By Martin Mongan
Bernardo Silva’s sublime strike secured Manchester City’s 1-0 victory against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium yesterday evening.
The scoreline does not reflect Manchester City’s dominance in this contest. Possession was heavily in Manchester City’s favour with a staggering 71%, compared to Chelsea’s 29%. Manchester City amassed thirteen shots compared to Chelsea’s three.
Manchester City had to wait until the first minute of the second half to take a well-deserved lead. David Silva executed a perfectly weighted cross to the other side of Chelsea’s eighteen-yard box, into the path of Bernardo Silva who acrobatically beat Thibaut Courtois with a well-timed flick.
Chelsea resorted to a more defensive style of play. They began with their tried and tested 5 at the back formation, which brought them great success last season as they picked up the Premier League trophy. The teams head coach Antonio Conte chose to start the game without a recognized striker, as Belgium international Eden Hazard started up front. Summer signing Alvaro Morata and January signing Olivier Giroud, both recognised centre-forwards, missed out on the starting eleven spot. Willian and Pedro played behind Hazard in winger roles as Chelsea played in a false nine formation. Chelsea went without N’golo Kante for this game, due to the Frenchman falling ill. Kante’s Premier League winning teammate at Leicester, Danny Drinkwater was thrown into the starting eleven alongside World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas.
Unfortunately for Chelsea boss Conte, his sit back tactic without a recognized striker resulted in the team’s fourth defeat in their last 5 domestic games.
Manchester City frontman Sergio Aguero was searching for his 200th goal in City colours but unfortunately for the Argentine, it didn’t come.
The club are now four wins away from securing their first Premier League trophy under Pep Guardiola.