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Manchester City vs Chelsea at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Craig Pawson
15th January 2022 12:30 PM (GMT)
  • 1 Manchester City

    • ‘70' Kevin De Bruyne
  • 0 Chelsea


Commentary By David Clayton


OK, we have Pep's post-match press conference coming up so going to wrap up the Matchday Centre now while I still have feeling in my fingers. It's been a great day so far. Will our EDS lads make it four wins from four. Tune into CITY+ at 19.30 to find out. Other than that, thanks for tuning in and we'll do it all again against Southampton next weekend. Until then, keep safe and well.


Thomas Tuchel reaction

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "Given the circumstances, if you look at our back five and how many players we missed, I'm happy with the performance, defensive-wise.

"In the second half we created counter chances. We had one big chance to even go ahead. We lost a tight match, which can happen. It was about individual quality, and we lacked quality up front if I'm honest.

"You have to wait for momentum. We had the same opportunities in the first half, but from eight or nine transition options we had zero touches in the box. The quality, the deliveries and the composure was absolutely not on top level today. You need top level to get half chances and chances, and that's what we lacked in the first half.

"Our offensive players need to show up more. We need consistency. Chelsea is not a place to hide."


Much more to come

Don't forget you can see brief highlights from today's game on at 17:15 (UK), plus a Full Match Replay and extended highlights from midnight tonight. 

We also have a KDB interview to come and plenty more.


More KDB reaction....


De Bruyne, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I didn't see any pass but then I saw a little gap between the defenders to bend it around them, and it worked.

"It's been like this lately against Chelsea since they played under Tuchel, and even Conte. You won't get five clear-cut chances against them. 

"Sometimes you need to stay patient and that's what we did, otherwise the game gets stretched and that makes it more difficult for us.

"We've been in a situation where we've been eight or ten points ahead but also eight or ten points behind. We know it can change very quickly. We know the gap is big at the moment, but we know Liverpool aren't far behind if they win their games.

"Both sides had a lot of Covid issues and injuries, so not a lot of people have trained a lot. The intensity was high - respect to everyone for that."


The story so far...

Liverpool U18s 0-1 City U18s

Premier League: City 1-0 Chelsea

FA WSL: Villa 0-3 City

City EDS v United EDS - kick-off 19.30 LIVE ON CITY+

Almost the perfect day... one more to go


More from our Belgian genius...

KDB on BT Sport:

"It was a big game and they came here with a good plan, they were tight defensively but we played a good game. Its nice to to score, it was important as it was the only one. We knew if we won we would make the gap bigger.

"We have been in this situation before, things can change and momentum can change. The team was focused on what we could do today.

"I got away from N'Golo Kante at the right time, I was looking at the space and they were dropping off, I found the angle and it worked perfectly."


Pep on KDB

"Yesterday we spoke together and said we were together, always we have won together. I want to push him to do it more and more. He is a world-class player who is humble enough to play for the team. Player of the Year in this country, won with the team three Premier Leagues - but I want more because I know he can do it. The action he has done today... I am so satisfied for him. "


FA WSL latest: Villa 0-3 City

Update from Caroline Oatway...

"Into the closing stages here at the Banks's Stadium and City lead 3-0 - two goals from Georgia Stanway and one from Vicky Losada.

"Having gained an early advantage with Stanway's opener inside five minutes, City have been in complete control since, doubling the lead when Losada converted from close range. 

"Stanway doubled her personal tally with just over 15 minutes to go. She now needs just one more to equal Nikita Parris' record and become the Club's joint all-time leading women's goal-scorer.

"A thoroughly dominant display. It's looking like 3/3 for our City teams on Super Saturday so far."


Pep reaction

Was the win deserved?

Pep:  "Absolutely, absolutely. The way we played, everything we have done. We cannot forget the team we played. European champion. And on the touchline you realise how incredible they are. They wait for the transition to punish us. How good they defend, we create enough chances to win. We had the intention to win the game from minute one. The team are incredible."


Shaun Goater on Matchday Live

"This is what have come to expect from Kevin De Bruyne. He is looking for the through pass, realises there’s isn't an option and shoots. Because he has the quality, he can generate the power and Kepa cant save it. Absolutely brilliant." 


David James on Matchday Live

"The best moment was the goal - but when Laporte headed it down when he could have cleared was perfect, and then Kevin riding that challenge was perfect. He waits for Thiago, uses him as a block, does not hit it as hard as he can because he doesn't need to. Every part of that goal, starring with Laporte, was perfect!"


The stadium is emptying after the players got a superb ovation. The PA played 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and the sun is shining now. That is 12 successive Premier League wins. These are historic days...


De Bruyne reaction

“It’s always very difficult to play against them - they are very tight defensively and you have to be very patient. We didn’t give a lots away. We played the game we needed to play. 

“We shouldn’t play too open because they are so dangerous. The game was more up and down in the second half. It was a very hard game. Both teams had lots of players coming back from COVID, but this win is nice for us.”


