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Chelsea vs Manchester City. Premier League.

Stamford BridgeAttendance39,998.

Chelsea 0

    Manchester City 1

    • R Mahrez (63rd minute)

    Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City: Riyad Mahrez's winner cuts Arsenal's Premier League lead to five points

    Free highlights and match report as Riyad Mahrez tucks in Jack Grealish's low cross to make it four wins in a row for Man City against Chelsea; City second in Premier League, just five points behind Arsenal; Chelsea have won just six points from their last eight games and stay 10th

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Chelsea in the Premier League

    Manchester City kicked off their year in ominous fashion, with a 1-0 win at Chelsea cutting their gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points.

    Arsenal's draw at home to Newcastle on Tuesday opened the door for the second-placed defending champions to reduce the deficit and, after a below-par first half, City eventually ramped up the pressure in the second period and broke through when two subs combined, with Riyad Mahrez tucking in Jack Grealish's low cross (63).

    Carney Chukwuemeka had struck a post on 44 minutes for Chelsea but Nathan Ake headed against the frame of the goal for City soon after the restart and the visitors deservedly went on to claim a fourth win in a row against Chelsea since losing the Champions League final to them in 2021.

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    Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez come off the bench and make an immediate impact for the visitors

    There was no goal for top scorer Erling Haaland at Stamford Bridge but that's the 11th time in a row City have won their first Premier League game of the year and this one sets them up for another title charge in 2023.

    As for Chelsea, they will get the opportunity to hit back in the FA Cup third-round tie with City at the Etihad on Sunday, but with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic limping off early on and just six points from their last eight games - their worst run since 2010 - the problems are mounting up for Graham Potter. They stay 10th, 10 points off the top four.

    Player ratings

    Chelsea: Kepa (5), Azpilicueta (6), Koulibaly (7), Silva (7), Cucurella (5), Zakaria (7), Kovacic (6), Ziyech (6), Sterling (N/A), Havertz (6), Pulisic (6).

    Subs: Aubameyang (5), Chukwuemeka (7), Hutchinson (6), Hall (6), Gallagher (6)

    Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (5), Stones (8), Ake (7), Cancelo (5), De Bruyne (7), Rodri (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Gundogan (7), Foden (6), Haaland (6).

    Subs: Akanji (6), Lewis (6), Mahrez (7), Grealish (7), Phillips (N/A)

    Player of the match: John Stones

    How Man City won at Stamford Bridge

    Both teams came into the contest off the back of frustrating draws, with Chelsea held at Nottingham Forest and City sharing the points with Everton at the Etihad last time out. Those results intensified the pressure on this heavyweight clash and the tension was tangible during an edgy first half, which saw Sterling clutch his hamstring and Pulisic pick up a knock when brilliantly denied by player of the match John Stones.

    Team news

    • Mason Mount was not in the squad, with Hakim Ziyech starting in his place, while Mateo Kovacic came in, with Jorginho dropping to the bench
    • Man City made four changes from the team which drew with Everton, with Kyle Walker making his first appearance since the World Cup, and Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden starting for the first time since they returned from Qatar. Ilkay Gundogan also came into the starting XI. That means youngster Rico Lewis plus Manuel Akanji, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish dropped to the bench.

    Pulisic's replacement, 19-year-old Chukwuemeka made an impact, though, launching a counter-attack before breaking into the box himself and seeing Bernardo Silva block his shot, and later striking a post with a deflected drive.

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    Carney Chukwuemeka went agonisingly close for Chelsea as his effort hit a post

    That effort sparked City into action, with De Bruyne testing Kepa Arrizabalaga in stoppage time, but going in at the break City hadn't been as sharp as they might have been. Their first shot of the match hadn't come until the 33rd minute and with with Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden making their first starts since the World Cup, the visitors had been below their best.

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    Nathan Ake hit the post as Manchester City make a strong start to the second half

    That all changed after the break. Walker and Cancelo came off and with Rico Lewis and Manuel Akanji in the side, City suddenly looked a more effective machine, with Haaland shooting wide before Ake rose to head a fine De Bruyne cross against the post.

