Champions League English Premier League Football

City’s win over Chelsea was Huge

Overnight Manchester City scored a 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad to push their gap on top of the Premier League ladder to 13 points. The 6-point game all but ending Chelsea’s and indeed London’s chase for the title. The only real title challenger as it stand is Liverpool who are just 14 points behind City but have 2 games in hand as a result of all the Covid issues through the league over the Christmas and New Year period.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with teammate Raheem Sterling of Manchester City after scoring against Chelsea (Image: Man City)

At the start of the season, I talked on the Chat from the Back podcast about how I really felt there were 4 teams who had a realistic chance of winning the league this year. Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Now early days under manager Ole, United ruled themselves out and now even look like they’ll be in a tough battle for Champions League football. So that left Chelsea and Liverpool as the 2 main challenges for City’s thrown. Chelsea came out of the blocks fast, putting up a 4-point gap early after both City and Liverpool both dropped points early. But over the past 12 games and throughout the confusing Covid period, City have won 12 games in a row since the loss at home to Palace in October and have firmly made it clear that they won’t easily be beaten.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

You could tell how big a game this one was. The atmosphere pregame was intense, the pregame show was very thorough and continued to talk about this being Chelsea’s last real chance to have any say in the title chase. A loss was surely going to make it incredibly hard for Chelsea to claw back the massive points gap without a dramatic drop in form from the Champions. Their fans mocking City fans and players with blow up Champions League trophies, mocking City after their loss to Chelsea in last year’s Champions League final.

Their task was obviously made harder with the absence of first choice Keeper Edouard Mendy, he’s away on International duty for the African Cup of Nations for Senegal, however he hasn’t made an appearance yet in the tournament. But City weren’t without there notable absences with Riyad Mahrez away with Algeria, however losing you first choice #1 and having to rely on 70 million pound bust Kepa is definitely an absence they’ll feel.

Photo Courtesy of MB Media /Getty Images

But for City it’s a huge result on there quest for their first back-to-back league titles for the 2nd time in the past 5 seasons, only rudely being broken by Liverpool’s win in the 2019-20 season. With Liverpool missing 2 key players in Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, there no guarantee they go through this phase without dropping points, Although there next 2 fixtures are fairly Favourable taking on Brentford at Anfield followed by Crystal Palace at Selhurst park.

Obviously, City will want to keep their dominance in the league going, but with the heartbreak of loosing to Chelsea in the Champions League Final last year, I can’t help but think Pep Guardiola may play slightly weaker sides(if that’s possible) in league games against “weaker” opponents to have his stars fresher for the important Champions League ties.

Photo Credit: AP

Whatever the future holds for the Premier League, its very clear that City’s dominance looks set to continue. The squad is set up for future success, and while domination in the League is important, as a City fan I can’t help but long for that all important first Champions League trophy to properly signify their dominance over the last 4 seasons.

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