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Chelsea 0 - 1 Manchester City: match report, score, analysis

A Kevin De Bruyne strike was enough to give Man City all three points at Stamford Bridge as they made a further statement of intent towards their title aspirations.
Champions League draw live 2017/2018

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on September 30, 2017. / AFP P

We were live from Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening as Chelsea welcomed Manchester City in week seven of the 2017/18 Premier League. Read our match report and how it all went down as the two heavyweights clashed.

Chelsea vs Manchester City: match report

The blond locks of Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne returned to dent the early season promise of his former club Chelsea with a thunderous left-foot strike in the 66th minute. That goal was the crucial difference in scoreline for Manchester City but the difference in class at Stamford Bridge was as impressive as it was surprising as the Sky Blues returned to the summit of the Premier League. The defeat was one sour point for Chelsea but the loss of their new striker Álvaro Morata just adds to the pain.

Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata goes off injured
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Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata goes off injuredJOHN SIBLEYAction Images via Reuters

De Bruyne shone throughout

De Bruyne, who left Chelsea for Wolfsburg in January 2014, struck from outside the box midway through the second half, securing a victory that cemented City's status as the early title favourites. They took back their place in the table above neighbours Manchester United on goal difference and move six points clear of Antonio Conte's Chelsea, who were beaten at home for a second time after their shock opening-weekend loss to Burnley.

It represented a forceful return to earth for Chelsea after their excellent Champions League win at Atletico Madrid and their disappointment was compounded by an injury to prolific new striker Alvaro Morata.

Following Chelsea's 0-0 draw against Arsenal in their previous home game, this was the first time Conte had seen one of his teams fail to score in successive games on home turf in his managerial career. And while the former Juventus boss was left to lick his wounds, opposite number Pep Guardiola could revel in a first victory over Chelsea inside 90 minutes in eight games as a manager.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pleased again with Kevin De Bruyne's performance.
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pleased again with Kevin De Bruyne's performance.EDDIE KEOGHREUTERS

Free scoring City in the winning habit

City had scored 16 goals in their three previous league matches, but in successfully overwhelming the defending champions on their own patch, this was arguably their most impressive performance of the campaign to date. The result also served to equal the club record of five consecutive top-flight away wins, matching sequences established between April and September 1912 and May to September 2015.

Following his star turn in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Atletico, Eden Hazard took his place in the Chelsea starting XI for the first time in a league fixture this season. Conte also retained the same 3-5-1-1 system he had used against Atletico and his men threatened to pick up where they had left off in the Spanish capital, Morata glancing a header wide from N'Golo Kante's cross. But it was to prove a false dawn as City's aggressive pressing and probing possession play kept the champions on the back foot throughout the first half.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois almost embarrassed himself in the 12th minute when, after playing a one-two with Antonio Rudiger at a goal-kick, he allowed Gabriel Jesus to close him down as he assessed his passing options. Fortunately for the Belgian, after striking the advancing Jesus, the ball bounded over the crossbar for a goal-kick.

Chances grow for City frontline

Raheem Sterling wasted a great opportunity for City when he overhit a cross with Jesus and David Silva racing into the box. Courtois was twice called into direct action, repelling a fierce strike from Silva and then showing sharp reflexes to turn away Fernandinho's bullet header from De Bruyne's corner.

Chelsea were obliged to feed off scraps, particularly after Morata left the fray in the 35th minute, gesturing to his left hamstring, which saw Willian come on to form an unorthodox front two with Hazard.

Happy citizens | Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with striker Gabriel Jesus after the match.
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Happy citizens | Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with striker Gabriel Jesus after the match.EDDIE KEOGHREUTERS

Cesar Azpilicueta and Hazard worked Ederson either side of half-time, but the City goalkeeper needed only regulation saves on each occasion.

