Man City vs Chelsea LIVE: Premier League result and final score as De Bruyne scores brilliant winner

·29 min read
Kevin De Bruyne scores a wonderful curling finish (Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)
Kevin De Bruyne scores a wonderful curling finish (Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)

Chelsea head to Manchester City for Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off, knowing they realistically need a victory to blow the title race back wide open. Pep Guardiola’s side have been relentless in the league of late and opened up a 10-point lead between themselves and the Blues, so there’s very little pressure on City to go all-out for the win.

That said, they could really exert their dominance and make a point over last year’s Champions League final being a one-off if they took the game to Thomas Tuchel’s team and triumphed to further increase their lead at the top.

In midweek it was Chelsea who triumphed, in the Carabao Cup semi-finals against Tottenham, to book themselves a spot at Wembley and await either Liverpool or Arsenal. City, by contrast, have had over a week to recover since their FA Cup third-round win over Swindon. They have won seven in a row in all competitions and 14 of the last 15, a phenomenal run of form which has them looking at yet another league title. Follow all the updates from Man City vs Chelsea below:

Man City vs Chelsea

  • Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Foden, Grealish

  • Chelsea: Kepa, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Sarr, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Lukaku, Pulisic

  • 70 min: Kevin De Bruyne scores wonderful solo goal

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:20 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Three minutes of added time to play. Man City are going to open up a 13 point lead if they can close out this game.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:18 , Michael Jones

87 mins: Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan come on for Manchester City replacing Phil Foden and - as of right now - matchwinner Kevin De Bruyne.

City are trying to manage the remaining time but Mount gets the ball into space on the right and swings a cross over to Lukaku. John Stones gets to the ball before the Chelsea striker and boots it clear.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:13 , Michael Jones

84 mins: Chance! Phil Foden has the chance to secure the points for Manchester City. Raheem Sterling brings the ball in from the right and lays it off to Foden. He lets the ball run across his body and hits one with his left foot. He doesn’t catch it quite right though and lifts the effort over the crossbar.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:10 , Michael Jones

81 mins: Chelsea win a free kick over on the left wing, deep in Man City’s half. It’s a good chance to work the ball into the box but it’s wasted by Callum Hudson-Odoi who knocks a flat cross into the penalty area that is easily cleared by Kevin De Bruyne.

Mason Mount is the final Chelsea change coming on to replace Marcos Alonso. Can he swing this match back in Chelsea’s favour? He’s only got about 10 minutes to make an impact.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:07 , Michael Jones

78 mins: Chance! Much better from Chelsea who move the ball quickly up the Kante. He plays it in behind for Azpilicueta on the overlap and and Chelsea’s captain slots a teasing ball into the six-yard area, Timo Werner lunges himself at the pass but it just evades him and Ederson scoops it up.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:06 , Michael Jones

75 mins: Chelsea have to open themselves up now as they go in search of an equaliser. That’s leaving space in the back line for Foden to exploit. Cancelo fires a diagonal ball up to Foden who’s positioned in the middle of Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva. As the ball drops Sarr wins the header and knocks it back to Kepa Arrizabalaga to end the attack.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:02 , Michael Jones

72 mins: Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner are on for Chelsea. They were brought on just before Manchester City’s opener replacing Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.

Chelsea have to go after City now. If they want to keep their title hopes alive they can’t lose this game.

GOAL! Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea (De Bruyne, 70’)⚽️

13:58 , Michael Jones

70 mins: What a goal! A long ball from Chelsea is won by City and the ball is knocked to Joao Cancelo. He feeds it up to Kevin De Bruyne who shakes off a tackle and goes on a run down the inside left channel. He cuts inside and brings the ball to the edge of the ‘D’ before curling a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner. Kepa Arrizabalaga leaps across but can’t reach it and the ball finishes in the back of the net! What a finish from Kevin De Bruyne.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:57 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner are warming up for Chelsea. N’Golo Kante flicks the ball up to Romelu Lukaku in the middle of the pitch. He turns it towards goal but is clipped by Rodri and goes down. The referee lets play go on and City quickly feed it over to Sterling on the right. He drives into the box and shoots. His effort goes through the legs of Sarr and narrowly wide of the back post! Good chance for City.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:52 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Save! A fine run from Grealish sees the forward brought down just outside the Chelsea penalty area. The City players try to convince the referee that the foul was made in the box but he’s not swayed and awards a free kick.

