Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Blues Prove to Be Class of EPL with Away Win

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Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Blues Prove to Be Class of EPL with Away Win
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City's loss on Monday, Feb. 3 cleared the way for Arsenal to end the week with the top spot in the table just one week after City had ejected them from that spot. While that transpired, it was Chelsea who proved they are the class of the league this year. 

Of course, it's not like the Blues were outside of the above process. On Monday, Feb. 3, they were the first team to go into Etihad and emerge with a victory. 

Chelsea only scored one goal in the match, and I have to believe even Jose Mourinho wouldn't have liked his team's chances to pull out three points if he knew they'd only score one goal. 

Entering their match with Chelsea, Manchester City had won all 11 of their home matches in Premier League play this year, and they had done so by the combined score of 42-9. 

That firepower didn't scare Chelsea.

The Citizens dominated in possession to the tune of 65 percent. They used that to fire off 25 shots. Only three of those shots, however, were on target. 

Chelsea's wonderful defense and midfield deserve a ton of credit for the showing. They consistently stymied the Citizens' midfield.

The Citizens, however, also missed some quality opportunities. It also can't go unmentioned that the Citizens are suffering through a run of injuries. 

After the match, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini talked about the predicament the injuries have left him in. Here is Pellegrini via The Telegraph's Chris Bascombe

Of course Fernandinho is a very important player for us. Not only him, Aguero, Nasri and Javi ­Garcia can play in his position. Jack Rodwell is still coming back from an injury so the only option I had was Demichelis.

That is why Fernandinho’s injury was so important, I had to change the defence because of this. Milner was not 100 percent for this game and Negredo was also not 100 percent. That was too much advantage for an important team like Chelsea. We lost against a good team that played very well but it was a very close game and they had the luck to do it.

The problem for Manchester City is that Fernandinho isn't coming back anytime soon and neither is Sergio Aguero.

Meanwhile, the Blues just keep plugging along. Chelsea have not lost a league match since Dec. 7; although scoring can come and go in spurts for the Blues, Chelsea is always tough to score on. They lead the league with just 20 goals allowed. 

What's more, Chelsea are now 3-1-0 against Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool this league year. 

Still, none of this is good enough to have the Blues enjoying an advantage over Arsenal in the table. The Gunners' consistency has been too outstanding. 

I give the edge to Chelsea, however, because of the current form of their defense. Both clubs have been excellent in that department, but Chelsea are only getting better. 

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The Blues have allowed a total of just two goals from their last 10 matches across all competitions. That includes the Manchester City match and contests against Arsenal and Liverpool. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal have allowed four goals in that same span and the competition has not been as tough, although it does include the match against Chelsea. Also, it was just 11 matches ago for Arsenal that they allowed six to the Citizens. 

Manchester City certainly have the talent to win the Premier League, but that team can't manage to stay healthy, and they are in the midst of a bad injury stretch. 

Arsenal have been strong all year, but the Gunners are coming back down to earth just a bit after peaking early. 

It is Chelsea who are putting everything together at the right time and are getting ready to make a run to the league crown.

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