After Marcos Alonso had blocked impressively from Silva, De Bruyne broke through in the 67th minute when he exchanged passes with Jesus before steering a glorious shot inside the right-hand post with his left foot. With four assists and nine goals, the gifted Belgian midfielder has been involved in 13 goals in his last 13 City appearances. Jesus then went close to extending the visitors' lead when his side-foot volley was headed off the line by Rudiger. 

Chelsea's charge was late in coming and they came no nearer an equaliser than a header from Andreas Christensen in the last minute that cleared the bar comfortably.

Chelsea vs Manchester City live stream online: how it happened

Chelsea vs Manchester City: Premier League match preview

Anyone who loves their football will be finding a way to get in front of a television, radio or a wonderfully descriptive live text feed(!) for Saturday evening’s clash. Both Chelsea and City are purring right now and knowing how it will turn out is anyone’s guess. A dazzling run from Eden Hazard, a 30-yard screamer from Kevin de Bruyne or a dodgy penalty decision. Whatever happens there is almost certainly going to be plenty to examine.

Chelsea team news

Diego Simeone said after his Atlético Madrid team was beaten by Chelsea in the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night that Antonio Conte is better than him. Now he may just have been answering the question put to him modestly but there is no doubt that the Italian coach had his Blues right up for the battle in Madrid and will need to get a similar response from his troops at Stamford Bridge for another huge test of their true ambitions.

Questions were asked when big money was paid for young Spaniard, Álvaro Morata, a striker that had scored goals, some key ones too, when called upon but he hadn’t been called upon all that much. After just a couple of months, though, few commentators now doubt his finishing - he has seven in seven - and more are seeing the other attributes to his game (these being helped by Conte) that allow others to work off him. The likes of Hazard, just back in the side and already looking like the player we all know he can be, Cesc and Pedro, are showing a good appreciation of how to combine with Morata and the use of Alonso and Moses as wing-backs ensures there will be crosses to feed off. The other plus for Conte is seeing Matic’s replacement, Bakayoko, showing the form he did for Monaco last season. He’s proving to be an upgrade.

Although Conte may look to freshen things up with only a few days between their tough Champions League trip, he may well stick to his strongest XI ahead of the international break. One forced change is bringing in Andreas Christensen for the suspended David Luis.

Manchester City team news

Pep Guardiola came into the Premier League last summer and looked to blow everyone away from the start with his fluid football, goals-a-plenty and ten wins in the first ten games. He soon found that things can get tough in the Premier League and ended up the campaign in third place, falling short of the title challenge well before May. His response has been to bring in more reinforcements for his already talented squad and signs are good with 26 goals along their seven game winning run.

The big team news ahead of this match is the confirmed absence of both Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Agüero, both within just 48 hours of the game. Mendy will face considerable time out after injuring his knee and their talisman striker is going to miss a few weeks after breaking his ribs. Guardiola is likely to turn to summer signing Danilo (who spent last season working alongside Chelsea’s target man) and Gabriel Jesus to fill the sizeable voids. De Bruyne and Silva will be expected to pull the strings in midfield but will find space harder to come by against the grit and organisation of their opposition. This was the venue where City last lost on the road in the league.

Jesus has already shown he knows where the goal is, with or without Kun by his side, and both Sterling and Sané could put pressure on the Chelsea wing-backs not to get caught too far upfield. There’s often little point trying to second guess Guardiola’s plan so let’s instead wait till kick-off and enjoy what is sure to be a technical, tactical and physical test for both sides. We can’t wait.

Chelsea vs Manchester City: potential line-ups

Chelsea XI: Courtois, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Kanté, Bakayoko, Moses, Hazard, Pedro, Morata

Head coach: Antonio Conte

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva, Sterling, Jesus, Sané

Head coach: Pep Guardiola

Chelsea vs Manchester City live online: betting odds

With two in-form teams meeting, there's little surprise that the bookmakers can't really separate them, the home side fractionally edging it. So, if you're looking for a little more value you can get Chelsea/draw as a half time/full time result at 14/1. You'll get similar odds if you fancy the mercurial Spaniard David Silva to open the scoring.

Place your bet on Chelsea vs Man City here.

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