Kevin De Bruyne takes it and whips a shot towards the near post but Kepa Arrizabalaga is across nicely and palms the ball wide of goal.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:51 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Man City have injected a touch more pace into their attacking play with Foden playing Sterling into the box. He gets tackled by Sarr but the loose ball comes to Bernardo who follows Sterling into the area. He drives towards the byline and squares a pass into the six-yard area but Kepa safely scoops up the ball.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:46 , Michael Jones

57 mins: Walker makes a run down the wing and is fed the ball, he gives it to Sterling who dribbles into the box and goes down under pressure from three defenders. There’s a huge appeal for a penalty but the offside flag is up for the initial ball over to Walker.

City then win a corner that Foden curls in towards the near post. Azpilicueta heads it out to Lukaku who sends it over to Hakim Ziyech on the right. He attempts to kick start a counter-attack but loses possession.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:43 , Michael Jones

54 mins: An aerial pass is won by Kyle Walker who’s control of the ball takes it away from the box. Kovacic attempts to recover the now loose ball but Walker beats him to it and wins a corner as Kovacic clips him late. City win a free kick just outside Chelsea’s box. De Bruyne flicks it into the six-yard area but sends the ball straight into the hands of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:39 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Thomas Tuchel must have given Chelsea the hairdryer treatment because they’ve come out swinging after half-time. First Mateo Kovacic threads a fine pass into Lukaku who spins off Laporte and lines up a shot at goal. He drills a left-footed effort towards the far corner but Ederson leaps to his right and parries it away.

The next chance comes to Marcos Alonso. He’s in space on the inside left and Chelsea pass the ball over to him to set up a long-ranged effort. He hits it well enough but the shot continues to rise and goes over the crossbar.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:37 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Chance! It’s an early opportunity for Manchester City after N’Golo Kante gives the ball away with a poor pass towards Lukaku. Rodri prods it up to De Bruyne who runs into the left side of the box and curls a pass across goal. Sterling tries to get to the ball but goes down after a touch from Sarr and City appeal for a penalty!

VAR takes a look and agrees with the referee that play should go on.

Second half: Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:34 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Chelsea didn’t have a single shot in the first half, on or off target. They played primarily on the edge of their own final third and didn’t utilise Romelu Lukaku as an escape option.

There hasn’t been any changes from either team at the break.

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13:28 , Michael Jones

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Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:25 , Michael Jones

Chelsea failed to attempt a shot in the first half at the Etihad. It was the first time they’ve failed to do so in a Premier League game under Thomas Tuchel and the first time overall since May 2018 vs Newcastle.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:22 , Michael Jones

There were some good battles in the first half. Raheem Sterling driving at Marcos Alonso - after the defender picked up an early yellow card - was probably the standout.

Chelsea’s attacking play has been non-existent though, much to the frustration of manager Thomas Tuchel.

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Half-time: Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:18 , Michael Jones

45+1 mins: Chelsea hold on until half-time. It was a fairly one-sided 45 minutes in favour of Manchester City but the Blues head into the break on level terms.

Jack Grealish had the best chance of the half but Kepa Arrizabalaga made a good save to deny him the opening goal.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:14 , Michael Jones

42 mins: A scrappy period of possession for Chelsea sees them work hard just to keep hold of the ball instead of putting together a meaningful attack.

City win it back before too long and Cancelo threads it into the box for Grealish. He finds De Bruyne who snatches at a shot from the left and belts it well over the crossbar.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:11 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Chance! Probably the best chance of the half! Mateo Kovacic is put under pressure from Kevin De Bruyne deep in his own half and gets rid of the ball with a loose pass across to Jack Grealish. He knocks the ball into the box and looks to guide it arouns Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea goalkeeper gets a leg to the shot and somehow deflects it wide of the right-hand post.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:07 , Michael Jones

36 mins: City win a throw in in Chelsea’s half and send the ball to Phil Foden. He brings the ball under control and drives through a bunch of Chelsea defenders to work the ball into the box. He slots a dangerous pass into the middle of the area but doesn’t have any teammates up with him. Alonso recovers the ball and wins a free kick after a little shove in the back from Sterling.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:04 , Michael Jones

33 mins: Kevin De Bruyne floats the free kick over towards the back post where Aymeric Laporte is making a run into the six-yard box. He’s tracked by Marcos Alonso who gets to the ball first and sends it behind for a corner.

