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Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of Chelsea’s match against a Covid-hit Manchester City side.

Frank Lampard’s pre-match press conference revolved around the coronavirus situation at City and in the Premier League in general. You can read the key points in our preview here.

Five changes from the Aston Villa game as Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kurt Zouma, Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic come into the side. It’s worth noting that both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham are on the bench and Werner plays down the middle.

Zack Steffen makes his Premier League debut in a forced change due to Emerson having to self-isolate. A rare start for Oleksandr Zinchenko as well.

Kick-off: A minute’s silence for former Chelsea player and manager Tommy Docherty, who died last week, before the start of play here at Stamford Bridge.

4’: Steffen gives away an indirect free kick as he picks up Rodri’s pass on the edge of his area. Early danger of their own doing here for City.

5’: Mason Mount orchestrated that free kick routine as Ziyech and Ben Chilwell gathered around. It was the Morroccan to strike but it is deflected for a corner.

12’: Early penalty shout here as Werner is clipped by Rodri. VAR sees nothing wrong with Anthony Taylor’s decision to wave play on.

15’: It’s been all Chelsea so far but Kevin De Bruyne fires a warning shot just wide of the far post after a defence-splitting pass from Joao Cancelo.

GOAL (Gundogan) 18’: Ilkay Gundogan turns on the edge of the box, firing into Eduoard Mendy’s net. Against the run of play.

GOAL (Foden) 21’: One becomes two as Phil Foden loses the ball to Zouma, it rebounds into the path of De Bruyne who slides it back to Foden, who carried on his run, and sweeps it past Mendy at his front post.

23’: Christian Pulisic was bright on the ball on Monday but lacked the finishing touch. He runs at the Manchester City defence but is muscled off by two players before Kovacic brings down Gundogan as the away side try to break.

26’: Foden has just muscled Zouma off the ball and won a foul off the defender in the process. Yes, you read that right.

29’: That is Chelsea’s first spell of possession since the quick-fire two goals. Pulisic plays a neat one-two but the angle is too tight for a shot. They work it around the edge of the box before clipping a ball over the top towards Werner. A pass more synonymous with when Giroud or Abraham fill that number nine role.

GOAL (De Bruyne) 33’: Kovacic is fouled by the high foot of Rodri. The free kick from Ziyech is headed clear. Raheem Sterling races clear. He can’t beat Mendy but hits the post before De Bruyne drills it low into the bottom left corner.

38’: Pulisic drives again, he draws the City defence in but Chilwell doesn’t read the through ball and the Blues give away possession again. A roar of frustration from Pulisic. You can’t fault his effort so far.

43’: There’s a frustration to Chelsea’s play. They know how to move the ball but give possession away so cheaply. Zouma this time goes long to Pulisic whose touch lets him down and gives City a throw-in.

46’: Pulisic skips past Sterling and evades the challenge of Bernardo Silva before a loose touch gives Cancelo the chance to win the ball. A late challenge on the City defender warrants a yellow card but the American gets the foul for the Silva challenge before.

Half-time: Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City. (Gundogan 18’, Foden 21’, De Bruyne 34’)

The home side have been outplayed and outclassed. One goalkeeper is making his Premier League debut while the other, who has kept six clean sheets in 12 Premier League games, has conceded three in the four shots he’s faced. Yet Steffen is the one who has only faced one shot.

Kick-off: The players are back out and surprisingly no substitutions for Chelsea despite a below-par display in that first half and all nine subs warming up during the interval.

50’: This is demoralizing. City are so comfortable letting Chelsea have the ball. This is a predator waiting to strike on its prey.

52’: Yellow card for N’Golo Kante who needed two bites at Sterling to bring him down. He misses Chelsea’s next game through a fifth yellow card of the season.

53’: The resultant free kick sees Rodri draw a save from Mendy who could only tip the header behind.

54’: Ziyech is wasted with the current players around him. It’s an exciting front three in terms of pace and quality. For a crosser of the ball like Ziyech, a target man like Giroud must be gritting his teeth watching the City defenders reclaim possession in the air with ease.

58’: Talking of Ziyech, he shuffles his way through a couple of defenders before laying the ball off for Kovacic to curl a shot just wide of the far post.

SUBSTITUTION 64’: Two changes for Chelsea as Ziyech and Kante make way for Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour.

65’: It doesn’t matter how many substitutes you make, Sterling has been rampant down the right hand side but his ball inside to De Bruyne doesn’t end in the net.

68’: Hudson-Odoi’s first impact sees him drive into the box but has to turn back. Kovacic has another try but his shot his blocked.

71: Yellow card for Kovacic who was supposed to make way for Gilmour before Kante was withdrawn instead.

SUBSTITUTION 75’: Gundogan comes off and is replaced by Fernandinho.

76’: The first sign on Werner’s pace and there’s 14 minutes left. His surging run ends in a goal kick for City.

SUBSTITUTION 78’: Kai Havertz enters the fray and Kovacic won’t play any further part.

82’: Silva lunges in on Sterling as he embarks on a darting run and brings him down. De Bruyne’s shot is deflected for a corner.

85’: Another Chelsea game against City where Chelsea fans will think what might have been. Sterling is in about third gear as he carries the ball down the left, running down the clock as Chelsea players refuse to dive in. Gilmour eventually does and puts it out for a throw-in.

88’: The last couple of minutes show one difference between the sides. De Bruyne and Sterling have taken the game to Chelsea and delivered. The home side have passed the ball around but no one has taken it by the horns and made something happen in the final third.

90+1’: If a tweet could sum up Werner’s recent form this is it.

GOAL (Hudson-Odoi) 90+2’: Two academy graduates combine to give the Blues a consolation goal. Mount drove down the left wing and cross the ball low across the six yard box and Hudson-Odoi was there to deny Steffen a clean sheet on debut.

Full-time: Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City. (Hudson-Odoi 90+2, Gundogan 18’, Foden 21’, De Bruyne 34’)

Chelsea drop to eighth and Manchester City climb up to fifth. If they win their game in hand they will go above Leicester into third. Next up for Chelsea is a West London derby with Fulham.

Be sure to join us for coverage of the Fulham game as the Blues hope a derby can do for them what Arsenal’s win over Chelsea has done for the Gunners.

Read George Overhill’s report of Chelsea’s defeat here.

For more football content click hereand for more sport click here.

Sub-edited by George Overhill

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July 2024