Chelsea vs. Man City result, highlights and analysis as Riyad Mahrez goal closes gap to Gunners

Manchester City moved to within five points of Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, both off the bench in the second half, combined to give Pep Guardiola’s men the breakthrough after a poor opening 45 minutes from the champions.

Chelsea battled well but their goal threat was greatly diminished as they lost Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic to injury, and a late opening for substitute Lewis Hall was as close as they came to an equaliser.

Chelsea vs. Man City final score

  1H 2H FT
Chelsea 0 0 0
Man City 0 1 1

Goals: MCI — Mahrez — 63 mins

MORE: How the Premier League table looks after Man City beat Chelsea

With Arsenal having drawn with Newcastle United on Tuesday, the onus was on City to take advantage of the table-toppers’ slip, and they were firm favourites against Graham Potter’s side, who had won just one of six matches in all competitions prior to this meeting.

Sterling seemed to hurt his hamstring in the opening minutes against his old club, and Pulisic was also forced off after failing to recover from a robust John Stones challenge that denied the USA star a clear chance for the opening goal.

John Stones of Manchester City tackles Christian Pulisic of Chelsea

Yet Chelsea looked the more threatening side in the first half and teenager Carney Chukwuemeka almost put them in front, his shot from the edge of the area rattling the base of the left-hand post.

Guardiola changed personnel and system at halftime and the alterations made an immediate difference as City began to take control, with one of the substitutes, Nathan Ake, heading a deep Kevin De Bruyne cross against the outside of the post.

Thiago Silva missed a good chance for the home side following a corner before substitute Mahrez got the goal City’s improved performance deserved. Starting the move from the right, the Algeria winger laid the ball infield and raced into the box; when Grealish sent in a low first-time cross from De Bruyne’s pass, Mahrez had the simple task of putting the ball in the net.

Chelsea put up a spirited late show with some youngsters impressing off the bench, although Hall should have done better when he fired over from a promising position late on.

Man City show value of squad strength in title battle

As Arsenal were thwarted by Newcastle, the best defensive side in the league this season, the only substitute Mikel Arteta turned to was left-back Takehiro Tomiyasu. When Guardiola needed a City solution, he had a bench full of them.

After changing system to a more familiar set-up by bringing on Rico Lewis and Manuel Akanji in defence, Guardiola turned to Grealish and Mahrez, a £160 million double act introduced against two tiring fullbacks. It came as little surprise that they combined for the winner, with Cesar Azpilicueta caught out of position for the cross and Marc Cucurella unable to keep up with Mahrez’s run.

That is the value of significant squad strength. It was a reminder of why Arteta is seeking January additions, and why City, even when five points behind, should be considered title favourites with 21 games to go.

Graham Potter running out of options

This was far from a poor Chelsea performance. They were the better side in the first half, even after the losses of Sterling and Pulisic, and the youngsters who came on — Lewis Hall, Carney Chukwuemeka and Omari Hutchinson — brought plenty of energy and some bright attacking play. There’s a good chance they will all feature when these teams reconvene at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

Yet therein lies one of Potter’s problems. Injuries have decimated his first-choice side and he is now scrambling to get Chelsea back into the top-four chase, and keep up trophy challenges elsewhere, with a patchwork team of veteran stars and young pretenders.

That would not in itself be such a significant concern if Chelsea played regularly as though they had a clear plan. Under Potter, they haven’t. They are sound enough defensively, but they have now scored just three times in their past seven matches in all competitions, with two of those goals coming in their only win in that time (against Bournemouth).

Things are not going well at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea vs. Man City full commentary, highlights

90+4 mins: Riyad Mahrez wins a free-kick off Kalidou Koulibaly in the City half. They send the ball long… and the referee brings the game to an end!

90+1 mins: Into four minutes of added time and Carney Chukwuemeka leads a promising break. He slides it to Lewis Hall, who drives into the box… and blazes the ball over the bar. That was the wrong option.

Watch Hall’s chance (UK):

89th min: Denis Zakaria’s brilliant footwork opens up some space, and he releases Lewis Hall down the Chelsea left. Jack Grealish hooks his cross clear and, after another delivery is defended, the City midfielder wins a free-kick off Mateo Kovacic to ease the pressure on his side.

86th min: Man City make a late change to slow up the game a little. Rodri is going off for Kalvin Phillips, who looks in pretty good shape to me.

79th min: It’s fair to say Conor Gallagher has brought some energy to this. Already on a yellow card, he’s just barged John Stones to the ground and then just about held back from jumping into another challenge on the defender as he led what was basically a one-man press.

73rd min: So close for Erling Haaland! Kevin De Bruyne pops up in the right channel this time and fires the ball across goal. Kepa, again, watches it fizz across the turf as Haaland stretches every sinew but can’t quite reach it.

68th min: It really looked like Kepa could have done more to cut out Jack Grealish’s cross, and Marc Cucurella has looked uncomfortable defending since halftime, but that was a well-worked goal from City. Chelsea, now chasing a goal, have taken off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and brought on Conor Gallagher as one of three changes.

