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Manchester City vs Chelsea at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Anthony Taylor
8th May 2021 5:30 PM (BST)
  • 1 Manchester City

    • ‘44' Raheem Sterling
  • 2 Chelsea

    • ‘63' Hakim Ziyech
    • ‘90'+2' Marcos Alonso


Commentary By Rob Pollard


That's all, folks 👋

That's all for today. All eyes on United now - they travel to Villa tomorrow, with kick-off at 14:05.

Only a United defeat will see us confirmed as champions on Sunday. 

Thanks for joining us - our next Matchday Centre is on Friday when City face Newcastle at St James' Park. 


Guardiola on Chelsea next season / Champions League final 🗣

"Next season is next season. Next season many things will happen. 

"Look how different it is in last years, the champions next season does not qualify for Champions League. The only team who did was Manchester City.

"We have 21 days. It’s a different competition, we will analyse and play the final, which is a dream come true for us.

"Chelsea have been there many times, it's the first time we will be there. 

"All I can say is congratulations Chelsea for the victory.

"We will go to Newcastle and try to win the Premier League. If not Brighton, if not, Everton and then we will go and play the final."


Guardiola on moving on quickly 🗣

"We are sad because we lose - we want to close the Premier League today - but we have to be focused.

"Football is unpredictable and we have to focus on the game at Newcastle.

"I will not start thinking about the action and another one and another. It will never end.

"Everyone made a good contribution and we were incredibly focused. 

"There were many things but in general the game was good against a top side.

"Now we have five, six days, more than ever in this season. We will rest and then prepare for our final at Newcastle."


Guardiola on penalty miss 🗣

"We don't know what would have happened in the second half.

"We cannot deny 2-0 at half-time is very different.

"We suffered a little bit in the second half but when Ilkay Gundogan and Phil came on we were better - but they scored a goal."


Tuchel on Sterling penalty claim 🗣

"I will never deny that you need a bit of luck in football.

I only saw it live and was in fear it would maybe be given, but I thought the first one was 50:50 as well.

"It was a tough one and we felt the momentum completely against us with a man down injured, we had no time to do the change and suddenly the game could’ve slipped through our fingers.

"You need these things, I’m not here to talk bad about the referee, they’re doing their best and this is how it is.

"This was a huge win, a big reaction and a fantastic team performance."


Tuchel on performance 🗣

I think we were lucky it didn’t take more to get into the match.

"It was not a tactical problem or big drama, it was just the last three or four minutes (of the first half).

"Could we have lost the game in these four minutes? Yes. Would we have deserved it? No.

"We were a bit slow in decision making, rushed into our attacks but it was no big problem.

"Half-time we said let’s continue like 0-0 and from there we go, step up and try to play with courage."


Guardiola on Chelsea's equaliser 🗣

"We didn't make a move in behind, Rodri lost the ball and they made a counter attack.

"The last minutes was really good when Foden and Gundogan came on, but at the end they scored."


Pep Guardiola speaking to Sky Sports 🗣

"It was a tight game but in general we played really good.

"We missed our chance in the last minutes of the first half with the penalty.

"They are a top side and we were playing better, in a good position, we conceded a goal and suffered for 10/15 minutes but reacted well."


Sterling on getting on the scoresheet 🗣

"It was good to get on the scoresheet and I thought it was to be the day to get over the line.

"But we didn’t take our chances and against a team like Chelsea if you don’t they’ll punish you.

"I was just in the box for anything that comes my way.

"It was a bad first touch but it came and I tried to get across Reece and fortunately it went in and that’s the most important thing."


Sterling on late penalty claim 🗣

"For me, I couldn't get a shot off because (Kurt) Zouma put his knee on the back of my hamstring.

"I don't know how it's not a penalty, I don't how it's not been reviewed properly.

"The referee says it's been reviewed but at the end of the day personally I thought it should've been a penalty."


We're Not Really Here 📺

Joleon Lescott on City winning the Premier League 🗣 "It still is going to happen, it could even be done by Monday.

