The spoils were shared as Chelsea and Manchester City played out a match for the ages. It was yet another action-packed match featuring the Blues. Mauricio Pochettino’s men gave the world two classic matches back to back.
Not many people would have predicted a four-all draw between the two teams, considering their position in the table. Here are three positives for the Blues from the match.
One could forgive the home team had they started cautiously against Pep Guardiola’s side. Not many team tries to take them on their front foot. It rarely works. But Pochettino’s men had confidence in their ability. Nothing kept them down, not even Manchester City taking the lead thrice.
CFC easily found spaces opened by City’s constant high press very effectively. Confidence in players never went down at any time. The attitude showcased by the home team shocked the opposition players into making mistakes, and Chelsea benefited from them. The energy and desire shown by the squad lifted the fans inside Stamford Bridge as well.
There was a lot of talk ahead of the match about the contest between Jeremy Doku and Reece James after the Belgian’s standout performance in the previous week. Like many players before, Doku found it futile to get the better of Chelsea’s skipper. To add insult to injury, he was booked for simulation before Guardiola took him off.
It was not the only battle on the field. Kyle Walker’s afternoon was made miserable by Raheem Sterling. English winger, ignored by English manager Gareth Southgate for the latest call-up, was a man on a mission. He was by a long distance the best player on the pitch.
It is fair to say almost every Blue had an excellent afternoon. The performances from the last two matches will give them confidence moving forward.
Chelsea was once a team that made the most out of set pieces. But lately, things have been the opposite. The opposition was getting a chance to make a counterattack whenever the Blues had one. On Sunday, however, a corner kick benefitted them as Thiago Silva became the fourth oldest player to score in the premier league.
Despite scoring four goals against a top team, finishing continues to be a work in progress. Cole Palmer and Malo Gusto failed to make the most of it as Chelsea tried to get back into the game. Nevertheless, it was far better than last week.
Erling Haaland won and scored a penalty after getting fouled by Marc Cucurella. However, the referee Anthony Taylor and VAR failed to see the Norwegian fouling the Spanish left-back just before it. Despite losing a handful of minutes due to VAR checking the foul on Armanda Broja, Taylor called for full-time when the Blues were on a counter just a minute after the injury time was over. It was another instance of getting unfair treatment from the officials.
The west Londoners have conceded a goal off a deflection in back-to-back games now. Even though it is fair to blame players for such a lack of luck, a little more carefulness would have prevented it. Even though CFC equalized, it could have been unjust to the home team had they lost.