Focus our priorites elsewhere.
Chelsea travelled to the Etihad to play league leaders Manchester City for MW 22 of the Premier League season. This game was very much billed as a last stand and any hope that Chelsea could make up ground on City was contingent on a win. Pep set up with a strong team as several players returned. Ederson started in goal with a back four of Walker, Laporte, Stones, and Cancelo. Rodri, Silva, and De Bruyne started in midfield with Sterling, Grealish and Foden up front. Chelsea had Kepa in goal with a back three of Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Azpilicueta, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Kovacic and Kante in midfield. Pulisic, Ziyech and Lukaku started up front.
I will sum the game up in one paragraph. Chelsea began well but, City began to dominate possession and the Chelsea back three fell back. The first half had no real clear cut chances but City had the threat. Chelsea failed to register a shot at City in the first half. The first time this happened in a game since 2018. The 2nd half was much of the same. De Bruyne scored a brilliant goal in the 70th minute to get the win for City. Chelsea only woke up after conceding and the subs of Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Werner helped. Nothing more to the game than that, City just clearly better.
Chelsa Team Review
Kepa did well throughout the game. He came out to make blocks distributed the ball well and made some crucial saves. The goal was not his fault it was just a well placed shot. A good game overall.
The defence was good but Sarr stood out in the back three. Thrown into his biggest game yet and did well overall. Rudiger and Sarr kept Grealish, and Sterling quiet for much of the game. Silva was his brilliant self. What can I say about Azpilicueta and Alonso that hasn’t been said. They lack pace and were not able to handle Cancelo and Walker. Alonso especially had a bad time. Stark contrast to Chilwell, and James.
Kovacic, and Kante had good games but they were overrun at times and pressed out of possession. Not the best time for them. Mount came on in the 2nd half and brought some energy but it was too little to late.
The attack was the worst part of the game. Pulisic was non existent but is young and has capacity to improve. Ziyech’s decision making the final third was poor and their is no consistency with him at the moment. Lukaku was extremely poor. The Belgian’s first touch was way off, along with poor decision making and poor finishing. Lukaku could have actually scored two goals but we failed to score any. Hudson-Odoi, and Werner brought some pace to the attack but after conceding any momentum was lost.
Tuchel said he was happy with certain aspects of the game. When asked about Lukaku Tuchel said that sometimes the Belgian needs to do the creating himself. Tuchel also stated that the finishing was way off and that the forward players need to be consistent. Tuchel will know there are still several things to achieve this season so he will try to keep the morale high.
A 13 point gap now between Chelsea and City. The title race is well and truly over if you held any hope prior to this game. All Chelsea can do now is try and cut the gap to single digits and win the cups. It would still be a very good season overall. Next up Brighton, COME ON CHELSEA!!!