Chelsea at Sea!



Call it a bad day in the office for the home team if you will; it’s your prerogative to so do. But a scenery where the visitors excelled from soup to nuts, only underscores the current bulldozing propensities of a team hungry and thirsty for one thing — success! Not too many times do you get to see Chelsea dominated, pinned to their half at the Bridge. Antonio Conte and his boys in blue were as flat as a pancake. In ideas, approach and execution, Chelsea were KO’d!

Chelsea’s starting formation of 4-1-4-1 (a marked difference from their trademark 3-4-3 arrangement) somewhat, exposed their trepidation and veneration for the visitors.

Chelsea actually had the first chance at goal in the 2nd minute with Alvaro Morata heading wide from N’Golo Kante’s cross. Manchester City were, however, seeing more of the ball in the opening 10 minutes with Raheem Sterling bubbling with life in the attack.

Thibaut Courtois and Gary Cahill almost conspired to gift Gabriel Jesus a goal in the 12th minute — the two Chelsea players dangerously fiddling with the trigger whilst the muzzle was pointed in their direction.

The Cityzens looked more confident on the ball. Controlled the game with telepathic ease. Had you confused Chelsea for Leicester City (both clubs share same shade of blue) playing an away match, you wouldn’t have needed forgiveness from a Catholic priest at confession! They were humbled! Struggled to get their groove on really! Courtois, clearly the busier of the two goal keepers.

Half an hour gone, and Chelsea yet to dress up for the party really! Things went belly up for the Bridge boys when Morata picked up a knock and was replaced by Willian in the 34th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne, who had been Chelsea’s nightmare all day long sent a great ball from a corner kick, and Fernandinho’s thunderous header rattled Courtois. Chelsea were all over the shop; too happy to hear the half-time whistle.

Pep Guardiola and his troops continued from where they stopped in the first 45. Chelsea still recoiled in their own half like children who had just seen a scary movie in the dead of night. The Blues’ 7th offside culpability with an hour on the clock, told the story of their lives on the day. Pathetic!

The Cityzens finally got their just reward in the 66th minute with the irrepressible Kevin De Bruyne combining effectively with Jesus. The Belgian finished in sublime fashion. Conte in a fog! The Italian responded by sending in Michy Batshuayi and Pedro in the 71st minute for the ineffectual Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Guardiola drafted Bernardo Silva and Illkay Gundogan into the fray as David Silva and Leroy Sane made way. Antonio Rudiger kept the scoreline respectable, when he inadvertently, cleared Jesus’ goal-bound strike in the 84th minute. With the job done, Guardiola withdrew De Bruyne in the 92nd minute.

The visiting team had the last laugh as City picked 3 vital points from perhaps, their biggest rival to the throne. Chelsea, their tail between their legs at the moment. The champions have picked up just 1 point from a possible 6 in their last two games. Far from championship stuff.

For City, no Aguero, no anguish!


Chelsea vs Manchester City (5:30pm) : Saturday, September 30, 2017

By Uche Atuma

About Uche

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