The Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Final Score: City 0 -1 Chelsea
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho produced a tactical master class to outsmart Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side in what was their first home defeat of the season. Branislav Ivanovic was the scorer of the game’s only goal as Chelsea kept City at bay to secure the valuable 1-0 victory.
- JOE HART: He could do little to keep out Ivanovic’s strike. Otherwise looked assured in goal and made fine saves to deny Ramires and Eden Hazard. 7/10
- PABLO ZABALETA: He generally is one of City’s most consistent performers, but he had a difficult outing against the pace and trickery of Hazard and was totally absent in build-up to the goal. 6/10
- VINCENT KOMPANY: He was a commanding presence in defense and also showed willingness to get forward. He was unfortunate that his superb block on Ramires’ shot fell straight to Ivanovic’s feet for the opener. 7/10
- MATIJA NASTASIC: His understanding with Kompany left more to be desired, especially under pressure. He did make some good defensive interventions and was lucky not to be sent off for late pull on Oscar. 6/10
- ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV: He provided a great attacking outlet, delivering some dangerous crosses which were very close to being turned in. However, he was caught short defensively on a few occasions. 7/10
- JESUS NAVAS: He tried to run at the Chelsea defense, especially in wider areas but was unable to exert much influence. Even though he earned a few corners for his side, his shots were largely disappointing. 6/10
- MARTIN DEMICHELIS: Looked like the weak link of the side in an unfamiliar midfield role and was uncomfortable both in possession as well as defensively, being beaten by Hazard regularly. 4/10
- YAYA TOURE: He started the game very brightly and looked at his rampaging best. He created chances and went close himself early on, but influence waned as Chelsea took charge of the midfield. 7/10
- DAVID SILVA: He was lively in the early stages, missing a glorious chance from close in, but he faded from the game. However, he twice went close, including one well-flighted free-kick that was well saved by Cech, as City rallied late on. 7/10
- ALVARO NEGREDO: Was largely anonymous for the bar the one time when he muscled past Cahill, but his shot was high and wide. He was taken off before the hour and replaced by Jovetic. 5/10
- EDIN DZEKO: His movement was good and he got himself into some good positions, but the finishing touch was lacking. 6/10
- STEVAN JOVETIC (on for Negredo, 57’): He was busy after coming on for Negredo as he tried to find a way through the Chelsea defense. He went close to equalizer by testing Cech with a fine late shot. 6/10
- PETR CECH: He had a brain freeze in the first minute of the game as he almost gifted City a goal, but he had good game otherwise. He was alert when called upon to save from Silva and Jovetic. 7/10
- BRANISLAV IVANOVIC: He struggled to contain the threat of Kolarov, but produced a fine all-round display and firing a fine goal. 7/10
- GARY CAHILL: He made some timely interceptions as City made a lot of the early running. He dealt well with crosses and marked wisely, and nearly got a goal when got forward to hit the post from a set piece. 8/10
- JOHN TERRY: He was the usual calm and assured presence at the back, rarely out of position, and read the game well to cover for Cahill when needed. 8/10
- CESAR AZPILICUETA: He timed his challenges well and was a sound defensive presence, even popping up in central positions to snuff out potential danger when needed. 7/10
- DAVID LUIZ: He looked composed in his midfield role as he won the ball and distributed it wisely. However he wasted a good chance with a poorly taken free kick in the first half. 6/10
- NEMANJA MATIC: He struggled to deal with Toure’s powerful runs early on but as the game progressed, he became more influential. He also came close to scoring a goal on his first Premier League start when a rasping drive from 25 yards hit the post. 7/10
- RAMIRES: He was a good outlet on the right as he burst forward at every opportunity. He was integral to Chelsea’s counter-attacks and also came close to scoring with on a couple of occasions. 7/10
- WILLIAN: He was good going forward, especially going forward, and he also did well to track back and disrupt City’s midfield. 7/10
- EDEN HAZARD: He was the star of the match as City struggled to contain his pace and trickery throughout the match. He had the better of Zabalet for most of the game, and his delivery into the box was dangerous all night. 9/10
- SAMUEL ETO’O: He was perhaps the least threatening of Chelsea’s attacking quartet but he worked tirelessly all game and ran the channels when required and also hit the woodwork in the first half. 6/10
- OSCAR (on for Ramires, 83’): He did not have enough time to influence the game, especially as City were pushing for their equalizer. 5/10
- JON OBI MIKEL (on for Willian, 90’): Last minute substitute to eat into the time remaining.
- DEMBA BA (on for Hazard, 90’): Came on as Mourinho looked to run the clock down.
- Chelsea delivered one of the finest performances of the season as they became the first Premier League team to defeat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. They fully deserved the three points based on their performance in the game.
- City, despite putting in a decent performance, were no match for a Chelsea side who showed the rest of the teams that they are worthy title contenders. Pellegrini’s men will undoubtedly be criticized for failing to deliver on the big occasion, but they were outclassed by Chelsea.
- Nemanja Matic justified the £21m paid for his signature with an outstanding performance. HE provided defensive cover for his back four, was crisp in his passing and came close to scoring with a rasping drive from 25 yards that hit the woodwork.
- Eden Hazard delivered a performance that suggested that he isn’t too far away from challenging for the tag of one of the best players on the planet. He had the better of one of the best right backs in the league ad gave him a torrid time all evening.