Man City 1 – Chelsea 0
If you missed the match and just looked at the scoreline, Man City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea may not have seemed a big deal.
But the match at the Etihad stadium on Sunday was a hugely telling affair as Chelsea put in a dire performance.
Last season’s Premier League champs adopted totally negative, defensive tactics against the Sky Blues.
Antonio Conte opted to leave Alavaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench. Rather than playing with a striker, Eden Hazard struggled as a false nine.
A solitary goal from Bernardo Silva was enough for Man City to inch closer to the title.
‘Newcastle were bad, Chelsea were shocking’
Perhaps the first team to play so negatively against Man City this season were Newcastle.
Newcastle lost 1-0 to Man City on that occasion.
In his Sky Sports podcast after Sunday’s match, Gary Neville argued that Newcastle put in a better shift vs Man City than Chelsea:
I was very critical of Newcastle earlier on this season for, what I believed to an unacceptable first 25 to 30 minutes. Chelsea gave us an unacceptable 90 minutes.
In terms of the approach, it wasn’t bad – it was the lack of intent and passing of the performance which was so passive that made it difficult to watch.
I’m not sure how the game just drifted, drifted, drifted for 90 minutes with no reaction from the sidelines.
‘Chelsea have supported Conte’
Gary Neville also took umbrage to the narrative that Antonio Conte hasn’t been back by the Chelsea board this season.
The pundit argued that Chelsea have supported the manager in the transfer market.
And when it came to singled out players for criticism, Neville didn’t believe that Danny Drinkwater or Cesc Fabregas ran hard enough against Man City.
Listen to the Gary Neville podcast below.