Manchester City hosted Chelsea in a game where they could have not only jumped ahead of their visitors by six points, but overtaken Arsenal atop the Premier League standings by a single point.
Well, that simply did not happen as today was not their day.
Jose Mourinho‘s men defended heartily, which made it extremely difficult for City to construct several successful attacks. However, this does not mean that they were unable to attack. In fact, they used the defending to their advantage as they were able to hit City on the counter several times.
The goal scored was by Branislav Ivanovic, the right-back who sprinted up the field to join the attack and found himself inside the area only to rip the shot into the bottom pocket past Joe Hart.
City’s problem was that they expected Chelsea to sit back and defend since that is how Mourinho normally fields his plan against sides who live in the final third. Since that was not the case, City were taken aback quite a few times by the bravery of their opponents. In fact, the Londoners hit the woodwork three times during the entirety of the 90 minutes.
The home side was able to force a few quality saves from Petr Cech, but none of their chances were as clear-cut as Chelsea’s. Therefore, the deserved winners grabbed all three points.
Now, Arsenal sit alone atop the league with 55 points, while City sit behind them with 53. Chelsea have the same amount, but they are in third due to a difference of 17 goals between themselves and City. Regardless, they have sent a direct message to City as they kept them scoreless inside their own stadium.
With all of that said and done, the proof is in the pudding: the league race is wide open. Whichever team slips up the most will undoubtedly lose the title race. All three sides have what it takes to win, but they have to tread carefully and focus on both ends of the ball to make sure they rack up all the points necessary.