When Chelsea were ranked ahead of Manchester City as the English team of the decade for 2011-2020 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) last month, it came as a surprise to some. But considering the fact that the London club won all the major trophies on offer both domestically and on the continent in the time frame, it becomes understandable.
However, the painful part was that at a time City had their most successful era as a club, Chelsea topped that by also conquering Europe. The London side won the Champions League in 2012 and added another two Europa League crowns to their Premier League and Cup wins in the following years.
Beating Man City to reach another FA Cup final with City set to claim the league crown sets the stage for another head-to-head competition between the two sides as a new decade begins.
Manchester City Women to Make a Statement?
On the other side of the divide, City women will face their Chelsea counterparts in a make or break game today. It is a game that could determine who lifts the Women’s Super League title as the remaining two matches afterwards are winnable for both teams.
This game is arguably the biggest of the season in the WSL and promises to be a case of winner-take-all.
City have a chance to help soothe the fans’ pain of the men team being dumped out of the FA Cup by securing a victory against the away side.
Fighting Against History
Recent history between the two teams has not been in City’s favour, though. In fact, Emma Hayes’ team has beaten City back-to-back in the last two meetings between the sides. Worse still, City have failed to win the last four times both sides have met losing thrice and drawing the other.
Given these conditions, Chelsea hold the advantage especially as a draw will soothe the visitors just fine. They currently sit top of the table with a two-point lead.
So second-placed City must win to stand a good chance of dethroning the reigning champions. This is important not only to secure the title but to also avoid building a reputation of playing second fiddle to the London side.
This looks like an uphill task for Gareth Taylor’s team. Despite having a good season so far, Chelsea have had a better one. While City were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, Chelsea beat Wolfsburg to cruise into the semi-finals.
City are currently one of the highest scorers in the league this season with 58 goals in 19 games. But they are second to Chelsea, who have netted 60 goals in 19 matches.
City have lost only one league game this term. That was to who? Well, there are no prices for guessing correctly, it was to Chelsea. A 3-1 defeat in the reverse fixture back in October 2020.
City also boast the second-best defensive record in the league, conceding only 11 times in 19 games. Again, second to Chelsea who have conceded only eight times in 19 matches.
The Job Must be Done
One thing is now clear heading into this crunch encounter - City must outdo their recent past to emerge victorious.
Coming into the game on the back of thrashing Aston Villa 8-0 in the FA Women’s Cup should help with confidence. Current form should also play a role as the Cityzens have now won 12 league matches straight. But then again, Chelsea are in good form themselves and haven’t lost in their last six league fixtures.
This sets the stage for a mouth-watering encounter. Having not lost a league game at home all season, this shouldn’t be the first. In fact, not even a draw is acceptable as it may not be enough to knock the London Blues off their perch.