De Bruyne swings this set piece into the penalty area but Antonio Rudiger is up quickly for Chelsea to head the ball clear.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:02 , Michael Jones

30 mins: Thomas Tuchel doesn’t look like a happy man on the sidelines. He’s gesturing wildly for his defenders to push up the pitch when Chelsea work the ball up to their forward players. The Blues have found themselves in a couple of good positions in City’s final third but haven’t been able to put a final ball into the box.

Bernardo Silva breaks clear through the inside right and Mateo Kovacic dives in from behind to stop the attack. He brings Bernardo down and goes in the book for his tackle.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:57 , Michael Jones

27 mins: Close! Sterling attempts to weave around Alonso but isn’t successful this time. Instead he passes the ball inside giving it to Rodri. Rodri flicks the ball into the box towards Grealish who’s put under pressure from Azpilicueta. The ball drops over the top of both players but Joao Cancelo arrives around the back and recovers the ball. He cuts it into the six-yard box but Rudiger is there to clear the danger for Chelsea.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:54 , Michael Jones

24 mins: Bernardo Silva dribbles inside from the right wing and threads the ball into the right side fo the box. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling both make decent runs into the area as the ball is played through the legs of Malang Sarr. Sterling isn’t expecting it to reach him and just checks his run allowing the ball to come through to Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:53 , Michael Jones

21 mins: Jack Grealish attempts to slip Joao Cancelo free on the left wing but Antonio Rudiger intercepts the ball and draws a foul from Cancelo.

Instead of playing out from the back Kepa Arrizabalaga motions for his teammates to push up the pitch and then boots the free kick into City’s half. The visitors don’t maintain possession for long though and City come at them again.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:50 , Michael Jones

18 mins: Sterling makes another darting run into the right side of the box but he’s met by a sliding Malang Sarr who puts the ball behind for another corner that Chelsea deal with.

The Blues are playing deeper now when they’re off the ball, City are controlling possession.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:48 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Sterling is having the better of things against Alonso on the right wing. He breezes around the defender once again and flicks a cross into the box, Azpilicueta heads it out as far as Joao Cancelo whose shot from range gets deflected behind for a corner.

John Stones meets the set piece but sends his effort straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:44 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Close! City work the ball over to the right side and draw Azpilicueta out of position. Kevin De Bruyne makes a run into the vacant space and Joao Cancelo lifts the ball over to him. He keeps it in play and carries it to the byline before pulling the ball back into the middle of the box but Alonso gets there first and boots it clear for Chelsea.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:42 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Chance! Big chance for Chelsea to take the lead. Azpilicueta threads a through ball up to Romelu Lukaku who is too strong for John Stones. He holds off the centre-back and then turns towards goal. Hakim Ziyech provides an option as Lukaku drives into the box. He’s got space to shoot but passes it to Ziyech who guides the ball wide of goal from an offisde position.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:39 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Chelsea defend the set piece but Man City recover the ball. They keep hold of possession and work the ball over to Kyle Walker on the right. He slides a pass to Raheem Sterling who decides to take on Marcos Alonso. With seeming ease he shifts the ball past the Chelsea wingback and sprints in behind only to be held back by the defender and eventually pulled to ground. Alonso is shown a yellow card.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:37 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Chelsea are favouring this diagonal ball over to Azpilicueta on the right as he makes runs down the wing. Malang Sarr flicks this one over the top but the Chelsea captain is offside.