"As long as you end up with the trophy, no one remembers a bad result."



City can still wrap up the Premier League this weekend.

If Manchester United lose to Aston Villa, we will be crowned Champions for the third time in four seasons 🏆


We're Not Really Here 📺

Nedum Onuoha 🗣 "Chelsea were more dynamic and played a familiar formation, meaning they felt more comfortable.

"They had to finish in the top four so today was a big game for them and they were desperate for the result.

"I think Chelsea deserved it."



A frustrating day at the office for Pep Guardiola's men.

Raheem Sterling had put City ahead on the stroke of half-time, but second half goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso mean the visitors take home all three points in their push for a top four finish.

We'll have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on the Premier League.

Stay tuned for all the all-important post-match reaction as and when we get it.



Timo Werner cuts it back into the path of the onrushing Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the pair both have a swing at the ball.

It looks like it's come off Alonso last and the ball bobbles into the net.


Penalty claim?

Raheem is sent sprawling by Kurt Zouma after latching onto a ball over the top

Anthony Taylor waves away the protests, much to the chagrin of Pep Guardiola on the touchline...


City chance

Phil Foden flashes one wide!

Alliteration aside, he's disappointed not to make more of a clean connection on a vicious ball into the near post.

This game's far from over


Positive thinking

The champagne is back on ice as it stands, but remember City can still wrap up the title this weekend if Manchester United fail to beat Aston Villa tomorrow.

Still plenty of time for the lads to wrap it up today, though 🤞


Causing a Ster

This is turning into a bit of a basketball game now!

Raheem Sterling races through down the right but is thwarted by an excellent sliding challenge from Kurt Zouma as he pulls the trigger.

...oh and Hudson-Odoi was offside by the way!


Disallowed goal?

Callum Hudson-Odoi taps home Reece James' low ball across, but is flagged for offside.

VAR will look at this... it looks tight but seems to be the right call.


Gift of the Gab

At the other end, Gabriel Jesus jinks his way through a couple of Chelsea challenges and tries his luck from the edge of the box, but his effort flashes wide.

An intriguing final 15 is most definitely on the cards...


John Edwards at the Etihad

Hakim Ziyech’s strike means City won’t be crowned champions as it stands and it is Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan Pep Guardiola has tasked with finding the crucial goal as they come on for the final 20 minutes.

Can they make the breakthrough? They have been two of City’s best performers this season and have scored seven and 12 goals in the league respectively. 

There’s been little between these two teams in this keenly fought contest so the quality Foden and Gundogan bring is certainly a wonderful option off the bench.


Expert finish

Rodri dispossessed - he claims a free-kick but not given. 

Chelsea then break and Azpilicueta pulls it back to Ziyech right on the edge of the area - he takes one touch to steady himself before finishing expertly. 

Very good goal. 


Rodrigo excelling

Rodrigo has a difficult task today, given he is often the only midfielder and his job is to protect our backline in an attacking formation. 

But he's a very intelligent player, whose ability to find himself in the right place at the right time can sometimes go unnoticed. 

He's been excellent today, dealing with danger and putting out fires all over the pitch. 


John Edwards at the Etihad

The desire of this City squad cannot be questioned, but if you needed further confirmation of how much they want the Premier League title you need only to look at those players not involved at present.

Our bench have felt every tackle and kicked every ball today, providing vociferous support throughout the game. 

And Kyle Walker in particularly has led the way in that department. He’s started the second half stood up as he lives every moment of this contest. 

It’s great to see and speaks volumes of the team spirit and character within this group.


Simple save

Torres nods the ball back to Aguero just outside the area. 

The Argentine tries a volley, but doesn't catch it right and Mendy gathers comfortably. 



Sterling now has 10+ goals in each of the last four seasons. 

Aubameyang, Kane,Lacazette, Salah, Son, Vardy and Wood the other players to manage that feat. 


Huge moment

Ball down the channel is misjudged by Christensen and Jesus nicks the ball off him.