    The Belgian then had a couple of digs of his own, either side of a rare Chelsea chance that fell the way of Thiago Silva, but it was Grealish who came up with the craft to eventually break the deadlock, guiding a pass through the six-yard box for Mahrez to tap in, although Kepa appeared to hesitate.

    Chelsea's injury list

    • N’Golo Kante (thigh)
    • Reece James (knee)
    • Edouard Mendy (shoulder)
    • Wesley Fofana (knee)
    • Armando Broja (knee)
    • Mason Mount (knock)
    • Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle)
    • Raheem Sterling (hamstring)
    • Christian Pulisic (ankle)

    Chelsea's options at that point looked limited, with little experience on their bench, but debutant Omari Hutchinson, Lewis Hall and Conor Gallagher added youthful energy and while Haaland just failed to turn in a De Bruyne cross the home side finished on the front foot, with Hall blazing over.

    Despite that promise and potential, once again the finishing touch eluded Chelsea's forwards - including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was less than impressed to be subbed off after earlier coming on for Sterling - and Potter has a big task on his hands to lift this side up the league towards where they want to be. More immediately he has to figure out how to end Chelsea's sorry streak against Man City in time for Sunday.

    Potter: We took a step forward today

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    Chelsea boss Graham Potter says he's proud of his players after his injury-hit side narrowly lost to Man City as they sit 10th in the Premier League table

    Chelsea boss Graham Potter: "The situation we're in, we need to focus on the next day or the next game. Keep together, keep the performance level we've shown today, and try to move forward. [The injuries] don't make it any easier. Raheem's was a strange one. Christian, it's a contact with his knee. Mason got a kick yesterday as well. I've never experienced anything like it and wouldn't want to experience it ideally here. But we have to carry on.

    "The expectation is where it is, you want to have all your players available, fully-fit squad and be able to compete. It's frustrating for everybody at the moment.

    "There was a lot right today in terms of the performance. We were playing against a top side, it was competitive, we hit a post, we had courage in attack, we suffered in defence, there was a lot to like. We took a step forward today in terms of our performance."

    Guardiola: A completely different Man City in second half

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    Man City boss Pep Guardiola praised his side's much-improved second-half performance as Riyad Mahrez's winner closed the gap on Arsenal at the top to five points

    Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "It was not good first half, it was sloppy, we didn't create much, our pressing was so poor, we were not well organised and in the second half with Manu and Rico, with the quality to not just play good, to help others play better, Rico has the talent to do this. Since we came back he's playing and he's a key player for us.

    "The impact in the second half of all four players was so important, they changed the game. In the second half, it was a completely different Man City, a different rhythm. Rico changed his dynamic from minute one.

    "There are 63 points still left to play for, we have to continue to improve ourselves. We handle in our mindset that people believe in November we're going to be champions and this is impossible. Arsenal, United don't have this pressure. After four [Premier League wins] in five years it's not easy to push them again, that's why I'm satisfied. We prefer to be closer but the way Arsenal have played they deserve to be there."

    Opta stats - Mahrez and Grealish combine

    • Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish combined for a goal just 3 minutes and 43 seconds after the pair had been substituted on for Manchester City.
    • Jack Grealish has assisted three goals across his last three Premier League appearances for Manchester City, doubling his tally from his first 34 games in the competition for the club.
    • Riyad Mahrez has scored nine goals a substitute for Manchester City in the Premier League, with only Edin Dzeko (13) and Sergio Agüero (12) scoring more goals a substitute for the club in the competition. Mahrez is the Premier League's top scoring substitute since he joined Manchester City in 2018-19.
    • Riyad Mahrez scored his 40th Premier League goal for Manchester City, going clear of his tally in the competition with previous club Leicester City (39).

    What's next?

    These sides meet again on Sunday at the Etihad in the third round of the FA Cup in a 4.30pm kick-off. Chelsea then go to Fulham on Thursday January 12 at 8pm in their next Premier League encounter, while Man City have a Carabao Cup tie at Southampton on Wednesday 11 January at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.

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