Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez Lead Manchester City Past Chelsea

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: N'Golo Kante of Chelsea battles with Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Etihad Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester City revitalised their Premier League challenge on Saturday with a 2-1 win over visiting Chelsea.

N'Golo Kante gave the visitors the lead after 21 minutes, but Kevin De Bruyne levelled the score eight minutes later.

A 37th-minute solo effort by Riyad Mahrez gave the champions the lead and decisive advantage at half-time.

The second half didn't live up to the first, but City's victory sees them move ahead of Chelsea into third.

Chelsea's French midfielder N'Golo Kante (R) prepares to shoot past Manchester City's French defender Benjamin Mendy (2nd R) to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium i
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Frank Lampard tightened his selection and formation by dropping Reece James and Mason Mount to the bench, and Chelsea appeared compact in midfield and defence. The opening stages belonged to the away side, and City failed to control possession against the west Londoners.

Chelsea grabbed the lead after Kante burst through on goal, and the Frenchman slotted his shot past the onrushing Ederson. The effort was a just reward for Lampard's men, but City were soon in control of the game.

Pep Guardiola's side upped the tempo and drove Chelsea backwards, and the equaliser came quickly from De Bruyne's deflected shot from the edge of the box. City went on to dominate the closing stages of the first half, and Chelsea lacked the defensive knowledge to contain Guardiola's raiding players.

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Mahrez gave City the lead shortly before the interval, sprinting inside Emerson before despatching a tidy finish. There was time for Sergio Aguero to hit the crossbar before the end of the first half, and the writing was on the wall for Chelsea's young stars.

Lampard employed a low block in the second half, and City's pressing contained more effort and intent.

Emerson made way for James, as Chelsea prepared to counter-attack with more frequency, but City were impressive on the front foot.

Aguero kept Chelsea's centre-backs busy with his movement in the box, but the striker was forced off with injury after 77 minutes. The Blues became more ambitious in the closing minutes, and the game was stretched as both sides searched for a goal.

City leaned on their experience in the final stages and snuffed out Chelsea's threat, and the away side appeared fatigued after a valiant effort on the road.

Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee in stoppage time, but the game was already beyond Chelsea's powers of recovery.

              

What's Next

Both teams are in UEFA Champions League action in midweek, with City welcoming Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday and Chelsea travelling to Valencia on Wednesday. The Citizens return to Premier League action on Saturday with an away trip to Newcastle United, while Chelsea host West Ham United at home on the same day. 

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