He crosses for Aguero, who appeared to miscontrol - but Sterling is there to fire home. 

1-0. Big goal. 



Ziyech curls one from 20 yards out and forces a decent save from Ederson. That was gping in. 

Rudiger on the follow up tries to power one in but it goes way over. 


John Edwards at the Etihad

Forty minutes gone and this game still hasn’t sprung to life here at the Etihad. 

Both sides have enjoyed passages of play in the middle third of the pitch, but the two best defences in the league are yet to be seriously troubled with neither team able to find that killer pass.

Pep Guardiola has been stationed on the edge his technical area, delivering instructions for the duration of the half. 

He’ll want to see a little more impetus in attack if we’re to make the breakthrough. 


Pep talk needed?

City have seen much of the ball in the last 10 minutes, but we are lacking our usual pace and urgency. 

Pep will want to see more from his players. 


More quality needed

Mendy again gets away down the left but this time is cross is way overhit and it goes out for a throw. 

We need to produce better quality in the final third. 



Mendy plays a one-two and gets free down the left. 

Gets to the byline and fires a dangerous low ball into the box - but Christensen is there to clear.



Tame effort

Sterling cuts inside off the left, Kante comes in and tries to win the ball back - but his challenge sees the ball sit up for a volley. 

Sterling tries his luck but doesn't catch it right and Mendy makes a simple save. 


No goal

James fires the ball into the box and finds Werner a few yards out who taps home with a neat finish. 

But the City backline had stepped up in synch, leaving the Chelsea forward in an offside position. 

Good defending. 


John Edwards at the Etihad

“Reecey, PUSH” is the shout from Thomas Tuchel as he urges his right wing-back to get forward. 

The German will no doubt be hoping his side can gain more of a foothold in the game after City edged the opening 15 minutes due to Ferran Torres’ and Benjamin Mendy’s efforts. 

It’s been a cagey contest so far, but it’s City on the front foot and looking composed, and, as for the formation, a 3-3-4 is probably the closest description.

Raheem Sterling and Torres are pushed right up in support of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero as we attempt to wrap the title up today.



Mendy pulls it back for Rodri after a swift break from City. 

But the midfielder's effort is blocked and the ball goes harmlessly wide. 


Good hands

Werner slips James in down the right but his cross is gathered by Ederson on the stretch. 

A better delivery there and City may have been in trouble. 



Decent start. 

Jesus fires a shot off from just outside the area but it canons off a defender (or perhaps it was Aguero!). 

Mendy on the follow up shoots wide. 

City looking the brighter in these very early stages. 


Early warning shot

Half a chance for City. 

Torres races clear down the right, gets into the box and fires over the bar. 

Positive play but the finish was lacking. 



Looks like a 5-1-4 formation for City. 

Dias, Ake, Laporte at centre-back, with Mendy and Cancelo playing as wing-backs.

Rodri will sit deep. 

And the front four is Torres, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus. 

It's new. Let's see how it plays out. 


Three points needed

One last reminder. A win today seals the title - it would be our third in four seasons. 

But Tuchel's Chelsea are a tough proposition. They won't roll over and have plenty still to play for. 


Reminder of the teams

City XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, Torres, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus 

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden, Garcia 

Chelsea XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Gilmour, Alonso, Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic 

Subs: Kepa, Emerson, Livramento, Zouma, Jorginho, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Ambraham, Giroud 


Form side

City have won 20 of our past 22 Premier League matches. 

The 60 points we have earned during that run is only one fewer than Chelsea have managed all season. 



"It was a huge effort [against Real Madrid on Wednesday], not just physically but mentally.

"We had one day less to recover. 

"We needed to do some changes to prove also we have trust on our full squad. 

"They also have made changes so game on!"


John Edwards at the Etihad

City’s line-up will no doubt have prompted some speculation as to what formation we’ll be lining up in.

Who is deployed alongside Rodrigo in midfield is probably the biggest question before kick-off. Will Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy tuck inside or will they adopt their more traditional full/wing-back roles.