City’s first real attack comes from Aymeric Laporte chipping a pass over Chelsea’s back line. Jack Grealish makes a run in behind from the left and races Azpilicueta to the bouncing ball. Kepa Arrizabalaga comes flying off his line and miscues his clearance, striking the ball into Azpilicueta where it hits the defender and goes behind for a corner.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

12:32 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Chelsea get the match started and work the ball over to the right side with a diagonal pass. Cesar Azpilicueta flicks it on to Christian Pulisic who tries to find a way around Joao Cancelo. He’s marshalled over to the touchline and runs the ball out of play under pressure from the Man City defender.

Man City vs Chelsea

12:28 , Michael Jones

Here come the teams. Although he won’t admit it Thomas Tuchel will know that his Chelsea team need to win today to keep the Premier League title race alive.

Manchester City are in fantastic form and will want pick up three points to take the gap at the top of the table to 13. Kevin De Bruyne leads out the home side.

Kick off is next...

Man City vs Chelsea

12:23 , Michael Jones

Jorginho has scored 13 Premier League goals since the start of last season, more than any other Chelsea player. All of them have been penalties.

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Man City vs Chelsea: Tuchel on winning Premier League

12:19 , Michael Jones

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says that the Blues’ hopes of winning the Premier League this season may be over if they lose to Man City today but he is focused on putting in a good performance. Speaking ahead of kick off he said:

Maybe, who knows.

“We don’t think a lot in scenarios - what happens if - let’s play the game. I’m always in for a good fight, but I’m also always very realistic.

“The situation at the moment is that they are very strong, very consistent and they perform on the absolute highest level.”

Man City vs Chelsea: Lukaku eyeing landmark

12:15 , Michael Jones

Romelu Lukaku is two shy of 200 career league goals. However, he has only scored four times in 15 Premier League appearances against Manchester City.

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Man City vs Chelsea: Manchester City, Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku and why you were wrong about signing a striker

12:12 , Michael Jones

It was basic arithmetic, really. In the same way that two plus two equals four, an almost impregnable defence plus a prolific, 20-goals-a-season striker equals a title-winning team.

Two Premier League clubs found themselves stuck on the first side of that equation last summer. Each had one of the best defences in Europe but lacked a player regularly converting at the other end. Both intended to do something about it during the transfer window. One could and did, the other tried and couldn’t.

So in that case, why is the team who didn’t spend £97.5m on a centre-forward sitting at the top of the table, 10 points and eight goals clear of the one who did?

Man City, Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku and why you were wrong about signing a striker

Man City vs Chelsea

12:08 , Michael Jones

Pep Guardiola has lost eight matches as a manager against Chelsea, more than against any other club but Chelsea’s win at the Etihad last season is Thomas Tuchel’s only victory in six career league meetings against Guardiola.

Man City vs Chelsea: Tuchel on Kante and Kovacic

12:06 , Michael Jones

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke about the importance of having Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante in the starting XI and how along with Jorginho they push the rest of the team to get better. He said:

If you have players out like Mateo [Kovacic] and N’Golo [Kante], and they share their work with Jorginho on the very highest level in the middle of the pitch, then you miss the core of your team.

“They are so important in the way they come to training, the way they push everybody and the way they are positive. The key players, the top, top players, behave the same way every day. No matter if they have to rest one game, or if they have personal differences, or if they have to fight, their experience and attitude is right. They know what it takes to overperform consistently.

“They push everybody to the limit because they push themselves all the time to the limit. NG is doing this without words. He does it by example, and makes everybody see what the benchmark is. Kova is doing it with words and attitude and a lot of empathy. There are many more like this.”

Man City vs Chelsea

12:02 , Michael Jones

Chelsea have dropped points in seven of their last 11 league games, turning a five-point lead over Manchester City into a 10-point deficit.

More worryingly, they have kept only two clean sheets in 11 Premier League matches following a run of seven in their opening 10 fixtures.

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Man City vs Chelsea

11:57 , Michael Jones

Manchester City have won 11 consecutive Premier League matches. Only Preston in 1891-92 and Liverpool in 2013-14 have won 11 or more games in succession and not gone on to win the top-flight title.

Pep Guardiola’s side began last year with a run of 18 straight wins in all competitions, not losing until 7th March.

