Manchester City got a crucial away win against Graham Potter’s Chelsea FC on Thursday. It wasn’t vintage Pepball by any means, but if you are going to lift the trophy you have to win a few of these. Here’s a look at the good and the bad from Thursday’s Premier League win.
John Stones in the middle - The Barnsley Beckenbauer turned in perhaps the best centre-back performance of any player in a City shirt this season. The first half saw Stones playing in an unfamiliar back-three set up, but no matter. He made several key tackles in the first half, including a perfectly timed sliding effort just outside the 6-yard box to deny Christian Pulisic.
Steady Aké - Our Dutch defender has been, perhaps, the most consistent and reliable central defender this term. Aké has yet to tally a goal in the Prem, although he very nearly got one past Kepa Arrizabalaga, but his header found the post and stayed out. He, John Stones, and substitute Manuel Akanji combined for City’s second clean sheet in their last 8 matches across all competitions.
Super Subs- Speaking of substitutes, Pep Guardiola used all five in this match. We won’t get into a long discussion of the unorthodox first-half set up, but the second half saw a return to normalcy due in large part to the 5 men who came off the bench. Akanji, Rico Lewis, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, and Kalvin Phillips collectively made the difference against Chelsea. Grealish and Mahrez combined for the games only goal and Lewis was able to find any space he wanted amid Chelsea’s formation.
Foden Flop - Philip Walter Foden! You get in this house this instant!! After all the moaning that City fans did to get Philly Boy restored to the starting line-up, our lad went out and proved why Pep had him sat on the bench. Foden looked out of sorts and never found his way into the match. One of his poorer performances in memory to be sure.
Twitter Managers - Pep commented before the match that he selected his starting XI because it was what the fans wanted. Well, we got what we asked for, kind of, and it wasn’t pretty. After the break, Guardiola made player changes and tactical changes, and City looked much more like the side we’re accustomed to seeing. Leave it to Pep to use the first half of a highly important Premier League match to troll fans who think they know better than the Catalonian genius.
There you are Cityzens. What were your top storylines from the Match at Stamford Bridge? Let us know in the comments.