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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 14 August, 2020
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Chelsea 2-1 Man City

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

Could tonight be the night Liverpool are confirmed as English champions for the first time in 30 years?

Remember: anything other than a Man City win will guarantee the Reds glory.

Both these sides have re-started the season well. 

Chelsea beat Aston Villa on Sunday, while City have comfortably dispatched Burnley and Arsenal in recent days.

City have had the better of this fixture in recent times, winning five and drawing one of their past seven encounters in all competitions.

And given how impressive Pep Guardiola’s team have looked since the return to action, the reigning champions will confident they can make the Reds wait that bit longer to dethrone them.

Confirmation of tonight’s teams…

Who do you think will win?


Poll Results:

Man City (310)
Chelsea (298)
Draw (245)



chelsea-v-manchester-city-premier-league-stamford-bridge A Chelsea steward wearing PPE in the stands before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. Source: Paul Childs/NMC Pool/PA Wire

We’re underway…

Man City have started well.

They’re already controlling the play, dominating possession and territory.

It’s been a pretty underwhelming opening, in keeping with the poor first-halves that have generally been evident since the Premier League’s return.

Both sides have been sloppy and wasteful in possession, with no real chances created yet.

De Bruyne finds Bernardo with a clever chipped pass, but the latter heads it straight into the goalkeeper’s arms from a difficult angle.

Down the other end, Gundogan is in the right place to clear Willian’s cross after a swift Chelsea counter-attack.

Fernandinho is unmarked and gets on the end of a wide free kick with his head, but Kepa is alert and does well to tip the ball over the bar.

Better from City, who look the slightly more threatening of the two teams so far.

Man City are starting to pin Chelsea back into their own half regularly now.

Mahrez has just been fouled by his former Leicester City team-mate Kante, with the visitors consequently winning a free kick about 30 yards from goal.

Laporte tries to clear a cross but only finds Barkley.

The midfielder’s effort deflects off Fernandinho and goes out for a corner.

City have looked a little nervy at the back on the rare occasions Chelsea have attacked.

Sterling gets the ball in the area, but Christensen brushes the City star aside and shepherds it out for a goal kick.

Chelsea have been second best overall, but the hosts have defended very solidly so far.

Panic in the City area!

Mount cross for Barkley, whose low shot is saved.

From the ensuing corner, Ederson saves a Christensen header that’s powerful but straight at him.

The visitors’ defending has been very unconvincing so far.

Chelsea take the lead and it’s a superb solo goal from Pulisic.

It’s starts with a City free kick, but it’s cleared and falls to the US international. He then beats two City defenders, before calmly slotting the ball home to make Chelsea and Liverpool fans very happy.

City have upped the tempo.

De Bruyne takes a free kick from the left short to Mahrez, but the Algerian’s subsequent curled effort goes well off target.

Some really nice interplay from City ends with a dangerous low Mendy cross, but there is no one in the right place to convert it.

The visitors lack cutting edge and are missing the injured Sergio Aguero so far.

More patient build-up play by City ends with a De Bruyne cross going out of play.

It’s been that kind of night for Pep Guardiola’s side so far.

Half-time and Chelsea lead.

It’s been a tight game, with Pulisic’s moment of magic the difference.

City have lacked the intensity they show at their best and look vulnerable when they have to defend.

The hosts, meanwhile, have been well-organised at the back and have reduced Pep Guardiola’s men to a handful of half chances.

If they can do the same after the break, then Liverpool will be confirmed as title winners for the first time since 1990.

chelsea-v-manchester-city-premier-league-stamford-bridge Chelsea's Christian Pulisic (22) celebrates scoring. Source: Paul Childs/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Christensen gets his head in the way of a powerful Mendy shot.

The defender is now down receiving treatment owing to the impact of the ball, and Zouma has started warming up on the sidelines in case his colleague has to come off.

More patient, prolonged build-up before Mendy woefully skies a shot from long range.

City continue to look toothless in attack.

City make a double change.

Rodri and Bernardo Silva are replaced by David Silva and Gabriel Jesus.

Out of nothing, City equalise.

A glorious dipping free kick from Kevin De Bruyne draws them level.

City go so close scoring a second straight after their equaliser.

Jesus plays through Sterling amid a rapid counter-attack. The England international puts it past Kepa but his shot comes off the post.

Shortly thereafter, City make another change, with Zinchenko on for Mendy. 

City have had 74% possession in the last few minutes and are well on top now.

Chelsea have reacted, with Abraham replacing Giroud.

As I type, Ederson kicks it straight to Mount, but the youngster can only find the side-netting with his finish, as City breathe another sigh of relief after a defensive error.

Worrying scenes for City.

Rudiger catches De Bruyne with a follow through as the defender clears the ball.

It looks like the Belgian international will be okay to continue though.

The ball falls to Sterling on the edge of the area, and the attacker’s curled shot shaves the post.

City have been much better in this second half.

Abraham gets goal-side of Fernandinho and chases onto a long ball, but Ederson is alert to come out and gather it in the nick of time.

The young striker is giving Chelsea a bit more energy in attack.

Incredible!

Pulisic beats Fernandinho for pace. He then rounds the goalkeeper, before his finish is cleared off the line just about by Walker.

That was the moment that surely would have all but confirmed Liverpool as champions, but it wasn’t to be thanks to the right-back’s impressive efforts.

Replays confirm that there was no glitch in the technology this time.

Walker did indeed prevent it from going over the goal-line.

Both sides have made a change.

Kovačić has replaced Barkley for Chelsea, while Otamendi is on in place of Laporte for City.

Amid a goal-line scramble, Fernandinho deliberately handballed it as Abraham attempted to bundle the ball home.

He was sent off and conceded a penalty, which Willian duly dispatched into the top corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.

Liverpool surely are set to become champions.

10-man City look a beaten team.

Sterling’s attempt goes well over the bar, as hope dwindles for the visitors.

He is one of a number of City players well below his best tonight.

There will be six minutes of stoppage time…

Chelsea make a double change.

Mount and Pulisic are off, and Gilmour and Pedro are on.

Kenny Dalglish is currently on BT Sport reacting to Liverpool’s triumph.

His phone is making all sorts of noises as they’re trying to interview him.

So that’s that.

On the actual game itself, Chelsea probably just about deserved the win.

City were very suspect at the back, looking vulnerable any time they came under pressure, and that’s ultimately what cost them.

The visitors’ attackers also were below their best, with the likes of Sterling and Bernardo Silva looking rusty, while Chelsea by contrast were clinical when they needed to be, as illustrated in particular by that fine Pulisic solo goal.

While Liverpool’s title win will understandably attract most of the headlines, the importance of this victory to Chelsea should not be overlooked, as they’ve taken a big step towards a top-four spot.

Right, that’s all from me for now. Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have plenty more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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