16 Conclusions: Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea

Date published: Saturday 15th January 2022 10:08 - Dave Tickner Manchester City cannot and will not be stopped. Chelsea aren’t the first to run into problems at the Etihad, but could really do with some results from somewhere now… 1. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a strange few years, hasn’t it? Lots…

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Date revealed: Saturday 15th January 2022 10: 08 - Dave Tickner

Kevin De Bruyne beats Kepa to give Manchester City the lead against Chelsea

Manchester City cannot and may well aloof no longer be stopped. Chelsea aren’t the important to flee into complications on the Etihad, nonetheless may well if truth be told fabricate with some outcomes from somewhere now…

1. Don’t know for these that’ve noticed, nonetheless it surely’s been a queer few years, hasn’t it? Tons going on. It’s ended in many – customarily sportive, repeatedly self-serving – claims about “asterisk seasons” that don’t if truth be told depend or whose achievements are no longer much less than heftily caveated.

Appears to be like this season is the staunch asterisk season. For all 2019/20’s covid spoil and Project Restart, for all last season’s largely crowdless eeriness, no longer much less than for essentially the most portion every person was once within the identical boat on the identical time. This year’s Premier League table is already a sizzling mess, and the reality one covid case can now be parlayed into a postponement for these that've got various gamers suspended or in Africa arrangement it’s easiest going to salvage wonkier over the arriving weeks.

After 22 rounds of fits, there are teams who can comprise four games in hand on others. The table already appears to be esteem some tier 9 effort, where a few teams comprise embarked upon mettlesome cup runs and one more’s pitch was once frozen for a month. These leagues are inclined to full with a heady length of Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday movement, and this Premier League season may well be going the identical capacity. Even in Would possibly per chance perhaps it can no longer make sure precisely how the scoot will unwind.

It’s immensely lucky, then, that there need be slight doubt in regards to the identity of the champions. Basic esteem two years ago, it’s somewhat certain who essentially the most easy team within the land are and no quantity of New Long-established chicanery is going to replace that. Manchester City now sit 13 aspects certain on the stop of the table having factual held their supposed nearest challengers at arm’s length in a performance that hardly ever obtained out of second gear. They are brutally, demonstrably superior.

2. The velocity with which that superiority has manifested itself is terribly one thing, even though. Manchester City’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea this day makes it a 14-point swing within the champions’ favour over the past eight games. As no longer too lengthy ago as December, Chelsea had been above their “title” “rivals”.

Then they lost at West Ham, City won at Watford, and the direction of shuttle has been relentless ever since. I dispute, in theory, Chelsea may well retract some heart from this. It exhibits factual how quickly these roughly point swings can occur. In theory.

3. It was once a lengthy dwell up for essentially the most easy procedure, nonetheless price it. It was once a sexy procedure from a sexy player. N’Golo Kante wished to teach Kevin De Bruyne down and carve it off at source nonetheless couldn’t. After that it was once all in regards to the Belgian. He’s a spectacular player is De Bruyne, nonetheless hardly ever can every his thought task and footballing quality been more apparent than right here. He was once desperately purchasing for a pass the total time he was once marauding forward towards the penalty space; easiest once he’d calculated that every body which that you just may well focal point on of passing avenues had been closed off did he retract as a substitute to factual without grief whip the ball spherical Thiago and into the underside corner as a substitute.

Man City v Chelsea F365

4. Perchance harsh, and it was once an very supreme attain, nonetheless may well Kepa comprise performed a slight bit greater? De Bruyne’s shot had trip and curve, nonetheless it surely wasn’t precisely within the underside corner and Chelsea’s stand-in keeper didn’t salvage wherever approach it. His first step was once additionally to the brilliant despite De Bruyne’s space and attitude of flee repeatedly making the keeper’s left the likelier vacation attach for any shot on procedure.

