Defending champions Manchester City defeated Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to cut down Premier League leaders, Arsenal’s, lead to 5 points.
Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game during the match where both teams struggled to create many chances.
Pep Guardiola’s side now sits second with 39 points while Chelsea is barely hanging on to the table’s upper side, sitting 10th with 25 points as their torrid run continues.
City came into the contest knowing of Arsenal’s dropped points but looked a far cry from their usual silky self as they struggled to break Chelsea down. The home side threatened early before injuries to Raheem Sterling and Chrisitan Pulisic significantly dampened their chances of a win.
Pulisic’s replacement, Carney Chukwuemeka, came closest to opening the scoring when his shot bounced back off the right upright.
Guaridola’s changes turn the tide:
Having seen his side struggle, Guardiola decided to replace Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo with Rico Lewis and Manuel Akanji and his side began to flourish.
They almost got immediate dividends as Nathan Ake’s back-post header struck the crossbar before Kevin De Bruyne went close himself moments later, forcing a low save from Kepa Arrizabalaga from a low shot.
Pep then sent on Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish at the hour mark and the two substitutes combined just three minutes later for a goal. A swift passing move ended up with Grealish crossing the ball into Mahrez’s path with the winger getting an easy tap-in.
The goal settled the rhythm with City happy to keep the ball and Chelsea failing to threaten until the final whistle.
City and Chelsea to meet again:
The Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Chelsea was the first of two games in the span of 4 days.
The blues will now travel to the Etihad Stadium for their FA Cup 3rd round weekend action.