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Ruthless Chelsea stun dominant City

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 1 +13k

Pin Luiz made the game safe late on. AFP
Luiz made the game safe late on. AFP

Ruthless Chelsea stun dominant City

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 1 +13k

N'Golo Kante and David Luiz were the unlikely Chelsea heroes on Saturday evening as their goals powered the 'Blues' to a shock win over a dominant Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri joked pre-match that he had no idea how to defeat a team managed by Pep Guardiola having only ever suffered defeat against the Spaniard, but it was the Italian who was left celebrating come full-time in the capital.

City went into the game needing at least a point to reclaim top spot in the Premier League following Liverpool's 4-0 win over Bournemouth earlier in the day and despite being the away side they started on the front foot.

Guardiola's side dominated the ball for long spells and really ought to have gone ahead with nine minutes played as Jorginho was mugged on halfway, with Raheem Sterling driving forward and finding David Silva. Silva returned the favour, giving Sterling a clear sight of goal on his left foot, but he couldn't get any real purchase on his strike and Kepa was able to make a routine stop.

The reigning champions continued to monopolise the ball for the rest of the half, but created very few gilt-edged chances, though Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta both made important blocks to repel goal-bound efforts from Silva and Leroy Sane.

Their inability to turn their dominance into goals wound up being ruthlessly punished by the hosts as they took the lead against the run of play on the stroke of the break, Kante majestically side-footing Eden Hazard's cutback from the left into the roof of the net without so much as breaking stride.

That goal seemed to rouse Chelsea briefly following the restart as Willian twice called Ederson into saves, but City soon regained control of proceedings and began to pile on the pressure once again.

Kyle Walker's curling free-kick was clawed away by Kepa, before both sides suffered injury blows as Mateo Kovacic and David Silva were both forced off.

For all City's possession, Chelsea's disciplined approach at the back left Guardiola's side to grow increasingly frustrated as they failed to create the raft of chances they are accustomed to.

With just 12 minutes to go the smash-and-grab was completed as centre-back Luiz lost his marker to flick home a header from a left-wing corner and see Chelsea over the line.

Both sides wasted glorious chances in the final 10 minutes as Ross Barkley planted a free header wide form the penalty spot, before Gabriel Jesus was denied by Kepa after the Chelsea 'keeper had gifted possession to City on the edge of his own box.

The result sees City suffer their first defeat of the season in the Premier League, with the champions now trailing Liverpool by a point at the summit of the English top flight. Chelsea, meanwhile, move third as they strengthen their grip on a Champions League place.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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