A Bernardo Silva inspired Manchester City had to dig deep as they recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to edge closer to the Premier League title.
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0
Blues defend in numbers
Sane denied by Azpilicueta on the line
Bernardo Silva opens scoring early in second half
Alonso misses late chance to equalise
The Blues failed to register a single shot on target in the entire 90 minutes as they defended in numbers to frustrate Pep Guardiola’s side.
After keeping City at bay in the opening 45 minutes, they conceded at the start of the second half when Bernardo Silva slotted home at the back post to secure a hard-fought three points.
The first half was played almost entirely in the Chelsea half as City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, but found it difficult to penetrate the visiting defence.
The first clear chance arrived on 20 minutes when Sergio Aguero fed Bernardo Silva on the right after being crowded out inside the box, but the Portuguese winger’s curler from 17 yards out went just over the crossbar.
Leroy Sane went close seven minutes later with a right-footed shot from an angle on the left that beat Thibaut Courtois, but Cesar Azpilicueta was well placed to clear off the line.
Bernardo Silva was presented with another good opportunity on 32 minutes having been picked out in space on the right by Sane. He failed to even test Courtois, though, after skewing an effort well wide of the left post from 16 yards out.
The Citizens took just 35 seconds to breach the opposition defence in the second half. Christensen’s poor clearance went straight to Aguero, who played in David Silva on the overlap and his cross was turned in at the back post by his namesake.
Antonio Conte’s men looked to respond, but a promising move was wasted on 54 minutes as Victor Moses lashed a shot wide of the near post after being played in by Cesc Fabregas on the right.
But Courtois was soon called into action to prevent David Silva from beating him at the near post with an angled shot on the left.
City’s dominance continued as the second half wore on, but they created very little in the final third, with Kevin De Bruyne shooting high and wide from 20 yards out in the 66th minute, before Sane also fired wayward from outside the box after being fed by the Belgian in stoppage time.
The Blues had a rare chance moments later, but Marcos Alonso scuffed a volley wide of the left post after latching onto Ben Foden’s miscued clearance inside the box.