This was Manchester Metropolis reminding their rivals that they continue to be the staff to beat. Pep Guardiola’s staff have been at their authoritative greatest from begin to end, ending Chelsea’s unbeaten begin to the season with a splendidly assured efficiency, and on this proof their failure to signal Harry Kane isn’t going to make it more durable for the champions to retain their title.
It had the texture of an announcement victory. Gabriel Jesus, a striker enjoying on the suitable wing, scored the one objective and Metropolis simply may have gained by extra. They delighted in gaining revenge for his or her defeat to Chelsea within the Champions League closing and it felt like an necessary second for Guardiola, who was delighted to finish a run of three consecutive defeats towards Thomas Tuchel.
The sample of play demonstrated why Tuchel had warned that Chelsea couldn’t afford to drop their focus for a single second. Metropolis seized management from the beginning, their defence pushing daringly excessive, and there have been lengthy spells when it appeared that they have been able to protecting the ball all afternoon. It was a daring, expansive strategy from Guardiola’s facet, whose aggression made it troublesome for Chelsea to construct from the again, and it was telling that Tuchel was extra animated than common in his technical space, bellowing at his gamers and urging them to point out extra composure in possession.
Chelsea had lined up in a barely conservative 3-5-2 system, Mason Mount’s absence by harm permitting them to squeeze the house in midfield by beginning N’Golo Kanté alongside Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. It was a continuation of the plan that proved so efficient throughout the second half of final weekend’s victory over Tottenham and there have been occasions when it appeared that Chelsea have been making an attempt to lure Metropolis right into a lure, urging them to inch ahead earlier than stealing possession and enjoying fast balls to the little-and-large mixture of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku up entrance.
The issue for Chelsea is that Metropolis have been ready for them. Aymeric Laporte and Rúben Dias handled Werner, who was not on the identical wavelength as Lukaku, and it helped that Guardiola had corrected the error he made in Porto the place he inexplicably chosen Ilkay Gündogan as his deepest midfielder. This time he had the excellent Rodri slicing the availability line to Chelsea’s forwards and that additional layer of safety gave Metropolis extra stability, permitting their inventive abilities to shine.
Bernardo Silva was a intelligent, controlling presence in midfield and Phil Foden marked his first league begin of the season with a mature show as Guardiola’s false 9. It was Foden who made Metropolis’s clearest probability of the opening interval, pulling left to seek out Jesus, who swiped large when he ought to have at the very least examined Édouard Mendy.
At that stage it appeared that Metropolis have been by no means going to discover a approach by a defence that had solely conceded as soon as within the league earlier than kick-off. Openings have been uncommon at first. Rodri noticed an effort from lengthy vary deflected narrowly over; Kevin De Bruyne was pissed off by Andreas Christensen when he discovered house on the sting of the realm; Mendy punched away an inswinging nook from Foden.
ity, who go to Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool within the subsequent week, wanted to be extra exact in the event that they have been going to breach Chelsea’s miserly defence. After 27 minutes Guardiola used a break in play to carry an impromptu tactical dialogue with Jesus, Silva and Kyle Walker. The supervisor had been on Jesus’s case from the beginning, instructing him to stretch the play on the suitable, and there have been occasions when the ahead was too tentative in possession. He was winded by an early problem from Antonio Rüdiger and he didn’t at all times look ready to make use of his tempo towards Marcos Alonso, Chelsea’s left wing-back.
However the message from Guardiola landed. After 53 minutes, João Cancelo dropped a shoulder and fired a low shot into the realm from 25 yards. Jesus collected the ball, produced some nimble footwork to create space and earned a slice of luck when his low shot took a deflection off Jorginho, leaving Mendy stranded because the ball squirted into the bottom-right nook.
Metropolis had the breakthrough they deserved and so they threatened to overwhelm Chelsea after taking the lead. Jack Grealish got here alive on the left, angling a shot inches large, and Chelsea escaped when Jesus noticed one other effort cleared off the road.
Tuchel needed to discover a strategy to change the stream. Chelsea, who misplaced an attacking outlet when César Azpilicueta was compelled to maneuver proper wing-back after Thiago Silva changed the injured Reece James, lacked a approach of linking the play with Mount as one of many No 10s. They wanted a distinct strategy and so they improved after Kanté made approach for Kai Havertz, who was denied by an offside flag when he teed up Lukaku to complete from shut vary.
There have been extra flashes from Chelsea, Kovacic firing inches over and Ederson denying Havertz with a agency problem close to the tip. But Metropolis wouldn’t be denied. Grealish and Laporte each went shut on the different finish and there was no dispute that Metropolis, who at the moment are degree on factors with Chelsea, have been deserved winners.