Well, we might have just received a clue in the warm-up. Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres joined the above trio in a separate Rondo drill, which might suggest that group could form the midfield five in a 3-5-2 formation.

If that’s the case, who plays where is still very much up for debate and, as is often the case, we’ll have to wait until the whistle sounds to get the full picture on City’s shape.



"We know it [how good Chelsea are]. 

"But the Premier League is 38 fixtures and at the end it is not important when - it's important to finish one point ahead of our opponents. 

"Always Chelsea is a tough side. Under Roman Abramovich, they make a big step up."


Onuoha on Chelsea

"The difference between Lampard's Chelsea and Tuchel's Chelsea is now they always look comfortable. 

"They are so solid and hard to stretch them similar to City. 

"Tuchel has found a system and taught it so well. They will hope for more goals but they build from the back and are hard to break down."


Onuoha on Chelsea

"They have built a squad, everyone knows their roles.

"To give Kante credit, he has earned the spot to be here. 

"A World Cup winner and the two man-of-the-match performances in the Champions League semi-final.

"It's the Kante role - his own position!"



"You expect the players to understand Pep’s gameplan. 

"They are going to be going for places in coming days, so there is an opportunity to play themselves in."


Nine changes for City

City make nine changes for today’s key Premier League home clash with Chelsea.

Ederson and Ruben Dias retain their places from the side that beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in Tuesday’s superb Champions League semi-final second leg victory.

Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Rodrigo, Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus all come into the starting eleven.

Kyle Waker, Oleks Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden all revert to the bench.

John Stones misses out on the game as he completes a three-match domestic suspension while Kevin De Bruyne is also absent as he is not fully fit for selection.



City XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, Torres, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus 

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden, Garcia 



A draw seems unlikely. 

None of the last 11 Premier League meetings between the two teams have finished level, with City winning seven to Chelsea’s four.


Big improvement

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven away games in the Premier League (W5 D2) – all under Thomas Tuchel, since a 0-2 loss to Leicester in January under Frank Lampard.

The improvement under Tuchel has been clear. Today's game will be a difficult assignment, make no mistake. 


John Edwards at the Etihad

Last time City won the league it was in glorious sunshine at Brighton, but with the potential for the same outcome again today, the conditions could not be more different. 

Whilst the rain has temporarily subsided, it’s a typically wet day in Manchester, where City will be hoping to deliver a trademark Pep Guardiola performance to claim the three points that would seal the Premier League title.

The fans are out on Ashton New Road and have just welcomed the team bus ahead of a huge game at the Etihad Stadium. 

Opportunity awaits for Guardiola’s men and whilst it’s a different set of circumstances to two years ago, hopefully we’ll be celebrating the same result at full-time!


Vintage City

This could end up being City's best season. 

The Carabao Cup is already in the bag after our 1-0 win over Spurs in the final a fortnight ago. 

Two more points will see us win the Premier League title. Fingers crossed we can tick that one off this evening. 

And we are now into out first ever Champions League final. 

It's been superb to watch and by the end of the month, we could be looking back on a special campaign. 

Big finish from the boys needed. 



“The team is better defensively this season, more consistent than in previous seasons.

“Ruben Dias has had a big impact on the team and the club, but also the rest of the players in the defensive line experienced huge growth.

“Our defensive improvement was a key factor for our success this season. The defensive work, the consistency, that helps a lot in the results we are having.”



No Premier League side has scored more goals (71), conceded fewer goals (24), kept more clean sheets (18) or had more different goalscorers (16 scorers – excluding OGs) in 2020-21 than City.

Ahead in every metric. 


Five in a row?

Kevin De Bruyne has scored in each of his last three Premier League games against Chelsea. 

The last player to score in four consecutive appearances against Chelsea in the competition was Carlos Tevez (5 between 2007-2010), while the only other players to do so are Ian Wright (1994), Alan Shearer (1997) and Muzzy Izzet (2001).