5. It was once a a slight bit eccentric game for Kepa, keeping right here because Edouard Mendy is on AFCON responsibility. He made an attractive procure to disclaim Jack Grealish after a Mateo Kovacic error within the important half and one more from a De Bruyne free-kick within the second, nonetheless additionally seemed a salvage of nerves early on and shinned one clearance straight into Cesar Azpilicueta and on the again of for a corner.

6. De Bruyne can comprise obtained the a hit procedure and been his long-established showrunning self, nonetheless Raheem Sterling will retract plenty of the plaudits for City’s point to. We're unapologetically overjoyed to quiz him taking half in esteem this all all over again, and he gave Marcos Alonso a deeply wicked afternoon right here. Frankly, Alonso did well factual to dwell on the pitch till his 81st-minute substitution having been booked interior seven minutes for a desperate triple obnoxious on Sterling as he weaved and jinked past him. The joy is again in Sterling’s football, and December’s player of the month has been the biggest figure in a a hit flee that now stands at 12 Premier League games for the defending and future champions.

7. It aloof isn’t slightly taking place for Jack Grealish in Manchester, even though, is it? He’s no longer precisely taking half in badly, and surely didn’t play badly this day, nonetheless as the enjoyment has flooded again into Sterling’s football it has ebbed far off from Grealish’s. He aloof appears to be like a slight bit caught between doing the customarily high-likelihood things that salvage him so thrilling at his easiest, and keeping possession for the team. This was once all so great more uncomplicated when he was once the one real real focal point of a team’s total attacking game and knew the team danced to his tune. Ideal as he is, that's no longer going to ever be the case at City and is a puzzle for which he has but to search out a resolution.

8. However while Grealish has the posh of fixing that puzzle in a team that is dismantling every opponent placed in entrance of them and cruising to a fourth Premier League title in 5 years, an equally expensive new recruit in darker blue doesn't. Romelu Lukaku continues to struggle to search out his space and motive in this Chelsea facet on every a mundane, staunch-world and additionally more philosophical level. They are factual no longer position as a lot as salvage essentially the most easy out of him and they adopted a unfamiliar capacity right here of taking high-tariff alternatives to play their capacity out of defence and through City’s initial press, easiest for the midfielders to then just lengthy. Would possibly per chance perhaps Lukaku comprise approach deeper? Would possibly per chance perhaps somebody comprise been stationed nearer to him? Mason Mount did retract on a No. 10 role for the last 10 minutes as Chelsea chased the sport, nonetheless it surely was once too slight, too slack. Lukaku is removed from blameless for the capacity this switch appears to be like to be unravelling, nonetheless he was once feeding on scraps this day.

9. And, inevitably, when the probability to fabricate one thing did approach Lukaku’s capacity he lacked the boldness to retract it, purchasing for an nearly impossibly tough pass to Hakim Ziyech – who was once offside anyway – in desire to powering through and going for procedure himself. Very unlikely to comprise in solutions Lukaku at his easiest would even comprise thought to be the possibility he took right here.

10. That mentioned, Lukaku was once going through thought to be one of essentially the most thankless initiatives in football this day: discovering a capacity through Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. It can perhaps no longer be City’s first-substitute central defensive pairing, nonetheless in 13 games starting together stretching again nearly three years they've now conceded one procedure – amusingly scored by Stones himself for Membership Brugge last year. City comprise won all 13 by an combination rating of 41-1. On that basis, Chelsea and Lukaku did slightly well.

11. For all Manchester City’s retract a watch on, for all their innate superiority over thought to be one of many closest (if aloof distant challengers) this for lengthy lessons did quiz esteem a kind of games where if truth be told a striker may well no longer be a execrable notion for Pep Guardiola. Even supposing easiest as a Notion B. Call me a PFM for these that must, nonetheless even for teams from the future esteem this one, who comprise evolved well past such ragged ideas, there are aloof cases when it'd be nice to comprise a Harry Kane or an Erling Haaland in there so as to add one thing to the final brilliant.

