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Chelsea shut down Manchester City for big road win

DavidLuizChelsea1-ManCity2014 (Getty)


Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea became the first Premier League team to knock off Manchester City at the Etihad this season, as a Branislov Ivanovic goal in the 32nd minute pushed the Blues back into the title picture.

Heading into Monday’s contest, reigning Champions League winners Bayern Munich had been the only team to best City at home. However, Mourinho’s Blues were able to frustrate the typically explosive City attack throughout the match, despite never “parking the bus”.

Mourinho added yet another chapter to his legacy as a master tactician, as many expected him to result to the “19th century tactics” employed against his side last week against West Ham. However, The Special One flipped the switch, and relied on a potent counter attack and the defensive presence of David Luiz and Nemanja Matic to control the game.

City, who were missing midfield engine Fernandinho, were able to find 25 shots on the afternoon. However, the former league leaders were missing the surgical precision that saw them enter the day on a nine-match win streak, as they were only able to force Chelsea’s Petr Cech into three saves.

Chelsea, on the other hand, proved to be the bigger offensive threat on the afternoon. The Blues hit the post on three occasions, the most impressive of which came on a  Matic strike from outside the box.

Matic, who recently rejoined Chelsea from Benfica after a three-year spell in Portugal, was particularly impressive on the afternoon. The Serbian was able to frustrate Yaya Toure and the City midfield in what was most certainly an outstanding debut.

With the result, Arsenal find themselves atop the Premier League once again with City and Chelsea both lurking only two points behind. City will look to rebound away at Norwich City, while Chelsea will look to build on the victory as they host Newcastle.

What did you think of Chelsea’s victory? Are City still the favorites? Think Chelsea can make a run at the title?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “Mourinho’s Blues were able to frustrate the typically explosive City attack throughout the match, despite never “parking the bus”

    “Mourinho added yet another chapter to his legacy as a master tactician”

    TomG, why do i get the feeling the author is troIIing us?

      • There are a thousand articles on how great and another thousand about how overrated he is as a tactician. That makes it debatable…. because it’s often debated. It’s pretty much the textbook definition of debatable.

      • Personally, I feel his tactics are pretty antiquated. He’s basically Bob Bradley with better players. Against good sides, he sits back, has his team maintain their shape, and looks to counter. He prepares his team well defensively and hopes Eto’s speed on the counter or Hazard’s brilliance will steal a goal. HIs offensive tactics are Victorian.

      • If his offensive tactics are Victorian then why do his teams consistently rank either 1st or 2nd in goals scored in their perspective leagues. I know he has great talent but his teams score a bunch and concede rarely. Seems like good tactics to me.

      • Mourinho completely outclassed Pelligrini with tactics this game.

        Mou put out a defensive lineup (Luiz and Matic in MF), which City was probably expecting, but they played an agressive, open first half which completely disjointed City. City was expecting Chelsea to park it, especially with that lineup, and they didn’t. Chelsea played an open game, got the first goal, and then tactically shut down the MF. City’s use of two similar strikers also didn’t help.

        Has City looked that bad all year at home? Nope, not even close. In most matches they blew the competition off the field. Chelsea doesn’t have superior talent to City – it’s tactics that make the difference.

      • if city was expecting chelsea to “park it”, that’s their own damn fault for not watching chelsea games this year. as discussed in the running commentary thread, mourinho has consistently played aggressive counterattacking soccer against top teams (except barca, who doesn’t count). that’s what he does. that’s where his teams excel.

        city was missing aguero, and more importantly (in my opinion), fernandinho. and pellegrini didn’t adjust well.

        i don’t think mourinho’s a horrible, or even average, tactician. i just don’t think he’s a “great tactician”. he usually sticks to one plan and is ruthless and effective in carrying it out.

      • “mourinho has consistently played aggressive counterattacking soccer against top teams”

        Did you watch the united games? Cause that game involved very little attacking and was awful.

        Simply put Mourinho employs the same strategies that bottom of the table teams do, he just has so much talent that his team counter attacks better than say West Ham.

  2. High praise from Gus to Jozy. Poyet said: “Jozy had a magnificent game at the weekend. I was so sad that he didn’t score that chance.”

    “But I said to him in the dressing room, ‘Now you know how important you are, and you can feel it’. If we keep winning, his goal is going to come. But his performance was one of the biggest and most important points for us.

    “It’s difficult, because I know strikers. I played with a lot of strikers who were top scorers, and when they didn’t score for a while, they would not pass the ball to you – they would shoot from anywhere because they wanted to score.

    “He is not doing that, which is great and a credit to him.”

      • Gus used to be an EPL midfielder, including for Chelsea. I think that qualifies him on soccer though perhaps not forward play.

        He is achieving the result of pulling Sunderland out of relegation, and the players seem to respond to his positive approach versus di Canio’s negativity. They are on a winning streak towards which Jozy contributed with passing, if not scoring.

        Does that mean he’s going to start? That he’s in the coach’s long term plans? No, but it’s after January so the coach has what he has, and the team is on an upward swing, there’s no reason to rip him publicly. But actions greater than words, see what happens in future windows. If Jozy is gone that’s what Poyet really thought.

    • Great find. I’d rather read this then all the whining from Sunderland fans about Dozy Antiscore. It’s obvious that Poyet values him in the system and S’land plays better with him in the lineup.

  3. So arsenal is back in top. Interesting because after they fell everyone said they were out. I think this team may end up winning the league despite being constantly underestimated.

  4. Matic was a force during the portions of that game I watched. Also not sure what City’s deal is, with all the money theyve spent they have to resort to Demichelis at CM, really?

    • I believe Fernandinho was suspended or injured, who would have been playing instead of Demichelis. Nasri was also out as well. The other buys that they have made over the last few years: Negredo (striker), Navas (winger), Dzeko (striker), Aguero (striker), Silva (winger/attacking mid), Jovetic (striker). Outside of Jack Rodwell, they haven’t bought any central midfielders, and it’s pretty obviously they only bought him because he was English and they were worried about a potential “you must have X English players” rule.

      They’ve spent so much on wingers and forwards that they’ve neglected the middle of the park, which can usually be papered over by Beast Toure.


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