It was always going to be a tough outing for The Blues at the Etihad. The defending champions were looking to put a defeat to title challengers Liverpool firmly behind them. However, Chelsea had other ideas.
The evening started well for the Blues, with N’Golo Kante forcing home an opener to put them 1-0 up in the 21st-minute.
At the time, the Blues were playing the better football having created a few decent chances. City looked a little lost for ideas as Chelsea dominated possession.
However, a sloppy goal was the catalyst to turn the tide in City’s favour. Former Blue, Kevin De Bruyne fired home a deflected effort just before the half-an-hour mark.
It seemed harsh on Chelsea after the bright start. But lessons will have been learned. More was to come, as Riyad Mahrez was allowed to twist and turn and fire a low effort beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga to put the hosts 2-1 up.
The second half was more evenly matched with both teams having a go at scoring a decisive goal. Chelsea lacked the quality they had shown in the first half, with City looking the more likely of clinching the three-points.
There was still time for more VAR controversy. Raheem Sterling looked to have sealed it, but VAR thought differently, marginally ruling the England man was offside.
He’s how some Chelsea fans reacted to the performance…
I know we made mistakes in the first half but I am proud of the boys tonight. I really can't fault anyone.
I don't want to hear 'we don't beat big teams' nonsense tonight. This team is still a baby in formation period. We are definitely on course to become a great team. #MCICHE
— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) November 23, 2019
I thought the game was great despite the result against @ManCity @ChelseaFC could’ve switched to 4-4-2 formation and find the balance of counterattacks and rest a bit and then do it again. I am impressed by this team and defeat makes us stronger as we go on. #MCICHE #ChelseaFC
— JoelTheEntertainer (@EntertainerJoel) November 23, 2019
— Col (@colincheam) November 23, 2019
It was another huge learning curve for Chelsea. Competing so well with a team of city’s quality is not easy. The Blues fought hard, and although ultimately they came up short, positives will be taken from the defeat. The Blues are now fourth in the Premier League, seven points ahead of fifth-placed Wolves. At the start of the campaign, most Chelsea fans would have taken that at this stage of season.
Next up for the Blues is a vital Champion’s League away tie with Valencia. Frank Lampard will regroup his squad and prepare for what will be a tough trip. A positive result will put Chelsea within touching distance of the knockout stages of this year’s competition.