Manchester City face a big test of their mettle as Chelsea arrive in Manchester, in what will be the third game in a week for the blues. The champions returned to the Premier League summit on Wednesday with a 2-0 win at Everton, and dependent on what happens at Anfield, the blues may be looking to again overtake the reds or consolidate their position with victory of Sarri’s men.
The blues have lost just two of their last ten games at home to Chelsea, with the most recent defeat coming in Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge, when the blues lost a fiery encounter 3-1. Prior to that, City lost 1-0 to Chelsea in 2014, but recovered well to steal the title from under Liverpool’s noses. They have also won seven of the last ten encounters, with a solitary draw coming in September 2015
But prior to this decent run, the blues had only won 3 of their previous 22 home matches against the west London club, a run that included an incredible 16 defeats, however this does stretch way back to January 1979, so not too much can be read into that.
The two teams first met in Manchester in April 1908, which ended in a 3-0 victory for the visitors, and the blues didn’t score their first home win over Chelsea until October 1912, when City won 2-1 at Hyde Road. Since then, the two teams have met another 77 times, with the blues winning 36, compared to Chelsea’s 26 with 17 draws overall.
City’s longest winning run currently stands at four matches, achieved on two occasions between April 1938 to April 1949 and December 2009 to February 2013, while the longest unbeaten run at home to Chelsea is 20 matches. This unbeaten run between April 1934 and November 1961 saw the blues win 12 and draw 8 of those games, and only a 4-1 defeat in October 1966 prevented the blues from a 25 match unbeaten run.
The longest losing streak is six matches, between January 1979 and March 1989, and that run of defeats ended with a 1-1 draw in March 1990, which is Chelsea’s longest unbeaten run at City. The blues biggest win is 6-2 in November 1977, while the heaviest defeat is 4-1 in October 1966.
In total, City have kept 27 clean sheets at home to Chelsea, while scoring 110 goals. By contrast, the blues have failed to score on 20 occasions, conceding 89.
The two teams have met on 8 occasions in February, with both teams winning three and two ending in draws. They have never met on 10th February, but on 9th February 1991, the blues beat Chelsea on a snowy day at Maine Road. The game saw City midfielder Gary Megson score his first goal for City since his debut at Oldham two years earlier. David white scored the other goal in the first half.
One of the most memorable, yet pointless matches between these sides came at Wembley in 1986, when the two met to contest the Full Members Cup Final. City went 1-0 up, but found themselves 5-1 in the second half, then decided it was time for a comeback and dragged the scoreline back to 5-4, which is how it finished.
How will Sunday’s game end? Will the blues be top by the end of the weekend?