Stick around

Loads more to come. Post-match reaction from the players, Pep and we've still got two games to finish. Our FA WSL game is going on still and City are beating Villa 2-0, and the EDS derby on CITY+ is still to come later this evening


Final score: City 1-0 Chelsea

That's a huge three points for City who go 13 points clear of Chelsea. It was hard and not that pretty at time but fully deserved


Pep not happy

KDB found Foden as City countered - Sterling had timed his run perfectly but Foden's pass was partially blocked or Sterling would have been clear on goal. Pep wasn't best pleased




You beauty - for the first time KDB finds a pocket of space, moves centrally and then curls a lovely shot past Kepa to put City 1-0 up. GET IN!!!


Chelsea have a corner which is cleared. Alonso barges into Grealish but it's City's throw-in. Tuchel claps the fourth official sarcastically ...


Bernardo and Foden go for Kepa's punch clear and Chelsea break - City win the ball back, though - feels like this is one tackle from becoming very feisty!


Sterling again wins the ball and glides past a challenge before Bernardo takes over and sees his low cross blocked. An hour gone and we're still no nearer knowing how this will pan out



City probably would have had a penalty as Sterling is pulled down, but Kyle Walker was flagged offside in the build-up. Put that flag up straight away and save the frustration. Silly law, I'm sorry...


Chelsea threat

Chelsea have shown more intent in the first five minutes of the second half than they did in the entire first 45. They look dangerous but that should open up some spaces for us



De Bruyne skips past a challenge and send in a low cross that Sterling lunges for - the City fans want a penalty but we're not going to get one


Looking at the bench, you'd expect Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus to feature at some point. Pep won't be too disappointed - 63%, five shots and six corners so far...


'City will be pleased' - Goater

"City will be very pleased. Dominated possession, moving the ball really well. City will want to be better in the final third, finding the right ball and working the goalkeeper., 

"Sterling’s movement means Chelsea will likely try and move Alonso inside. More of the same second half. Stay patient, move the ball and be alert about Chelsea’s counter. Lukaku is strong." 


David James on Matchday Live

'Fantastic. Similar to Stamford Bridge, we’ve not had massive chances but we have controlled the game. Foden looks exciting, Grealish is up for the fight. It was fantastic first half against very good opposition.'


It smacks of a one-goal game, this... obviously hope it's us that gets it. If Chelsea score, they will defend it with their lives. If we get it, we'll go looking for more.



Oh Jack! That should be a goal as De Bruyne wins a challenge and the ball is deflected to Grealish on the edge of the box - he is faced with Kepa but his shot hits the keeper and goes wide. Golden chance!


Sterling is causing Chelsea problems on the right with his trickery - breaching that navy blue wall isn't easy though - they have some very physical defenders 


Defensive unit

Chelsea have set up to defend very deep. Two lines of five every time we attack, so they're banking on nicking one on the counter but a war of attrition at the moment. Kepa wasting time already as well...


De Bruyne gets in behind the Chelsea defence but can't pick out a team-mate. Walker then crosses in and Cancelo tests Kepa. From the corner Stones heads at the keeper from six yards out. Lively!


Chance for Chelsea

Chelsea miss a good opportunity as Stones' challenge on Lukaku sees the Belgian race towards goal - it was two on one but he slid it to Ziyech who missed but had drifted offside



Laporte finds the run of Grealish but as Kepa rushes out to clear, he hits it against Azpilicueta and the ball bounces back towards goal but wide - could have gone anywhere, that. Corner comes to nothing


More on safe standing...

Danny Wilson, Managing Director – Manchester City Operations, said:

“We are delighted that Manchester City’s application to become an early adopter of licensed standing has been approved. Our fans have consistently voiced their support for the introduction of safe standing, and we are pleased that we will be able to fully utilise our rail seating installation from January through to the end of the season. As always, safety is our main priority, and we look forward to working closely with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority over the course of the trial to demonstrate the long-term viability of safe standing at the Etihad Stadium."


Stand up, if you love City!

Safe standing is available to those who can today at the Etihad as part of a trial...

Throughout the trial period,  City fans who hold Season Tickets in the Club’s rail seating installation in the South Stand of the Etihad Stadium will have the opportunity to stand for the duration of the match, should they wish to do so."  


Quote of the day?

David James on Matchday Live:

"My nickname for Kante is 'spell-check', because when Chelsea make a mistake he corrects it."

Well played sir...


More Tuchel...

"Thiago has been rushed back. This is the situation at the moment. We are missing four defenders. We rush a little bit to get them back on the pitch. 

"We need to be aware of momentum and try to hurt them. When we are under pressure, we need to stick together and defend well."


Tuchel: 'I'm in for a good fight'

"We don't think a lot in scenarios - what happens if - let's play the game.

"I'm always in for a good fight, but I'm also always very realistic.

"The situation at the moment is that they are very strong, very consistent and they perform on the absolute highest level."


