Gabriel Jesus who guides his people, N’Golo Kanté inside or even the suffocating pressing of the Citizens: find the tops and the flops at the end of Manchester City’s success on the Chelsea lawn.
Gabriel Jesus guides his people
Positioned on the right side of Manchester City’s attack, Gabriel Jesus was restless, hampering the Blues’ defense with his stalls, calls and movements between the lines. But it was in the area, in a center-forward role, that he was able to make the difference. In the 53rd minute of play, following a corner kick and a long shot from Joao Cancelo, the Brazilian made a superb fake back-to-goal-kick in pivot to deceive Edouard Mendy, well helped by the deflection of defending the Blues. A goal that gave his team all three points.
The suffocating pressing of the Citizens
Manchester City were impressive on the defensive stages. From the first seconds of play, the Citizens exerted a very intense pressing, very organized and very high on the field to hinder Chelsea’s ball outings. Completely stifled, especially in the first period, the Blues have too rarely managed to start from behind and serve their offensive weapons, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, then Kai Havertz. By dint of suffering, Thomas Tuchel’s men conceded the opening goal. Then the defeat, their first since the start of the season.
Edouard Mendy still decisive
Since arriving at Chelsea last season, Edouard Mendy has proven game after game that he is one of the best goalkeepers on the planet. This Saturday, against Manchester City, the Senegalese goalkeeper admittedly conceded a goal, on a deflected strike in the area, but he also left his team in the match by making several decisive saves, against Jack Grealish twice (58th and 83rd). Another great performance.
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N’Golo Kanté inside
It is rare, even very rare. But N’Golo Kanté missed out on his match this Saturday afternoon. The Chelsea midfielder swallowed the miles during his side’s long defensive streak but was very rough with the ball. The French international, supposed to be one of the launching pads for Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, was put in difficulty by the intense and aggressive pressing of the Citizens, losing several balls in the midfield and not allowing his team to come out cleanly from behind. Proof of his mixed performance, Thomas Tuchel replaced him at the hour mark to return to his usual system with the entry of Kai Havertz.
Little Lukaku-Werner doublet in sight
On paper, associating Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner together at the forefront of Chelsea’s attack could appear interesting, with the Belgian serving as a fulcrum and the German triggering his famous deep calls. On the lawn, this complementarity was not noticeable. With an offensive player less than usual, the Blues, well embarrassed by the Mancunian pressing, failed to come out from behind. Above all, if Timo Werner has been active in the spaces, Romelu Lukaku has been found too little. The two men tried to play together and combine, but their lack of automatism was obvious. A choice of Thomas Tuchel little paying.