A Gabriel Jesus strike was the difference in the battle between the champions of England and the Champions of Europe as Manchester City won 1-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The win was an important one for Pep Guardiola following the draw the week prior against Southampton and his words criticizing the lack of support from the City faithful.
The game also served as a bit of a revenge after Chelsea beat City in the Champions League last season by the same scoreline.
Manchester City are squarely back in the title race
A loss would have been a significant blow for Manchester City’s title hopes but now find themselves tied for the lead with Liverpool.
The scoreline flattered Chelsea with the visitors squandering a couple of opportunities to increase their lead. After scoring City’s first, Jesus had a chance to double the lead but saw his shot saved on the goal line.
Chelsea became more open after the goal as they desperately searched for an equalizer. Despite creating some moments of trouble, Thomas Tuchel’s team finished with only five shots, none on target. The German manager lamented his side’s lack of belief after City scored.
“I did not feel the belief, 100% that we believed in it,” Tuchel said. ”
“It was doubtful and we were protecting something, it felt like we had something to lose. There was a lot more to win than to lose. [It] can happen.
“We lacked energy. Jorginho had some problems, Thiago cannot start. Maybe it is on me, I didn’t make the best choices today.”
Source: Sports Illustrated
City looked their old selves, ending the game with 60% possession as well as taking 15 shots, four on target.
While they were fortunate with Jesus’ shot taking a deflection before reaching the back of the net, they were the better team on the day.
“We prepared the game to play well like we always try to do,” Jesus said.
“We came to play against one of the best teams, they’re European champions, they have a lot of amazing players, so we knew it would be difficult coming here at their home. We played very well and won the game.
“I play like a striker. I can never turn properly with the way they play but I turned good and I took the shot.
“It was a little lucky but I’m very happy to score the goal and most important is that we won the game and everyone played so good!”
Source: Man City
Not only did the win put City back in the race for the Premier League title, it also set a new club record with Guardiola reaching 221 wins — the most ever for a Man City manager.
Man City’s next match is midweek in the Champions League where they will take on one of the favorites to win the competition in Paris Saint-Germain.