Manchester City vs. Chelsea : Initial Reactions & Analysis
It was termed as the battle of the giants when Manchester City hosted Chelsea in what was their 5th game of the Premier League Season. Chelsea fresh of their Wednesday draw against Schalke made two changes in the starting line-up with Azpilicueta getting the nod over impressive Filipe Luis while Diego Costa starting in place of Drogba.
City meanwhile had five changes to the team that lost against Bayern on Wednesday with Mangala, Zabaleta, Aguero, Milner and Kolarov all getting the nod.
Here’s the initial reaction:
– Chelsea started the match in what looked like a 4-3-3 formation with Matic, Ramires and Fabregas as CM’s while Fabregas having the freedom to roam around and play the box to box role. Meanwhile, City rolled on with their preferred 4-4-2 formation with 2 strikers up top.
– It was a fast start from City who dominated the possession in the starting few minutes and looked threatening from the flanks through Milner and Aguero. Both teams went for the high pressing game with City dominating the proceedings.
– Nothing much happened in the first half hour of the game with City controlling the rhythm of the game but Chelsea looking compact in the defence in a typical Mourinho way. Neither team had a clear chance in front of the goal.
– City did enjoy a lot of space in our flanks with Milner giving Azpilicueta a tough time in the middle. Chelsea conceded seven corners in the first half hour without having a shot on target that says something about the way City dominated this game.
– Meanwhile man of the moment for Chelsea Fabregas and Costa where having a tough time getting on the ball with both of them marked out of the game in the attacking areas. Costa did continue to track back and help defensively which says something about his character.
– The first half ended 0-0 with none of the team producing a quality ball in the final third. Both of the team looked compact and well organized in defence, and it looked like a sort of match that would be decided by that one defensive mistake. The referee Mike Dean meanwhile for some weird reasons had a yellow card for every foul committed in the half.
– The second half started without any changes from either manager. City started in a similar fashion enjoying most of the possession with Chelsea on the back foot creating couple of half chances, but nothing our back 4 couldn’t deal with.
– The constant pressure from city meant the first real goal scoring chance fell to City in the 56th minute through Sergio Aguero but Courtois was up for it while the rebound was safely cleared away by Ramires impressively before Dzeko could reach it.
– Mourinho sensing the need for an immediate change brought on Schurrle and Mikel in place of Ramires and Willian at the 60th-minute mark. The game got its share of controversy at the 65th minute after Mike Dean had Pablo Zabaleta sent off in a rather controversial fashion after a tussle with Diego Costa. It was a soft decision by the referee but again it looked like he had a card for every foul that was committed on the pitch.
– Having a one man advantage meant Chelsea were back in the game and we did capitalize on that when Andre Schurrle scored the first goal in the 71st minute after a quick counter attack saw Diego Costa pass the ball to Eden Hazard on the right side who in turn put a brilliant cross in the heart of city’s defence and Schurrle was there for a easy tap in.
– The lead though didn’t last long. Chelsea legend Frank Lampard came on for City at the 78th minute mark. It was quite awkward watching him play against Terry and co. And it was who else but Lamps who got the equalizer for city after a good pass from Milner found him in the box eight yard in front of the goal and he did what he does best but this time it cost us a couple of points.
– All in all it was a below the par performance from the blues. Although we are still top of the table and did manage a point against the defending Champs but we never managed to get out of our gear and play the free flowing football we have come to expect from Chelsea in the last few games.
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