It’s getting tighter at the top of the Premier League table, as both Manchester clubs still remain undefeated, and hold the same tally of six wins and a draw for their 19 points after seven games.
Still, the Citizens prevailed with a 1-0 win over the defending champions to retake the top spot, on goal difference.
On form, Chelsea started the season with an upset home defeat against Burnley, but did gather momentum. City, on the other hand, had scored 16 goals in their last three games alone, but needed to bring that same form with them to Stamford Bridge. As it turned out, they did.
It helped the visitors that Alvaro Morata – the Chelsea striker – was forced to come off the pitch at 35 minutes on the clock after suffering a hamstring injury. At the same time, the Blues’ attacking midfielder Eden Hazard wasn’t having the best of evenings, save for a few chances that tested City goalkeeper Ederson.
With the lack of attacking options, Chelsea was forced to fall back, inviting City to send wave after wave of attacks. The Blues had only 38% possession, their second-lowest in a home Premier League game since 2003/04 (29.6% v Man Utd in April 2015).
It was City who were dictating proceedings, with Pep Guardiola’s men getting the best chance of scoring in the first half. Raheem Sterling’s inviting cross had a diving Fernandinho sweetly connect a header, only for Thibaut Courtois to make a sharp save.
In the 67th minute, the game got its first and only goal, courtesy of a former Chelsea man and now City star Kevin De Bruyne. Moving speedily at the centre of the field, the Belgian knocked the ball forward to Gabriel Jesus, who cushioned a first-time pass back to the quick moving De Bruyne. The 26-year-old collected, turned to his left and powerfully drove a left-footed shot from just outside the box. The six-foot-six outstretched frame of Courtois could do nothing to even get close to shot.
Five minutes from time, Jesus had the chance of doubling the lead. Sterling once again measured an inch-perfect cross that the Brazilian struck on the volley. The shot had easily beaten Courtois, but defender Antonio Rudiger had smartly tracked back and headed the ball away just a few feet away from goal.
The 1-0 result was the first time in eight attempts that Guardiola managed to get the better of Chelsea (not counting penalty-shoot outs).
But alarmingly for Chelsea, they have now dropped eight points in four home Premier League games, as opposed to the six they dropped the whole of last season. It is also the first time since November 2015 that Chelsea have failed to score in consecutive home league games.