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Three things we learned in Chelsea’s massive win over Manchester City

Feb 3, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

Arlo felt Chelsea's organization and lethal counter-attacks won them the game vs. City. Getty Images

Following Chelsea’a terrific 1-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, many would argue Jose Mourinho’s men ‘did a job’ on the Citizens.

Chelsea are the only team to have gone into the Etihad and won this season, as City had a 100 percent record until Mourinho’s men turned up and most certainly did not ‘park the bus.’

RECAP: Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea

Here’s three things that we spotted in the game, as the Blues from West London completed the double over Man City to leave both teams on 53 points, two points behind league leaders Arsenal.

Fine margins defined this particular game, and it seems like that will be the case for the PL title this season too.

Nemanja Matic and David Luiz are Chelsea’s two most important players

Between now and May, Matic and Luiz could win Chelsea the Premier League title. That’s not hyperbole. These guys were that good on Monday night. Going to a side that hasn’t failed to score in 61 games at home, and has scored an average of almost four per game this campaign, Chelsea looked solid and compact against the Citizens. That was due to Matic and Luiz. The two towering figures commanded central midfield as the holding players screening in front of Chelsea’s back four. Powerful in the tackle, comfortable on the ball and both willing to surge forward, Matic and Luiz looked the real deal.

City lacking depth in central midfield

Talking about Chelsea’s strength in midfield, Monday’s game highlighted City’s lack of depth in the central area. Brazilian Fernandinho was missing through injury, and his absence saw City woefully outplayed in the engine room. Fernandinho is one of those players that never gets much praise, but when he’s out of the team you miss him. Breaking up the opponents rhythm with well timed tackles and keeping the ball ticking over with tidy passes, Fernandinho was missed massively. His replacement, Martin Demechelis, is usually a center back and it showed. He struggled to keep up with the pace and power of Chelsea’s two bruising center mids. City’s other options are Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia, who both haven’t dazzled and become regulars since their big money moves to City. During their win on Monday, Chelsea may have exposed something nobody thought Man City had: a weakness.

Chelsea’s three attackers will cause problems for anyone

Not much else to say here, apart from bow down to the great skill, panache and drive of Chelsea’s young core of attackers. Oscar is usually the main protagonist, but he was left on the bench. So Eden Hazard, Willian and Ramires (playing in a more advanced role) were sublime. Hazard got out his bag of tricks and used a wide-array of beck heels, dummies and flicks to bamboozle City’s defenders. That was backed up by the Brazilian duo of Ramires and Willian, who time and time again drove forward at pace as their relentless work-rate helped Chelsea stay on the front-foot and always worry City on the break. So often this season Mourinho has refereed to Hazard, Willian and Oscar as his ‘kids.’ But now these youngsters are growing up fast, and they’re tearing opponents in the PL apart.

  1. egb234 - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I was very surprised by this result. Chelsea missed several opportunities in both halves, but somehow held City out of goal.

    Hazard was unreal. He is just lacking a finishing touch, but if he figures that out he can become a wunderkid goal scorer.

  2. lincsands - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    You analysis is flawed, yes Chelsea won but it was just by a lucky goal. Manchester City plan was more or less to draw since their star players were injured. Fernandinho was injured and yes that messed up the middle but your were wrong about Garcia, who are injured and Milner and Rodwell who were not 100% from their injury. It was just an unfortunate game for Manchester City who goals attempts by Yaya, Silva, Dzeko and Jovetic were not succesfull.
    But the rematch is on the 15th of February for the FA cup with greater stakes.Hopefully Milner and Rodwell will be 100% and with good selection that “middle weakness” will be dealt with and my money is on Manchester City.

    • gradyroy - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      And your analysis is equally as flawed. Remember along with Chelsea’s “lucky goal” they rang the post 4 times. The score easisly could have and should have been a bigger defet for City. Chelsea is the better of these 2 squads, regardless if Milner and Rodwell are on the pitch or not.

      • lincsands - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Never the less like I said the rematch is coming and City will be ready for Chealsea…more at stake FA cup….. If Milner plays prepare to eat your words

    • aric32 - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      I would need more than the 10 fingers I have to count the times Chelsea have beaten a team with James Milner on it. Rodwell has never been good. Garcia has proven to be a waste of time and money. Aguero would have been your only hope yesterday. Oh, wait a minute, Aguero, nasri, and Fernandinho played at Chelsea and they still lost. :)

      • jason75087 - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        City played a 4-3-2-1 that game with Yaya, Fernandino and Garcia in the middle 3, Agerio, Nasri and Silve in the attacking 3. It was a formation that they were not able to pull off.

        I give Chelsea credit, they were better on both occasions (but barely). And when the season is finished my money is on City #1, Chelsea #2, Arsenal #3 and Liverpool #4 (Everton in #5 for Uropa). Sorry Spurs and United 😦

  3. lincsands - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    February 15th my friends will settle it, for this year and then the new rivalry will be between two Blue Teams instead of a Red and Blue Team from hence forth…

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