Manchester City and Chelsea played out one of the most open and entertaining games of the season when they met at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City were looking to end a run of draws at home, while Antonio Conte’s visitors were out to maintain their recent winning run and create space at the top of the Premier League table.
After a number of chances at both ends, the deadlock was finally broken as a Jesus Navas cross found Chelsea defender Gary Cahill who duly volleyed into his own net.
Man City had chances to go 2-0 up, most notably when Kevin De Bruyne somehow struck the crossbar with the open goal at his mercy. Guardiola’s side were punished soon after as Diego Costa found the net to level it up, and substitute Willian compounded their misery by putting Chelsea in front with twenty minutes to go.
Late home pressure came to nothing – in fact it proved to be their undoing as Eden Hazard sealed the win on the counter late on. Man City were to have two players send off in a last-minute skirmish as Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho both saw red.
Chelsea get the win and go four points clear at the top, while Man City suffer their first home defeat of the season.
But how did each player fare on a crazy afternoon in Manchester?
Manchester City Player Ratings:
Claudio Bravo – 4: Not to bang the Joe Hart drum, but for all the mistakes that the England international made, he never looked quite this nervous. Bravo was beaten far too easily for at least two, if not all three, of the goals.
John Stones – 6.5: Probably Man City’s best defender on the day. Looked to play from the back as always and looked confident even when he probably shouldn’t have at times.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5: Poor afternoon for Otamendi. Beaten by Costa far too often and wasn’t as physically imposing as he needed to be.
Aleksndar Kolarov – 6: Defended to a reasonable standard but was caught on the break late on. Adapted well to the new three-man defence.
Fernandinho – 6.5: A solid display in midfield undercut by a number of poor tackles. That he eventually did see red for such a moment of lunacy was ludicrous on his part.
İlkay Gündoğan – 6: Decent range of passing from the German international and sat in the midfield well, but the game began to pass him by towards the end.
Leroy Sané – 7: Sané has endured a tough start to his Man City career, but enjoyed a decent game here. Made a number of pacey runs and got past Victor Moses well in the first half.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8: A constant threat to Chelsea. Burst forward at will, found himself in dangerous areas. Was involved in many of his side’s attacks, but should really have finished that chance to make it 2-0 early in the second half.
David Silva – 7.5: Like De Bruyne, was able to find space in the Chelsea defence, but saw his efforts come to little as Aguero just wasn’t on form to finish his chances.
Jesús Navas – 7: Gave Alonso a scare throughout, though found some fortune that his poor cross went in off of Gary Cahill. Did, however, produce a fine ball in the second half that De Bruyne should have put away.
Sergio Agüero – 4: Poor afternoon for Aguero. Found space hard to come by in the box, and when he id he was unable to beat Thibaut Courtois. Was stupidly sent off late on for a reckless challenge on David Luiz.
Gael Clichy (Sané 69) – 6: Average in defence, but wasn’t able to offer the attacking width on the left that Guardiola would have liked from him.
Yaya Touré (Gündoğan 76) – 5.5: Touré has been in good form since returning to the side, but had little impact in his cameo here.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Stones 78) – 5.5: Like Aguero, Iheanacho was unable to convert his chances into goals.
Chelsea Player Ratings:
Thibaut Courtois – 7.5: Made some good stops from Aguero and De Bruyne to keep Chelsea in it when they were in trouble. Could no nothing for Gary Cahill’s own goal.
César Azpilicueta – 9: Easily the best defender on the pitch for either side. Composed, confident and started a number of passing moves out from the back.
David Luiz – 7: Was lucky not to be brought back for a bodycheck on Sergio Aguero in the first half. However, he recovered from that and put in a solid display.
Gary Cahill – 5: Has made strides to improve on his poor early season form, but looked lost at times against the Man City attack. His defensive technique for the own goal was appalling.
Victor Moses – 7: Lively but this wasn’t his his best game. Bypassed by Leroy Sané at times defensively but remained an attacking threat throughout.
Cesc Fabregas – 6.5: Thrown in to a system that doesn’t suit him, and it showed. This was the biggest indicator that Fabregas may not survive in Conte’s Chelsea, save for a fantastic pass for Diego Costa’s equaliser.
N’Golo Kanté – 8: Had to cope with the loss of usual midfield partner Nemanja Matic, but did so brilliantly. Energetic as always, protected his side’s defence and limited Man City’s attacks.
Marcos Alonso – 7: Like Moses on the opposite flank, Alonso found it hard with Jesus Navas against him in the first half, but (also like Moses) settled down as it wore on and Chelsea stormed back.
Pedro Rodríguez – 6: Picked up a knock in the first half that hampered his performance. Unlucky for Pedro after such strong recent form.
Eden Hazard – 7.5: Broke through at the end to seal Chelsea’s win and ran at the opposition regularly, but the sense was that he didn’t quite make the most of Man City’s nervous defence.
Diego Costa – 8: Quiet first half, bulldozer of a second. Scored one, set up the other, and in the battle of the league’s top strikers, Costa won hands down.
Willian (Pedro 50) – 7.5: Has had to remain patient while Pedro was on-form, but Willian took his chance today. A constant threat to Man City, and sealed his fine display with a well-taken goal.
Nathaniel Chalobah (Costa 85) – N/A: Little in the of an on-pitch impact, but could easily have seen red in the late bust-up.
Michy Batshuayi (Hazard 90) – N/A: Token few minutes for the Belgian international.
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