard a few times over the summer and the start of the season. Both teams tried to switch it up, switching players about with different tactics.

"I thought as a back four, we controlled Eden and kept them from creating lot of chances. That’s what we wanted but with a clean sheet, that would sound better. They’ve scored two from two chances.

"I don't think the corner (for Luiz's goal) came off either of us (Mahrez or Stones). I think I was even held down. It's a difficult one of the ref but there are fine margins in these big games.

"The best way to get over this and put it behind us is by winning the next Premier League game."


John Stones:

"I thought it was a typical game between two top teams.

"It's always difficult, coming to Stamford Bridge and it's not easy to concede late in the first half.

"We were do dominant in the first half - they had one chance and scored it. That's the reality of playing in the Premier League against top teams.

"It's really raw, coming off with how we played. We gave everything right to the last minute. We should be proud and take the positives.

"[We are pleased] to have come here ad played in the manner we did, despite the scoreline.

"Everyone wants top spot - to take that from us. We have to look back on the game, review it, take everything out of it and move on.

"That's the best way - to look to the next game."



"It's an incredible emotion to see what these players do every three days.

"We are going to try to be Champions, In a season like this, with a lot of games and after last season when we won a lot of points, everybody wants to beat us. They put in extra.

"What is important is how we are in the games.

"If we'd have won that game, it would still be the beginning of December and there are still a lot of points to play for - opportunities for us to be consistent.

"I have no regrets."


Pep Guardiola:

"That is football. At this level, it is what it is.

"They made a momvemnet on their left side - our right - and we could not control. Opponents do not need a lot of chances to score.

"They played better. Congratulations to Chelsea. 

"In the first half, we played outstanding. In the second half, apart from five-ten minutes, we were there. We played better than other days when we have won.

"All we can try to do is play and be who we are."



Our first defeat of the season, as goals in either half from Kante and David Luiz clinch victory for Chelsea.

The Blues are left to rue missed chances (not that there were very many, admittedly) as the hosts deliver two suckerpunches and ensure a perfect day for Liverpool.



Sterling does well on the left and drives the ball to the near post. It's an awkward one for Gabriel Jesus and he can't adjust to convert the effort on target.


Wrong decision?

There seems to be some controversy regarding the award of the corner for Luiz's goal. Did the ball touch Mahrez?

Still, that doesn't really justify the goal itself...



I think many refer to this kind of match as 'the perfect game' - one team soaks up the pressure an then punishes the wastefulness at the other end.

Out of ideas?

City needing inspiration from somewhere... and fast. Resorting to pinging hopeful balls into the penalty area.

That isn't us, but Chelsea are making it impossible to break through.



David Silva is down. He looks to have picked up an injury - he was holding his right hamstring a moment ago.

Gundogan is going to come on in his place...



Sterling with a cross to the backpost but there's no-one there and it bounces out of play. City need to start taking chances in and around the final third.


Good effort!

Walker with a well-struck free-kick - an unusual choice of set-piece taker - and he forces Kepa into a stop.

City well on top at the moment.


City on the attack

Much better from the Blues. Need to start testing Kepa though.

Few uncharacteristically poor set-pieces from David Silva in recent minutes. Wasted opportunities.


Great save!

Superb from Ederson, whose strong hand denies Willian from the resulting free-kick.

The hosts, buoyed by their opener, have started the second half the brighter.


Response required

So, we find ourselves in an unfamiliar position, trailing at the break (and undeservedly so).

We're creating chances but lacking the end product and as a result, we've been punished.

No reason to panic as yet. We've certainly come back from worse positions(!) and you get the feeling an equaliser would swing the game in our favour.



Their first chance... Hazard slides the ball across the box and Kante runs onto it, thumping it past Ederson and into the roof of the net.



Just prior to that stoppage, Sterling produced an excellent piece of skill to escape Alonso's attentions and set up Sane for his blocked attempt.


City getting closer!

Three chances in quick succession!

Lovely play first of all as Sane is released by Mahrez. Kepa is out quickly to tighten the angle and David Silva runs onto the pull-back only for his effort to be blocked by Rudiger.

Sane then thinks he's opened the scoring with a first-time strike at the backpost, which is also blocked - and Bernardo Silva heads just wide from the resulting corner!



A chance for Sane, who collects David Silva's through-ball. He's off-balance and facing slightly away from goal so can't get the shot away. It just wouldn't fall.


Containing the threat

Chelsea struggling to move the ball into the City half at the moment. The visitors are keeping the ball well and winning it back quickly when required - we're straight on them.

A pleasing opening quarter.


Better from City

The Blues looking more threatening in recent minutes with more ventures into the hosts' penalty area. Just lacking that cutting edge.


What a chance!

Glorious opportunity for Sterling to mark his birthday with a goal, as he plays a one-two with Bernardo Silva to the right of the box.

His shot is tame though and Kepa saves comfortably.


