Match of the Week: Manchester City 1, Chelsea 0

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Premier League logoTwo of England’s top teams squared off during Saturday’s prime time slot and delivered a scintillating 90 minutes of soccer. Undefeated Manchester City traveled to London to play reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The match began in Manchester City’s favor. Manager Pep Guardiola‘s side retained perfect shape and demeanor. Playing with a relaxed feel, its passes were never rushed or out-of-sync. Sharp movement up top by Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus made it easy for City’s center-backs to slot a ball forward and initiate an attack.

City’s calm play contrasted with Chelsea’s sputtering attack. Each pass appeared rushed while off-the-ball movements never benefited the runner. Eden Hazard and Álvaro Morata struggled to retain possession. When they did have the ball, a lack of support led to turnovers.

Little action happened in the first half offensively. The first interesting moment came at about the half-hour mark when Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois failed to get the ball out of the box in time. Jesus jumped on the chance but the ball deflected slightly over the crossbar.

Chelsea’s issues continued in the 35th minute when lone striker Morata left the field with an apparent hamstring injury. Willian was his replacement.

The first half concluded 0-0 with Manchester City dominating the game. The second half kicked off the same. Chelsea had their few chances on goal while City played a slow and smooth style.

It took 22 minutes into the second half for the game’s first goal to be scored. Starting from the defense, Nicolas Otamendi played a ball to De Bruyne, who quickly turned and played a one-two with Jesus. Upon receiving the ball back, De Bruyne fired a curler with his left foot past Courtouis.

With the lead, Manchester remained composed and confident while Chelsea remained out of sync. City played the rest of the match content with their lead and took home the three points.