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Man City vs Chelsea: Pep Guardiola hits back at Thomas Tuchel over Covid luck

11:53 , Michael Jones

Pep Guardiola has insisted that Manchester City have not been ‘luckier’ than other Premier League clubs with Covid-19, despite Thomas Tuchel’s belief that it has been a deciding factor in the title race.

Ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the Etihad for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, Tuchel said that “the biggest difference” between his side and City is that the defending champions have “dealt better with injuries and the Covid situation”.

Pep Guardiola hits back at Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel over Covid ‘luck’ comments

Man City vs Chelsea: Kepa on taking his chance

11:50 , Michael Jones

With Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy away at the Africa Cup of Nations, back-up option Kepa Arrizabalaga is looking forward to an extended run in the team.

One in which he hopes to show what he can do and prove that he can be an assest to the Chelsea team. He says that time on the sidelines has refocused his mind and now he is ready to play. Arrizabalaga said:

We have a few of games while Edou [Mendy] is playing in Africa. I wish him all the best and maybe I have an opportunity to play more games in a row, and very big games, important games, against Manchester City, Brighton and Tottenham again.

“Of course every player wants to play as much as he can, but what I learned in the last few months is to be focused on my job, work to be at peace in my mind, and that helps me a lot. Just give all that I can do and take the opportunity when I have an opportunity. I am in this mood and I think now I am doing well, I am helping the team and I am so happy about that.

“I was waiting for that moment to play for a long time, so I think I am ready to take the opportunity. I’ve been ready, that is the important thing. When you are out of the starting XI for a time, you are on the bench and ready to go, you feel the atmosphere and you want to be there on the pitch, so I was ready to go.”

Man City vs Chelsea: De Bruyne on ‘big game’ with Chelsea

11:44 , Michael Jones

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne says that he is excited to play in a ‘big game’ against Chelsea that could have big implications on the Premier League title race.

De Bruyne - who captains the Premier League leaders today - is expecting a tough test but knows that victory would leave his team 13 points clear at the top of the table. He said:

It is exciting. I think you always want to play in the biggest games. We had so many battles over the years where we have won and they have won a couple of games in the Premier League and Champions League.

“You always want to be on top and that is what we want to do. It is a big game. They have been playing really well lately. I saw the Liverpool game (2-2 Premier League draw) and a little bit of the first Tottenham game (2-0 Carabao Cup win), so they have been in a good rhythm.

“I expect them to give us a big test.”

Man City vs Chelsea: Head-to-head

11:40 , Michael Jones

Today’s game is the 50th Premier League meeting between the two sides. Manchester City only managed three victories in the first 25 encounters but have since won 12 of the last 24 games.

It is just the second time they have met as the top two teams in the Premier League. The other occasion came in January 2015, with second-placed City earning a 1-1 draw at league leaders Chelsea.

Chelsea have been beaten in eight of their last 12 matches at the Etihad Stadium although they won 2-1 here in May last season under Thomas Tuchel.

Man City vs Chelsea: Team changes

11:37 , Michael Jones

Pep Guardiola makes four changes to the Manchester City team that line-up against Arsenal on New Year’s Day. John Stones and Kyle Walker replace Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake in defence with Jack Grealish and Phil Foden coming in for Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.

Thomas Tuchel makes five changes to the Chelsea team that started against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday night. Thiago Silva replaces Andreas Christensen in defence, with Jorginho, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi dropping to the bench in fovaour of N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso. Christian Pulisic starts ahead of Timo Werner up top.

Man City vs Chelsea: Line-ups

11:30 , Michael Jones

Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Foden, Grealish

Chelsea XI: Kepa, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Sarr, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Lukaku, Pulisic

Man City vs Chelsea: How Man City changed the way you win the league

11:25 , Michael Jones

It was on the bus to the 2021 Champions League final that Thomas Tuchel learned of Pep Guardiola’s decision to leave out both Rodri and Fernandinho. The Chelsea manager was stunned. Tuchel felt it was a move so drastic that it was effectively Guardiola taking on all responsibility for the match. So it proved.

While Tuchel has been more successful than most in working out how to beat this Manchester City, he privately admits that final came down to Guardiola’s selection.

