Chelsea Stall Title Celebrations at the Etihad

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The much anticipated preview of the Champions League final came on Saturday when Manchester City hosted Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. The Blues from Stamford Bridge managed to come away with a 2-1 victory against the champions elect in a tightly contested match.

Tactical Masterclass

This game was always going to be a blockbuster event. The last time these two sides met, it was Tuchel’s side that came out the victors. Just like the fixture on that day, this game was also full of drama and tactical mastery. Tuchel lined up in his usual formation as he has in every game Chelsea have played under the German manager. Pep Guardiola however, decided to change his side to what seemed like a 5-1-4 formation. The one in midfield very particular odd and confused pundits when the team sheet was first put out. This seemed to wok in the first half of the game though, as City took a 1-0 lead into halftime. It could possibly have been 2-0 barring a failed panenka attempt by Sergio Aguero.

Tuchel’s tactical alterations at the half saw a change in fortunes for his Chelsea side. The Blues looked a lot more threatening as they continually got in behind the City defence. A goal from Hakim Ziyech around the hour mark, gave hope to the London side. Eventually, Tuchel’s tactics paid off with Marcos Alonso slotting home the winner in the 92nd minute.

Missed Opportunities

City striker Sergio Aguero will likely be kicking himself after that game. Guardiola’s side were awarded a penalty in in the closing minutes of the first half. The penalty was awarded for a foul on Gabriel Jesus by Billy Gilmour. The veteran City striker stepped up to take the penalty. However, Aguero decided to go for a Panenka which did not go to plan at all. Edouard Mendy easily saved the penalty, leaving the City striker rather embarrassed. The striker has since apologised on social media for the penalty.

Chelsea also had a number of chances that were not taken. German striker Timo Werner was consistently being caught offside. This has been a more frequent problem of late. The Blues’ inability to convert chances has been criticised lately with many believing that would be the reason for their loss today. However the London side managed to silence its critics by putting in a stellar display against an exquisite City side.

Chelsea on a roll

Ever since Thomas Tuchel arrived in London he’s had the Blues clicking. The team seems to be getting better and better every game. Tuchel has even beaten some of the best managers in Europe during his short time as Chelsea boss. This list includes names such as, Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Jurgen Klopp, etc. Chelsea fans can be very happy with the way their team is performing. This win comes without Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell or Kai Havertz in the team as well. Tuchel’s omission of such key players shows the quality within his squad. The win against Manchester City solidified Chelsea’s top four hopes and the Blues can hope to continue their good form.

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