Settle it down

City have settled into this one quicker, and have dominated possession thusfar.

A little sloppy in recent minutes but a bright start, no less.


Fast-paced start

You can't take your eyes off this one already!

Both teams, sporting their traditional blue, pressing very high and putting each other under instant pressure.

City kicking away from the travelling fans in the first half.


Full-time results

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool (12:30pm KO)

Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield

Burnley 1-0 Brighton

Cardiff 1-0 Southampton

Man United 4-1 Fulham

West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace

Leicester v Tottenham (7:45pm KO)


Pep Guardiola:

"We would like to win, of course but it’s football - anything can happen. Focus on getting a good performance, that is what we will try to do.

"We know the defensive movements from Chelsea and we are going to try and find some spaces for Raheem."

On Chelsea's 'false 9': "Of course, it was an option. It was an option to play Morata or Giroud and Maurizio choose in that way – three guys with quality one against one, runs in behind, good skill.

"It’ll be a good spectacle."


Pep Guardiola on Maurizio Sarri:

"The job he is doing is excellent. People don’t know how hard it is to create a style. He is going to do that.

"In pre-season when we played in the Community Shield, it was there. The team already played like he wants.

"He needs time. Maybe they don’t play for 90 minutes but for 55, 60, 75 minutes they are excellent.”


Half-time Premier League scores:

Arsenal 0-0 Huddersfield

Burnley 1-0 Brighton

Cardiff 0-0 Southampton

Man United 3-0 Fulham

West Ham 0-1 Crystal Palace


Birthday boy

Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season (eight goals, six assists).


Team news

No Kevin De Bruyne today of course - or Sergio Aguero for that matter.

Pep Guardiola confirmed tonight's clash would come too soon for the punctured pair.

Rested on Tuesday night, Raheem Sterling would be expect to return - but which of Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez would miss out? If any?

Both are in fine form, particularly the German winger,  who has registered a goal or assist in each of his eight Premier League starts this season, scoring six and assisting five.

It will be interesting to see who starts in defence too. A clean sheet today would mean the Champions have prevented Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea from scoring on their own turf this campaign. That would be some achievement.

So, who would make your starting XI?


Hazard warning! ⚠

Club journalist David Clayton has highlighted Belgian star Eden Hazard as the hosts' dangerman.

"Chelsea have a team packed with quality, but Eden Hazard remains their talisman," he scribed.

"If the Belgian is at his best, he is capable of hurting any team on the planet, so the Blues will look to keep possession and keep the ball away from Hazard as much as possible.

"If Hazard sees too much of the ball, City will be under threat each time he is in the final third – not many players have the vision and ingenuity to unpick one of the Premier League’s meanest back fours – but the diminutive Chelsea star is one of them."


Out of the blocks, Blues!

A quick start could prove key this evening. After all, City have won all 18 of our games in all competitions this season in which we've scored in the first half.

As a result, our goal difference of +38 is the best recorded by an English top-flight team after the first 15 matches of a season since Sunderland in 1892/93.


Play that record!

A few more opportunities to rewrite the history books, as City have the chance to secure a second successive top-flight victory at Chelsea for the first time since January 1955.

Pep Guardiola's men could also beat Chelsea for the fourth time in a row in all competitions – something we have never done before in 161st meetings.


Bring it on!

A very good afternoon from Stamford Bridge, as we ready ourselves for one of the biggest games of the season.

Following Liverpool's 4-0 triumph over Bournemouth earlier in the day, City seek to leapfrog the Reds back to the top of the table with a victory, whilst looking to break a Club record of 15 Premier League games undefeated on the road.

Still, it will not be an easy task, that's for sure... Worth noting that Chelsea have not lost at home against defending Premier League Champions since April 2002. It will be intriguing to discover how this one unfolds!



Good morning Blues. It's matchday once again and, of course, today is no ordinary game. We're back in London once more, this time at Chelsea for a tea-time assignment. Everyone excited?

Other games that day

  • Leicester City0
    Tottenham Hotspur2
  • Burnley1
    Brighton and Hove Albion0
  • Manchester United4
  • Cardiff City1
  • West Ham United3
    Crystal Palace2
  • Arsenal1
    Huddersfield Town0
  • Bournemouth0

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 16 +28 42
3 Tottenham Hotspur 16 +14 36
4 Chelsea 16 +20 34
5 Arsenal 16 +15 34
6 Manchester United 16 +2 26
7 Everton 15 +4 23
8 Bournemouth 16 -1 23
9 Leicester City 16 +1 22
10 West Ham United 16 -2 21
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 16 -3 21
12 Watford 15 -3 20
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 15 -3 19
14 Cardiff City 16 -15 14
15 Newcastle United 15 -8 13
16 Crystal Palace 16 -10 12
17 Burnley 16 -17 12
18 Huddersfield Town 16 -17 10
19 Southampton 16 -17 9
20 Fulham 16 -24 9
Link To Full Table