‘If Anyone can, Jose can’ fittingly sums up everything as Chelsea ended Manchester City’s impressive home run. Chelsea traveled to the Etihad Stadium as underdogs and were written off by almost everyone prior to the game, after 90 minutes though everyone would be wondering why. People expected Chelsea to park the bus infront of goal but what transpired was Mourinho MAGIC. An absolute masterclass from Jose, from the starting line up to the execution of the tactics everything was inch perfect. In the end a 1-0 scoreline just seems a bit flattering to Man City.
Man City had a brighter start and looked to attack Chelsea from the outset. But Chelsea played magnificent counter attacking football and City’s defense visibly was torn apart in the first half. Ivanovic gave Chelsea the lead in the 32nd minute with a wonderful strike. After which Chelsea didn’t sit back, instead went for more. Chelsea knew they had to outscore City because the amount of talent they possess, a slight miss judgement could lead to a City goal. However, the second goal eluded Chelsea and were denied three times by the woodwork.
City in the last ten minutes pushed for the equalizer but Chelsea’s defense was air tight and the Blues held on to a MASSIVE win. The win leaves us two points behind Arsenal.
We just did a double over City this season. The last visiting manager to see his team keep a PL clean sheet at the Etihad was Alex McLeish in November 2010. Chelsea changed this record today. What a historic win indeed.
What We Learned:
Mourinho’s men produce a Tactical Masterclass
‘The Special One is back’ say the headlines tomorrow, well he never left to be honest. What a fantastic tactical display by Chelsea. They let City come at them and when City lost the ball in Chelsea’s half Chelsea made lightning fast counters. Everyone had a fantastic game. The defense was top class, the pivot work perfectly fine. The trio of Willian-Hazard-Ramires ran tirelessly throughout the 90 minutes and in all fairness City expected none of it and were visibly rattled.
They missed Fernandinho big time. Someone who could break play down and slow the tempo of the game. Yaya was the lone warrior who caused Chelsea problems but had no result to show for it.
Jose will be mighty satisfied with the result. It puts us back in contention after a disappointing draw against West Ham. But psychologically what this win will do to the confidence of the players is unexplainable. Chelsea players will now know that they can go anywhere and beat anybody.
The defense: ABSOLUTE WALL
There wasn’t a clean sheet kept by the away side at the Etihad since November 2010 and we all know City has been scoring for fun this season. Put 6 past Spurs and Arsenal and 4 past United when they visited Etihad. Chelsea though thanks to brilliant defending kept it. Chelsea have kept four successive PL clean sheets away from home for the first time since December 2008. This is a massive improvement considering we were leaking goals for fun early on.
Cahill and John Terry were fantastic tonight once again and the partnership between the two is already blossoming into a top class one.
Gary Cahill vs Man City: 1 interception, 2 shots blocked, 16 clearances, 11 aerial duels won. Rock.
Azpilicueta had a fantastic game as well, he was able to keep Navas quiet for large parts of the game. Does he ever have a bad game?Ivanovic too was brilliant on the right but that bullet off his left foot was the moment of the game.
Eden Hazard: A Magician
A big match player and yet again he was the one creating chances single-handedly. He is absolutely vital for Chelsea’s chances this season and for seasons to come. Tonight he was holding all the strings and created havoc around City’s defense.
Hazard completed 11 take-ons, the entire City team managed 11. He was fantastic with his dribbles as well and he embarked on 16 dribbles vs Man City; no other player in the game made more than six. He was just a class above the rest tonight.
Nemanja Matic: Once again Brilliant
There were times in the game when Matic actually got the better of Yaya Toure, now that’s massive. If there were any doubts after his performances vs Stoke they all should be gone now, because he put a show today. Great defensively and quite brilliant going forward. Alm0st scored as well but was denied by the woodwork.
In the first half Yaya was easing past Luiz and Matic but as the game wore on Matic stamped his authority in midfield and Chelsea looked dominant. How much we missed being bossy in midfield. He is a complete player and he is already repaying the faith entrusted in him by Jose.
Matic’s heat map tells us that he had to sit deep because of City’s attacking prowess but he did move forward himself when given a chance. A complete performance from a complete midfielder, surely a sign of things to come.
The Title Race: It’s Wide Open
SPI’s updated Premier League title odds. Chelsea tightens the race; City still favored.
Chelsea have got a massive morale booster after beating City and in process also completed the double over the title rivals. Jose however is reluctant to be involved in the title talks and is playing down a title challenge.
When asked Is it 3-horse race for title? Mourinho said: ‘Two horses & a little horse [Chelsea] that still needs to drink its milk & learn how to jump’
He is playing down expectations which in a way is good for us as it keeps the pressure off the players. In all fairness it is Man City’s title to lose given the squad they got. Chelsea is making a team for next season and it’s a striker Chelsea is desperately keen to add to the ranks.
The title of underdogs suits Chelsea but having said that nothing is decided and the race is going down to the wire and there are still plenty of games to be played.
To sum it all up it was a massive win for Chelsea, one that has really made the supporters proud. A historic win in many ways given City’s record at Etihad and how they dismantled every opposition that visited Manchester.
This win is very very satisfying indeed. Do let me know what you guys think in the comments below! KTBFFH!