Manchester City made to wait for title by late Alonso strike

Manchester City vs Chelsea EPL

Updated: 12th April 2024

EPL Match review: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Manchester City 1 Chelsea 2 – The Etihad stadium – Saturday, 8 May 2021

Manchester City were made to wait for the 2020-21 Premier league title even as Chelsea boosted their own Top Four chances with a 2-1 win at the Etihad stadium on Saturday.

Both Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel were on safety mode ahead of their May 29 Champions league encounter as they refrained from risking key players for the May 8 clash.

For City, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden were left out of the starting Xi while Chelsea did away with Mason Mount, Thiago Silva, and Ben Chilwell for the evening.

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Guardiola's men requiring three points to become Premier League champions, went ahead in the 44th minute when Andreas Christensen messed with a clearance that allowed Gabriel Jesus to square a ball to Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine could not position himself for a shot, but an alert Raheem Sterling was at hand to swoop in to finish and end a 11-match personal goal drought.

Aguero had a glorious opportunity to double City's lead from the spot two minutes later when Billy Gilmour fouled Gabriel Jesus, but the Argentina inexplicably opted for a dinked effort that was easily saved by Edouard Mendy.

The Citizens were made to pay for Aguero's casual penalty effort as Chelsea grew into the game and dominated possession that culminated into the equalizer on 63 minutes.

In one more instance of defensive callousness, Rodri gave away the ball to Hakim Ziyech who fired in low from the edge of the box past a diving Ederson to the near post. The momentum seemed to have swung the way of the Blues at this stage with the very impressive wing-back Reece James delivering a couple of wicked crosses into the box that a diving Timo Werner missed connecting by inches.

City still threatened on the counter with substitute Zouma producing a brilliant tackle to deny Sterling before VAR judged him not to have fouled the forward soon after when the forward went down in the box.

The decision was a big reprieve for the Blues who had the ball in the net twice more after that through Timo Werner and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi but VAR had them ruled offside.

Just when the game seemed to be heading for a 1-1 draw, the Blues struck in the 2nd minute of stoppage time when Werner broke clear and found Marco Alonso whose scuffed finish put City's title-winning moment on hold for the time-being.

The 2-1 result allowed Chelsea to move to the third and point ahead of Leicester's 63, giving their chances of a top-four finish a big boost. But the Etihad encounter as such threw up very few clues as to how their next meeting between these two would shape up.

Manchester City starting XI in 5-1-4 formation: Ederson (goal); Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Mendy (sub Zinchenko 79); Rodri; Torres (sub Gundogan 71), Aguero (sub Foden 71), Jesus, Sterling

Subs not used: Steffen (GK), Walker, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Garcia

Goals: Sterling 44

Chelsea starting in a 3-4-3 formation: Mendy (goal); Azpilicueta, Christensen (sub Zouma h/t), Rudiger; James, Kante (sub, Jorginho 68), Gilmour, Alonso; Ziyech (sub, Hudson-Odoi 75), Werner, Pulisic

Subs not used: Kepa (GK), Abraham, Giroud, Havertz, Emerson, Livramento

Goals: Ziyech 63, Alonso 90+2

Man of the match: Reece James (Chelsea)

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