There had been two particular moments in this game when the absence of a Recognised Striker was once most evident. The principle came when Phil Foden, graceful footballer and this day’s designated central striker, made his capacity menacingly down the left after which arrowed a unhealthy inappropriate along the six-yard line for… absolutely nobody. The second came when Grealish did one thing identical after half-time, easiest for Foden to existing a midfielder’s in desire to a striker’s instinct as the ball whistled past him within the penalty space. It's miles, as it can easiest ever be about a team that has factual overwhelmed an extraordinarily, incredible facet to salvage it 12 wins in a row, essentially the most minor of quibbles. However additionally a reminder that there may be terribly an glaring capacity City may also be even greater, or no longer much less than great more versatile. Now no longer enjoyable for anyone who fancies beating them either in a one-off match or across a total season any time soon.

12. If it hadn’t already (it had) the league table has spoil up into some somewhat identifiable strata now. Manchester City will retract the league. Liverpool and Chelsea will attain second and third (even though a byproduct of the present fixture effort is the faintly unsettling thought that may well aloof Spurs retract all their games in hand they would if truth be told leapfrog Chelsea) while Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and most definitely Manchester United duke it out for the final European spots. There are four garbage teams on the underside, after which a mid-table morass ranging from supreme (Wolves, Brighton) to somewhat crap (Everton, Leeds) absolutely none of whom comprise any staunch prospect of Europe or relegation. This is no longer going to much less than salvage things more uncomplicated to form things out may well aloof the season may well aloof be carve immediate.

Nonetheless it was once additionally slightly alarming to all over all all over again be reminded factual how huge the gulf is between these layers. City had been by no arrangement if truth be told out of second gear right here in maintaining Chelsea very easily at bay, while Chelsea had been factual as elated in every legs of their Carabao semi-last towards level-three Spurs in midweek.

13. Chelsea if truth be told fabricate comprise to buck their solutions up, even though. While City are unstoppable, their theoretical pursuers comprise drifted away slightly meekly. That’s now two wins in eight Premier League games for Chelsea. Brighton away in midweek appears to be a sub-optimum fixture for Thomas Tuchel’s men on present kind, so they needs to be overjoyed to quiz that it's Tottenham all over all all over again visiting Stamford Bridge the next weekend, given the benefit with which Spurs comprise been thrice dispatched by Chelsea already this season – 3-0 within the league on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium within the Nuno Days, and in every legs of the Carabao semi-last this month.

14. As for City, with the Premier League title having a quiz ever more true with every passing consequence, solutions turn inevitably to the records they would per chance send tumbling this year. Most consecutive Premier League wins is having a quiz below serious threat, with the present creep now standing at two-thirds of the capacity to the legend of 18. Covid or various fixture chicanery however, City in present kind wants so as to ease nearer to that legend without great fuss now. Wins over Southampton, Brentford and Norwich would retract them to 15 before Tottenham’s gallop to right here in February. Spurs comprise burgled some unhealthy outcomes on this ground over time, nonetheless it surely may well be a important surprise to quiz one more such end result this season. Then it’s Everton to salvage it 17 – a formality, bless their slight Toffee socks – before a nice nonetheless Manchester derby to equal the legend. Then in one more nice touch from the ever-sportive fixture computer it’s Crystal Palace – the last team to prevent the City juggernaut with a 2-0 retract in October – to spoil the legend. It’s a nice flee of games for the pursuit and breaking of this kind of legend, right here’s hoping no exterior components scupper it.

15. We’ve sadly been unable to uncover any distance lined stats for Tuchel this day. Of their absence, we are capable of sadly easiest speculate on factual how a few his gamers he outran along with his frequent huge-eyed, gesture-filled forays up and down the Etihad technical space. At a wager? Seven.

16. So what can we focal point on of Manchester City’s double-decker marketing hoardings? Now no longer for me, Clive.

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