Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne stunner seals away win
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 01/10/17 5:54pm
A stunning strike from Kevin De Bruyne sealed a 1-0 victory for Manchester City over champions Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola's side dominated possession throughout the game at Stamford Bridge but it took a powerful effort from De Bruyne in the 67th minute to see the visitors take all three points.
Chelsea offered little in terms of a reply, with in-form striker Alvaro Morata substituted with an injury during the first half, and remain in fourth with 12 points.
Man City head back to the top of the Premier League table on goal difference after the win, just ahead of local rivals Manchester United, with both sides level on 19 points.
Chelsea could have taken an early lead when N'Golo Kante's right-wing delivery was just glanced over the crossbar by the rising Morata with less than three minutes on the clock.
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Cahill (6), Christensen (7), Rudiger (7), Azpilizueta (7), Alonso (6), Fabregas (6), Kante (6), Bakayoko (7), Hazard (6), Morata (n/a).
Subs used: Willian (6), Pedro (6), Batshuayi (5).
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Stones (7), Otamendi (7), Delph (7), Fernandinho (7), Sterling (8), De Bruyne (9), Sane (7), David Silva (8), Jesus (7).
Subs used: Silva (4), Gundogan (n/a), Danilo (n/a).
Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne.
Both sides could have scored just before the half an hour mark. Cesar Azpilicueta's low drive was collected well by Ederson before Man City went on the break. Raheem Sterling whipped an inviting cross into the box from the right flank, but David Silva could not poke it home at the back post.
Chelsea were forced into a substitution in the 35th minute as Morata appeared to be suffering from a tight hamstring, and was replaced by Willian. But it was City who could have snatched a late first-half goal as De Bruyne delivered a corner, which was powered towards goal by Fernandinho but his header was superbly pushed away by Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea made three changes from last weekend, with Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas coming in for Willian, Pedro and Victor Moses. Man City replaced Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Aguero with Fabian Delph and Gabriel Jesus in two changes.
After the break, Chelsea could have broken the deadlock with an hour on the clock as Cesc Fabregas picked out Eden Hazard on the left with a short free-kick. The Belgian then strode towards goal but his cross-cum-shot was well saved by Ederson at the near post.
Five minutes later and Man City went ahead in some style as De Bruyne thundered home. He started the move himself, playing a fast-paced give-and-go with Jesus before powering home a volley from the top of the box, leaving national team-mate Courtois with no chance of keeping it out.
Jesus could have doubled City's lead with five minutes of the game to play, but was thwarted by some superb defending from Antonio Rudiger. Sterling's chipped pass picked out the striker on the left of the box, but his effort - which had flown past Courtois - was headed away from the goalmouth by the Chelsea defender to deny the visitors a larger winning scoreline.
- Chelsea have dropped eight points in four Premier League home games so far in 2017-18; two more than in the whole of 2016-17 (6).
- Manchester City have kept four consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since September 2015 (six games in that run).
- Chelsea have failed to score in consecutive home league games for the first time since November 2012.
- Pep Guardiola enjoyed his first-ever victory against Chelsea in eight games in all competitions (not including shoot-out wins), after previously losing three and drawing four.
Antonio Conte: "For sure, there is disappointment for the result but I think at the same time I am pleased with the commitment of my players. Today we gave everything and after the game you can win or you can lose but the most important thing is to see your players give everything. Today that happened. We have to accept the result because today we gave everything.
"Damage or no damage we have to go game by game and to do our best. Then we will see at the end of season what happens and where we finish in the league."
Pep Guardiola: "We're in September. Of course it's so important, because winning at Stamford Bridge means they are not able to win three points. In terms of points it is so important," he said.
"Of course you have to adapt to your opponents but we showed in the first minute that we were coming here to win the game. That is what I want to give to the club and that is what we did in this game.
Man of the Match - Kevin De Bruyne
It wasn't just his superb strike that gives De Bruyne the man of the match accolade. He was constantly working for Man City whether it was powering through the midfield, nicking back possession or setting up his team-mates.
He delivered some set-pieces of the highest quality too and could easily have added more goals and assists to his name at Stamford Bridge. Pep Guardiola and City will be hoping his late substitution was nothing too serious as they look to maintain their charge at the top of the table.
Following the international break, Chelsea will make the short trip to struggling Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday 14 October. City will also be in action on the same day when they welcome Stoke City to the Etihad.