Chelsea have lost their last three away league games against City by an aggregate score of 9-1. 

Their last win at the Etihad was in December 2016 under Antonio Conte (3-1).



Good afternoon City fans everywhere. 

Can we get the three points we need to become Champions of England once again? 

Let's find out...

City v Chelsea


And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City's Premier League game against Chelsea.

And what a day it could be for Pep Guardiola's men who will be crowned champions if they take all three points at the Etihad Stadium.

Our live coverage will begin right here at around 15.30 (UK) on Saturday 8 May, guiding you through the pre-match build-up, match action and reaction.

But before then, you can check out all the important information ahead of this game below.

We're Not Really Here 📺

Presenter, Natalie Pike welcomes former City defenders, Joleon Lescott and Nedum Onuoha for our live matchday show.

Join Natalie, Joleon and Nedum for all the pre-match build-up as well as a comprehensive, in-depth reaction at both half-time and full-time.

The show is available to watch across all of our digital platforms and will begin 65 minutes before kick-off at 16:25 (UK).

Injury news 🤕

John Stones' domestic ban is over so he is available again, though it remains to be seen whether Eric Garcia has recovered from the illness which prevented him from being involved against Crystal Palace.

Other than that, Guardiola's squad is in good health.

Chelsea will be without Mateo Kovacic, who misses out due to a hamstring problem. 

Pep Guardiola not thinking about Champions League final

“I’ve always said the Premier League is the most important title. We have four games left to get one victory and tomorrow we will try to get it.

“Right now, believe me when I say, there is not one thought about the final of the Champions League because we do not have the Premier League in our hands.

“When we have the Premier League, after the focus will be the final of the Champions League and everything will be related to the final. I am a cautious guy. In sport you don’t talk about it until you have it. We still need points."

Thomas Tuchel - Title chances won't lower City's determination

"The possibility that they can become champions if they win against us will not lower their ambitions and determination. They have one more day to recover, they don’t have to travel, which gives them a bit the upper hand.

"We saw how crucial that can be in these days when they arrived at Wembley in the semi-final and we had one more day, we had two games in London and they had to travel from Dortmund and then again to London. I had the feeling on the sideline that it gave us a bit of the upper hand.

"I think that the final in Istanbul will be pretty unique, no matter what the score is tomorrow. Both teams will reflect enough for this special game in Istanbul to be able to turn around any result tomorrow.

"So I try to prepare for it in a normal way. The challenge right now is to get the tiredness out of our legs and out of our brains to get refocused."

Form guide 📈

We go into this game on the back of a moral boosting 2-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, which saw us book our place in the Champions League final.

The same can be said for Chelsea, who we will meet in the deciding game after they overcame Real Madrid in the other semi-final on Wednesday evening, winning 2-0 in the second leg.

Domestically, last Saturday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace means City can secure our third Premier League title in four years with victory over Thomas Tuchel's side.

However, the visitors have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League games and beat us 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final last month, so City will know we're in for a tough test.

Other games that day

  • Sheffield United0
    Crystal Palace2
  • Leeds United3
    Tottenham Hotspur1
  • Liverpool2
  • West Ham United0
  • Aston Villa0
    Manchester United0
  • Arsenal0
    West Bromwich Albion0
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
    Brighton and Hove Albion0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 33 +29 67
3 Chelsea 35 +23 64
4 Leicester City 35 +20 63
5 West Ham United 34 +11 58
6 Liverpool 34 +18 57
7 Tottenham Hotspur 35 +20 56
8 Everton 33 +3 52
9 Leeds United 35 0 50
10 Arsenal 34 +9 49
11 Aston Villa 33 +10 48
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 -13 42
13 Crystal Palace 34 -20 41
14 Newcastle United 35 -18 39
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 34 -4 37
16 Southampton 34 -20 37
17 Burnley 34 -16 36
18 Fulham 34 -20 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 34 -34 26
20 Sheffield United 35 -44 17
Link To Full Table