Pep Guardiola believes stopping Cesc Fabregas was a key element of Manchester City’s victory over Chelsea on Saturday. Kevin De Bruyne’s second half goal settled a one-sided contest and the visitors left Stamford Bridge with a victory that underlined their Premier League title credentials. Fabregas, signed by Guardiola from Arsenal during his time as Barcelona manager back in 2011, had been instrumental in Chelsea’s landmark 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium last season, coming on a second half substitute to set up Diego Costa’s match-turning goal.
City’s relentless pressing, however, ensured the Spain international endured a difficult afternoon and was comprehensively outshone by the likes of De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho. ‘We knew that when Cesc has the ball, in one second he is the most special player in the world for that ball in behind,’ said Guardiola.
‘Chelsea want to play through the middle and attack with a lot of people. But we keep the ball as well as possible and regain possession as quickly as possible. ‘It’s not easy to do that, especially against players like [Eden] Hazard and Willian and Pedro, because one mistake and it is a goal. But it’s the way we play and feel football. So we are happy for that. It’s important to win. It’s three points we win and three points Chelsea didn’t win. We’ve won all the games in September and most playing really well and scoring goals. ‘Everybody is going to fight to keep this going.’
Conte reveals Morata asked for Chelsea sub to avoid ‘bad injury’
Antonio Conte has confirmed Alvaro Morata suffered a muscular problem in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City and believes the striker will now be unable to go on international duty with Spain.
Morata was forced off in the 35th minute of the Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge after he pointed to his left hamstring and asked to come off as a precaution.
The injury was a blow for Chelsea – with Morata having scored six Premier League goals to date this season while he also netted the equaliser in the Blues’ 2-1 comeback Champions League win over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Conte admitted after Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to City that he doesn’t know the extent of Morata’s injury, but said it will probably rule the striker out of Spain’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Israel.
The Italian said: “It’s a muscular problem. I don’t think it’s serious.
“He said to me, I prefer to stop myself otherwise I risk having a bad injury.
“The doctor will check the situation but I don’t think he’s available for the national team.”