By RYAN TOLMICH
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea became the first Premier League team to knock off Manchester City at the Etihad this season, as a Branislov Ivanovic goal in the 32nd minute pushed the Blues back into the title picture.
Heading into Monday’s contest, reigning Champions League winners Bayern Munich had been the only team to best City at home. However, Mourinho’s Blues were able to frustrate the typically explosive City attack throughout the match, despite never “parking the bus”.
Mourinho added yet another chapter to his legacy as a master tactician, as many expected him to result to the “19th century tactics” employed against his side last week against West Ham. However, The Special One flipped the switch, and relied on a potent counter attack and the defensive presence of David Luiz and Nemanja Matic to control the game.
City, who were missing midfield engine Fernandinho, were able to find 25 shots on the afternoon. However, the former league leaders were missing the surgical precision that saw them enter the day on a nine-match win streak, as they were only able to force Chelsea’s Petr Cech into three saves.
Chelsea, on the other hand, proved to be the bigger offensive threat on the afternoon. The Blues hit the post on three occasions, the most impressive of which came on a Matic strike from outside the box.
Matic, who recently rejoined Chelsea from Benfica after a three-year spell in Portugal, was particularly impressive on the afternoon. The Serbian was able to frustrate Yaya Toure and the City midfield in what was most certainly an outstanding debut.
With the result, Arsenal find themselves atop the Premier League once again with City and Chelsea both lurking only two points behind. City will look to rebound away at Norwich City, while Chelsea will look to build on the victory as they host Newcastle.
What did you think of Chelsea’s victory? Are City still the favorites? Think Chelsea can make a run at the title?
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