Manchester Metropolis returned to their greatest in opposition to Chelsea & remainder of Premier League needs to be fearful
After months of groggy performances, Manchester Metropolis lastly wakened from their footballing coma in opposition to Chelsea – and the remainder of the Premier League needs to be afraid. Very afraid.
The soccer Metropolis performed within the first half of their 3-1 win over the Blues was as devastating as something witnessed within the Premier League this season. They dominated their opponents in nearly each metric and every of their targets had been wonderful.
After a shaky first ten minutes, the floodgates opened. First, Joao Cancelo’s probing by ball afforded Kevin De Bruyne a transparent sight at objective however the Belgian uncharacteristically pulled it large. Chelsea wouldn’t be capable to maintain their opponents out for for much longer.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Ilkay Gundogan let Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross roll throughout his physique, leaving Thiago Silva for useless, earlier than firing a shot into the underside nook. Lower than 180 seconds later, Metropolis doubled their benefit.
This time, De Bruyne made up for his early miss by laying one on a plate for Phil Foden. After his first effort was snuffed out by Kurt Zouma, he picked the ball up once more and drilled a pinpoint cross by Cesar Azpilicueta’s legs, discovering Foden unmarked within the field who made made no mistake.
With simply over half an hour performed, Metropolis put the sport past all doubt. After Hakim Ziyech’s free kick was simply handled by John Stones, the guests turned defence into assault. Inside seconds, De Bruyne’s intelligent header despatched Raheem Sterling racing away from Chelsea’s final man, N’Golo Kante. Sterling took an age to tug the set off and when he lastly did the ball cannoned off the bar. Luckily, De Bruyne was there to use the end.
The fast response to this quickfire, triple salvo on social media focussed on Chelsea’s sieve like defending. Nevertheless, whereas Edouard Mendy ought to have accomplished higher for the primary two targets and questions may be requested of Thiago Silva, Kante and a handful of others, overemphasising this does Metropolis a disservice.
All three targets confirmed a vigour that has been lacking from their assaults for many of the season. At instances, Metropolis have been infuriating to look at. Ponderous on the ball and missing tempo, it has generally appeared like they need possession for possession’s sake.
In defeats to Leicester and Tottenham, in addition to in attracts in opposition to West Ham and West Brom, they registered near, or over, 70% possession. But, on all on these events they may not make their dominance pay. The primary half in opposition to Chelsea was a distinct story. Though the Blues loved 54% of the ball, Metropolis had been the higher facet, shifting it with velocity and function to wrap issues up in little over half-hour.
In opposition to Chelsea, in addition they demonstrated a medical edge that has been sorely absent in current instances. Previous to their go to to Stamford Bridge, solely Sheffield United had underperformed their xG worse than Metropolis. Total, their anticipated targets instructed they need to have scored 5 extra instances up to now this season. If they’d, the xG mannequin predicted that they might have three extra factors.
Whereas the primary half noticed Guardiola’s facet break the mould, after the break issues adopted a extra acquainted script with Metropolis defending brilliantly. No Premier League facet has conceded fewer targets than them this season and if it weren’t for a considerably freak 5-2 loss in opposition to Leicester again in September, their defensive file can be much more spectacular.
In opposition to Chelsea, they continued this development. Stones and Ruben Dias devoured the ball up like hungry hippos on the coronary heart of the Metropolis backline, whereas Zinchenko and Cancelo starved their counterparts of possibilities.
In the meantime, Rodri’s efficiency might not have been excellent, however the Spaniard broke up his fair proportion of Chelsea assaults to make up for his early looseness in possession. If not for a 91st minute lapse in focus – which allowed Callum Hudson-Odoi to attain a comfort – Metropolis would have toasted their eighth clear sheet of the season.
So, what does this all imply? Properly, if Metropolis are prepared to mix their excellent defending with a reinvigorated attacking part as their show in opposition to Chelsea suggests, their rivals needs to be wanting over their shoulders anxiously. Notably because of the straightforward run of fixtures that Guardiola’s facet have in January.
It is not exhausting to think about Metropolis choosing up most factors from their video games in opposition to Brighton, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, West Brom and Sheffield United over the subsequent month and these 15 factors would go an extended solution to returning them to the highest of the Premier League desk.
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