63rd min: RIYAD MAHREZ SCORES! Man City’s substitutes combine to break the deadlock. Mahrez moves infield off the right and finds Kevin De Bruyne via Rodri. Suddenly, City have an overload in the Chelsea box: De Bruyne picks out Jack Grealish, and his low cross from the left is tapped in at the far post by Mahrez. City lead!

Watch Riyad Mahrez score the first goal (UK):

(USA):

(Australia):

61st min: Hakim Ziyech sends a long clearance for Kai Havertz to chase, and Ederson charges some 40 yards off his line. The goalkeeper collides with Ziyech and the covering Manuel Akanji, and the ball runs safe for City. That was one of those situations where you assume Ederson was just getting bored and fancied an adventure.

59th min: Kevin De Bruyne fires wide! Bernardo Silva dances past Marc Cucurella and tees up De Bruyne in the Chelsea box. He goes for the near post, but it’s wide. He should have done better with that. Pep Guardiola has now made further changes: Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez are on for Phil Foden and Bernardo.

55th min: Chance for Thiago Silva! The ball drops kindly for the Chelsea defender, who was in the Man City box for a corner, but his first-time shot under pressure flies wide of Ederson’s right-hand post.

50th min: Nathan Ake hits the woodwork! Kevin De Bruyne hangs in a deep cross from the left, Ake gets his head to it in front of Rodri, but the ball comes back off the outside of the post and Chelsea clear. De Bruyne then brings a low save out of Kepa from the edge of the box after Chelsea again give the ball away. This is much, much better from City.

Watch Ake hit the post for Man City (UK):

48th min: Erling Haaland pounces, winning the ball from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pass right on the edge of the Chelsea box, but he drags his shot wide. City are looking much more threatening in this half.

46th min: There’s a double halftime change for Man City: Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are off, with Rico Lewis and Manuel Akanji coming on. It looks like Rodri is moving back into midfield, so there could be more of a familiar shape about City now. Let’s find out…

HT: The first half ends with a rueful grin from Carney Chukwuemeka, who came closest to opening the scoring. Erling Haaland had Man City’s best chance, but they have been short of their best.

44th min: Carney Chukwuemeka hits the post! It’s more good link-up play from Kai Havertz, who plays the ball to the youngster in space in City’s half. Chukwuemeka advances and tries to place a shot beyond Ederson’s reach, and it clatters off the base of the left-hand post. City counter through Kevin De Bruyne, but his shot is comfortably saved.

Watch Chukwuemeka hit the post for Chelsea (UK):

41st min: Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech combine well down the right, but the latter’s cross is just behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Kevin De Bruyne then gives the ball away in City’s half — he’s had a really poor game so far —  but the eventual cross from the right drops into Ederson’s arms. At the other end, Phil Foden chases down a long ball, and I’d honestly forgotten the England man was playing until then. It’s not exactly been vintage stuff from the champions.

38th min: Chance for Erling Haaland! Man City’s forward has barely had a kick until now, but he explodes into life there, collecting Ilkay Gundogan’s throughball and prodding a quick-fire shot over the bar. You expected the net to ripple, really.

33rd min: A bit of Man City pressure ends in Ilkay Gundogan collecting a loose ball on the edge of the Chelsea box and curling a shot well wide of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal. That was City’s first attempt of the match.

24th min: It never rains, but it pours. Christian Pulisic is unable to continue and goes off, with Carney Chukwuemeka on in his stead for just his fifth league appearance for the club. His first act is to get on the end of a Kai Havertz cut-back, but his effort is blocked. Chelsea look the more threatening, despite losing two of their starting forwards.

16th min: Fabulous tackle from John Stones! Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo got in a mix-up and Marc Cucurella advanced with the ball. He found Kai Havertz, who slid the ball into the box to tee up Christian Pulisic for a shot, but Stones made a brilliant sliding challenge to intervene. Unfortunately for the Blues, Pulisic seems to be hurt as a result.

Watch Stones’ tackle on Pulisic (USA):

11th min: Raheem Sterling has had to go off — that’s another big injury blow to Graham Potter and Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come into the action. I use the term “action” loosely, though, as it’s fair to describe this one as cagey so far.

3rd min: Bit of a worry early on for Chelsea as Raheem Sterling goes down, apparently with a hamstring problem. He’s going to battle on, though.

1st min: After a minute’s applause around Stamford Bridge for the great Pele, Chelsea get us underway!

10 mins before KO: It’s looking a bit forlorn for Chelsea — those injuries, the fact they’ve only won one in six games in all competitions — but consider this: this could be their ninth win over a team managed by Pep Guardiola. That would set a new unwanted record for the City boss.

Pep Guardiola

30 mins before KO: The loss of Mason Mount is a big one for Chelsea. He’s not missed a league game for Graham Potter all season, and his absence leaves the home side looking light in midfield. It remains to be seen whether they line up in a 4-2-3-1, with Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic as holding players, or if they use a back three and deploy one of Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech as a wing-back.

1 hr before KO: The team news is in! 