'Foden one of my all-time favourites'

David James on Matchday Live:

"The beauty of City right now is when players come in, they’re ready. When you’re on, you do your stuff. You don't need to be the player who wins the game. Foden is one of my favourite City players of all time "


Huge game

The Etihad is filling up nicely now. 12.30pm kick-offs tend to be quieter atmospheres as a rule throughout the Premier League, but got a feeling this will be lively. What a chance we have today - we could go 13 points clear at the top. Liverpool would have two games in hand, but it would be an impressive lead to have in January. It's a huge moment in the title race.


'Draw no good'

David James on Matchday Live:

"Neither team would be happy with a draw. Chelsea aren't here for a draw. They will be thinking 'where can City drop points? And the best chance is when you're playing them!'


'Tuchel has point to prove'

Andy Morrison on Matchday Live:

"First thing that stands out is Dias on the bench. He's a mainstay of back four. Not sure on reasons for that but Stones is an equal replacement. Every player has to turn up today. Everyone has to put on a performance like the one at Stamford Bridge, because they were magnificent. We will be under pressure for periods, but you have to manage that. This place will be jumping. Chelsea didn't have a shot at Stamford Bridge and that will hurt the manager. Tuchel will have the intent of saying I am on level playing field with you, Pep." 


'Who plays the 9?'

Shaun Goater on Matchday Live

"It’s a really solid defensive line. Stones hasn't been in for a couple of weeks. I anticipate him coming in and p[laying admirably - look at front  and think ‘who plays as the nine’? " 


David James on Matchday Live

"Interesting there are only a couple of changes from the side that beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. That was the best performance I've seen from City this season. It was amazing. He trusts that team."


Chelsea look like they're going 3-5-2 with Jorginho and Mason Mount both surprisingly starting on the bench. The loss of wingbacks Ben Chilwell and Reece James has been a blow for Thomas Tuchel, but they've coped well in recent games


So, what do you make of the team? You'd imagine Raheem will play down the middle, but Grealish and Foden could play the false 9 as well. So could Bernardo, come to that!


Chelsea changes

Five changes for Chelsea from the side that beat Spurs in the Carabao Cup semi-final in midweek.  Marcos Alonso, Thiago Silva, N'Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic all start. 


CITY: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Laporte, Stones, Rodrigo, Sterling, De Bruyne (c), Grealish, Bernardo, Foden

Substitutes: Steffen, Dias, Gündogan, Jesus, Fernandinho, Mbete, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand


KDB looking forward to Chelsea test

“It is exciting. I think you always want to play in the biggest games.

“We had so many battles over the years where we have won and they have won a couple of games in the Premier League and Champions League.

“You always want to be on top and that is what we want to do today.

“It is a big game. They have been playing really well lately. I saw the Liverpool game and a little bit of the first Tottenham game, so they have been in a good rhythm.

“I expect them to give us a big test.”


Very few people inside the stadium yet - these early kick-offs tend to  see supporters leave it as late as possible to take their seats. Still chilly and overcast here


Unique day...

Obviously we have City v Chelsea at 12.30pm AND there is a FA WSL between Aston Villa and City scheduled for the same time - though there is a second pitch inspection at Walsall due in half-an-hour so we'll keep you updated on what's happening there. Then it's the EDS Manchester derby live on CITY+ at 19.30. A full day of sky blue action 


Lots of former Blues knocking in and around the Press box pre-game. Shay Given and Micah Richards are pitch-side and just bumped into Trevor Sinclair who is predicting a narrow win for City.  I'd take that as I think we all would


Team news at 11.30am

Team news will be coming up in about 40 minutes - it will be interesting to see who is available after the recent COVID outbreak. 


Pep talk

So, let's have a look at what the boss has been saying ahead of today's game  - and it's great to have him back after his COVID isolation...


Plenty going on today as you may have noticed with no less than FOUR of our teams in action today. Here's how we plan to keep you across everything...

City v Chelsea


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

It promises to be a cracker as the Premier League's top two lock horns, with Pep Guardiola's men hoping to secure a victory which would send us 13 points clear at the top of the table and dent Thomas Tuchel's side's title aspirations. 

Kick-off is at 12.30 (UK) and we will be providing full coverage right here throughout the afternoon.

Live text updates begin two hours before kick-off, whilst our Matchday Live show, with guests Shaun Goater and David James starts one hour before we get under way at the Etihad Stadium.

And, during the game you can also listen to live audio commentary from Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison.

Join us from 10.30 on Saturday to enjoy all the action!

Other games that day

  • Aston Villa2
    Manchester United2
  • Burnley0
    Leicester City0
  • Newcastle United1
  • Norwich City2
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers3
  • Tottenham Hotspur0
  • Liverpool0
  • West Ham United0
    Leeds United0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Chelsea 22 +28 43
3 Liverpool 20 +34 42
4 West Ham United 21 +12 37
5 Arsenal 20 +8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 +3 33
7 Manchester United 20 +3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 +2 31
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford 20 -6 23
15 Everton 19 -10 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley 17 -11 11
Link To Full Table