June 22, 2018

Ruthless Man City march on as Chelsea woes continue

06 March 2018, 01:54 | Donald Newman

Mourinho and KloppMore

Mourinho and Klopp

Having coasted - and it was a coast - to a 1-0 victory against defending champions Chelsea at the Etihad, Pep Guardiola's team are now just 22 points short of hitting the 100-point barrier this season with still 27 points to play for.

"When you play against a team that has shown to be stronger than you - because 25 points is a big difference - you have to think with your brain and not your head because otherwise you finish with a bad loss and that's not good for the players", he said.

Chelsea's massed ranks formed a blue wall of defensive defiance, organised and well-drilled, leaving City to enjoy nearly total possession and search for any gaps in the barricade assembled by Antonio Conte.

The Premier League title holders, who played without a recognised striker for 78 minutes, ceded 71 per cent of possession to the champions elect and failed to register a single shot on target as they suffered defeat, thanks to Bernardo Silva's goal early in the second half.

You get a odd atmosphere in the dressing room when the manager is under threat - some of the players are happy with him of course but the ones who are not in the side might be thinking they might have a better chance with the next coach. "Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all quick players but we controlled it and we were quick with the ball".

City, with a performance that showed their adaptability, edged nearer to the title.

Neville said Chelsea's performance was "absolutely unacceptable" and accused Conte's players of being "mannequins", while Redknapp called their approach "anti-football" and "a crime against football". With their setup, the objective of the Blues was to defend and frustrate City as it was goalless at the half.

"We created enough to win the game, score more goals".

The Belgian was isolated as City dominated throughout, with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata not appearing until the end when it was too late for Chelsea.

When a team like Chelsea has this attitude, the rest of the Premier League has no hope.

In the end it was to no avail - leaving them with an uphill task to qualify for the top four.

He is another diminutive stylist in the mould Guardiola so admires and after waiting his chance he is showing exactly why City were so keen to acquire his services.

Learning of the tragic death of a former player in Italy's Davide Astori this morning, the afternoon's defeat to Manchester City will no doubt pale in comparison to the devastating loss of the 31-year-old defender.

The combination of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Bernard Silva proved to be more than Chelsea could handle, reports Efe.

City completed 902 passes, more than any other Premier League side have managed in a game since the 2003-04 season, and Conte's approach was lambasted by both Redknapp and Neville on Sky Sports.

"Yes, you want to come to Manchester City and make sure you're compact to stop Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva".

David Silva has assisted 12 goals for City in all competitions this season, his most in a campaign since 2011/12, when he assisted 19 goals.

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