It was almost a case of the English champions beating themselves rather than getting beaten. That may be what the rest of football is relying on this season.

How Manchester City changed the way you win the league

Man City vs Chelsea: Recent results

11:21 , Michael Jones

As has been mentioned, Manchester City are on a seven-game winning run since losing to RB Leipzig in their final group game of the Champions League - when they had already qualified for the next round - and have won 14 of their last 15 fixtures across all competitions. In the Premier League they have scored 21 goals over six games and conceded just four times. It’s an incredibly impressive run from the Premier League Champions who continue striding towards another title.

Looking to halt them in their tracks are second placed Chelsea. The Blues are now 10 points adrift of the league leaders after stumbling through the Christmas period saw them record four draws in their last five Premier League matches. Three consecutive victories in cup competitions has got Chelsea back into winning ways so can they bring that form into today’s top of the table clash with Man City?

Man City vs Chelsea: Guardiola on Covid-19

11:12 , Michael Jones

Pep Guardiola fielded questions in his pre-game press conference about Manchester City’s handling of the coronavirus situation because whilst every team has had to deal with postponements and rising cases City are the ones whose performances on the pitch have not been affected.

They have won 14 of their last 15 games across all competitions and have opened a 10 point lead over Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table. Guardiola said:

I think the COVID is all around the world. It is not that in this part of the world there is no COVID. That is not true. We had a lot of cases and a lot of injuries. We played Aston Villa with 11 first-team players.

“The last four or five games we played with academy players on the bench. We are in the same situation as all other clubs. Injuries may be less because our medical department is incredible. But in terms of COVID, we are the same.

“It is not that we are smarter or wiser or do the protocols better. When the virus comes into the bubble, everyone suffers. There’s no exception.”

Man City vs Chelsea: Tuchel on City

11:07 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel spoke about the drop off in Chelsea’s fortunes since the start of the season which has seen them fall 10 points behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League table.

Tuchel says that the rising cases from Covid-19 haven’t helped his squad in a race where every dropped point could be crucial. Speaking ahead of today’s match he said:

Man City opened the gap not over the last months, they opened the gap over the last years and I wasn’t ever shy to say this. We try to close it. We were self-confident enough to say we will try to close it from the first day of the season. This is what we did and we did it very good.

“I want to be very clear about it. I will be absolutely happy with the players who travel with us and will be on the pitch, and we will inject the most confidence that we can have. We will come up with a plan and we will push and help and support in the best way, but the team is a different team when everybody is available. It’s as simple as that.

“If you have your 19 or 20 players from 23 always constantly available, this creates the energy, the atmosphere and the extra edge that you need if you want to be at the level where Man City is. We don’t have it. It’s no excuse. It’s just a description and explanation of the situation in which we find ourselves in the last weeks.”

Man City vs Chelsea: Injuries and absentees

11:00 , Michael Jones

Manchester City will be without Riyad Mahrez who is at the Africa Cup of Nations. John Stones is nearing a comeback from injury and according to manager Pep Guardiola there a new Covid-19 cases in City’s squad although no specific players were mentioned.

Covid-19 is the reason Andreas Christensen misses the match for Chelsea and he is joined by Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah who are all injured.

Like Mahrez, Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is at AFCON so Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to start in goal after an impressive performance against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Premier League: Man City vs Chelsea

10:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

Chelsea head to Manchester City for Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off, knowing they realistically need a victory to blow the title race back wide open. Pep Guardiola’s side have been relentless in the league of late and opened up a 10-point lead between themselves and the Blues, so there’s very little pressure on City to go all-out for the win.

That said, they could really exert their dominance and make a point over last year’s Champions League final being a one-off if they took the game to Thomas Tuchel’s team and triumphed to further increase their lead at the top.

In midweek it was Chelsea who triumphed, in the Carabao Cup semi-finals against Tottenham, to book themselves a spot at Wembley and await either Liverpool or Arsenal. City, by contrast, have had over a week to recover since their FA Cup third-round win over Swindon. They have won seven in a row in all competitions and 14 of the last 15, a phenomenal run of form which has them looking at yet another league title.

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