Ex-Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, scored the decisive goal that secured all three points in a 1-0 win against a lacklustre Chelsea this evening at Stamford Bridge.
The visitors deserved the win as the home side struggled to find space to launch consistent attacks and which saw the visitors dominate in all areas of the pitch.
It’s as serious blow to the title ambitions of the reigning champions and judging by the celebrations in the City bench at the final whistle, they appreciate the significance of the win.
Alvaro Morata had a half-chance three minutes in, taking advantage of a quick free-kick by Eden Hazard. But he was quickly challenged and the ball cleared. Seconds later he had a trademark glancing header from a N’Golo Kante byline cross, but it inched wide of Emerson’s far post.
Man City then entered a period of possession play, with the Blues content to sit back and wait, hoping not to make a mistake.
A razor-like breakaway by City almost reaped dividend on 26minutes but Raheem Sterling’s cross was too powerful for the in-running Gabriel Jesus, and the ball went to safety.
Chelsea suffered the loss of star striker Morata on 35 minutes, Willian was his surprise replacement – Michy Batshuayi was on the bench.
Morata was seen leaving Madrid in the midweek Champions League match, limping, suggesting that he may not have been 100 per cent fit for this high-intensity encounter.
A sensational reflex save by Courtois from Fernandinho on the stroke of half-time preserved the goalless stays of the opening 45 minutes of which the opposition dominated possession and chances.
The second half started similar to the end of the first with the visitors confidently in charge. But the false nine operated by Antonio Conte with Hazard and Willian providing the outlet up front, whenever the Blues got into City’s final third almost worked on 61 minutes when Hazard’s’ s left footer forced Ederson into a smart save by his near post.
But that was simply the only foray of success by Chelsea and the visitors took a deserved lead on 67 minutes.
It was ex-Chelsea man Kevin De Bryune who flashed home a fierce left footer from just outside the Chelsea penalty area what gave Courtois non chance as the ball smashed into the top left hand owner of the net.
Conte, who was going to bring on Batshuayi before the goal, eventually introduced the Belgium striker and Pedro for Bakayoko and Hazard on 73 minutes.
Rudiger was right on the Sport to prevent number two for the visitors with six minutes left after Gabriel Jesus’s volley seemed goal-bound. The German probably did not know too much about it as the ball cannoned off his shoulder for a corner.
City managed the remaining minutes of the match and their bench celebrated as if they had won the World Cup.
It’s only September. But the defeat will cast serious doubts about the Blues’ ability to claw back the points that will see them mount a challenge for the title again.
It’s international break time before the Blues go to London rivals Crystal Palace in two weeks’ time
Teams: Courtois, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Morata, Hazard, Bakayoko, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta
Subs: Caballero, Pedro, Moses, Kenedy, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi
Man City: Emerson, Walker, Stones, Sterling, De Bruyne, Delphi, Sane, Silva, Fernandinho, Otamandi, Jesus
Subs: Brava Danilo, Gundogen, Mangala, Silva, Zinchenko, Toure
Referee: Martin Atkinson