There’s a big blow for Chelsea who are without Mason Mount, the midfielder having suffered an injury in training. Denis Zakaria starts in midfield and Raheem Sterling is in the lineup against his old club, while Christian Pulisic is also in the side — it looks like Potter might be going for a 4-2-3-1.

Kyle WalkerJoao Cancelo and Phil Foden all get their first starts for City since the World Cup, but there is still no Aymeric Laporte. Erling Haaland, of course, leads the line.

1hr 15 mins before KO: Chelsea come into this game in 10th place in the table, 11 points behind Man City in second and 10 outside the top four. Former striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes his old side are “very far” from challenging the likes of the champions, but he insists they must go into this game looking to win. “You have to take this game as one and try to win the game, because you’re at the Bridge,” he said on Sky Sports in the UK. “At Chelsea, you win games here at the Bridge. As hard as it will be, that’s the mentality you need to have.”

1 hr 30 mins before KO: This is, of course, one of two meetings between Chelsea and Man City this week — they do it all again at the weekend in the FA Cup. Neither game is exactly easy to call, especially with City sometimes flattering to deceive this season and Chelsea struggling to really find their way under Potter.

With that in mind, take a look at our betting preview for the best tips ahead of tonight.

2 hrs before KO: Manchester City can close the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points with a win tonight. Standing in their way are Chelsea, desperate to find some consistency under head coach Graham Potter.

Chelsea vs. Man City lineups

There’s a big blow for Chelsea who are without Mason Mount, the midfielder having suffered an injury in training. Denis Zakaria starts in midfield and Raheem Sterling is in the lineup against his old club, while Christian Pulisic is also in the side — it looks like Potter might be going for a 4-2-3-1.

Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Kepa (GK) — Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Silva, Cucurella — Zakaria, Kovacic — Ziyech, Sterling, Pulisic — Havertz

Chelsea subs: Bettinelli, Chalobah, Humphreys, Hall, Chukwuemeka, Gallagher, Jorginho, Hutchinson, Aubameyang

Kyle WalkerJoao Cancelo and Phil Foden all get their first starts for City since the World Cup, but there is still no Aymeric Laporte. Erling Haaland, of course, leads the line.

Interestingly, Pep Guardiola had Rodri start in the back four, a role he played for Spain at the World Cup, with Cancelo in midfield.

Man City XI (4-3-3): Ederson (GK) — Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo — De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan — Silva, Haaland, Foden

Man City subs: Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Grealish, Alvarez, Gomez, Akanji, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

What time is Chelsea vs. Man City kick off?

This Premier League clash will kick off at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, January 5 at 8:00 p.m. local time.

Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:

  Kickoff time
USA 15:00 ET
Canada 15:00 ET
UK 20:00 GMT
Australia 07:00 AEDT*
India 01:30 IST*
Hong Kong 04:00 HKT*
Malaysia 04:00 MYT*
Singapore 04:00 SGT*
New Zealand 09:00 NZDT*

*Game starts on January 6 in these time zones

Chelsea vs. Man City live stream, TV channel

Here’s how to watch all of the action from this match in some of the major territories:

  TV channel Streaming
USA  Peacock
Canada fuboTV
UK Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League Sky Sports
Australia Optus Sport 1 Optus Sport
New Zealand Sky Sport Premier League Sky Sports
India Star Sports Select 1 Hotstar VIP, JioTV
Hong Kong Now E
Malaysia Astro SuperSport 3 Astro Go, sooka
Singapore 221 Hub Premier 1, 222 Hub Premier 2 StarHub TV+

UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with Sky showing this heavyweight clash.

USA: The match will be streamed on NBC’s Peacock platform.

Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streaming exclusively via fuboTV in Canada.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport. 

India: Star Sports network has the rights to show Premier League matches in India. As well as an English broadcast on Star Sports Select, select matches will be available via regional feeds on Star Sports 3 (in Bengali, English, Kannada, Malayalam), Star Sports 1 (Bangla) and Star Sports 1 (Tamil).

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Chelsea vs. Man City betting odds, prediction

City won each of the past two encounters at Stamford Bridge, swaggering to a 3-1 triumph in January 2021 to hasten Frank Lampard’s demise before a deserved 1-0 victory in September that year to serve as a measure of revenge for Chelsea’s win by the same scoreline in the 2021 Champions League final.

The west Londoners will hope to pick at any remaining scars from that Porto reverse, especially with City not being at the top of their game. Potter was keen to point out that City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega was named player of the match when his side were beaten 2-0 in the Carabao Cup last month — a third consecutive victory and clean sheet in the fixture for Guardiola.

Prediction: City to win 2-0

  USA
(BetMGM)
UK 
(SkyBet
)
Australia
(Neds)
Canada
(Sports Interaction)
Chelsea win +440 9/2 5.50 4.90
Draw +290 3/1 3.90 3.95
Man City win -165 3/5 1.60 1.61
Over/Under 2.5 goals -130 /+100 8/11 – 1/1 1.73 – 2.10 1.73 – 1.89
Both teams to score Y/N -125/-105 8/11 – 1/1 1.73 – 2.00 1.68 – 1.94

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *