Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City star hits brilliant strike as Pep’s men go 13 points clear with win over Chelsea

Kevin de Bruyne Man City

Kevin de Bruyne bagged a brilliant curling effort as Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 to go 13 points clear in the Premier League title race.

Guardiola put out a full-strength side with plenty of changes from the FA Cup victory over Swindon. His starting eleven included an all-English forward three of Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.

Tuchel, meanwhile, made five changes from Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win against Tottenham. Marcos Alonso, Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic all came in.

There were early warning signs for Chelsea as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga failed to properly deal with a clearance. He shinned the ball into Cesar Azpilicueta and was lucky to see it go out for a corner rather than an own goal.

Alonso struggled to deal with Sterling in the early stages. The Spaniard soon picked up a yellow card, with Sterling then going past him a second time to put a dangerous cross in.

The best chance of the first half fell to Grealish in the 39th minute. Mateo Kovacic was caught out in possession and the ball fell to Grealish close to goal. He attempted to guide an effort into the bottom corner but Arrizabalaga did well to block.

Romelu Lukaku kept out by Ederson

Romelu Lukaku had a good opportunity to put Chelsea in front after the interval. He was sent through in between the City centre-backs and aimed a curling effort towards goal. But Ederson confidently came out to palm wide, before Ziyech blasted a shot over the bar.

Grealish then cut inside on Azpilicueta to win City a free-kick in a good position. Captain de Bruyne took charge and curled a shot at Arrizabalaga, but the 27-year-old was equal to it.

City broke in the 68th minute after stealing from Lukaku, although the striker went down claiming for a free-kick. Sterling received the ball on the right flank and ran at Malang Sarr before sending a low drive wide.

Give our social media channels a follow – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Tuchel aimed to change things up for the Blues by bringing Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi on. But City took the lead moments later.

de Bruyne turned and got away from Kante on the left before cutting inside. He then directed a great strike into the far corner, giving Arrizabalaga no chance.

Tuchel once again used his bench in an attempt to get Chelsea back into the game, with Mason Mount replacing Alonso in the 81st minute.

The Champions League holders pushed for an equaliser but failed to trouble City with several poor crosses.

Goalscorer de Bruyne came off with six minutes play, as Ilkay Gundogan took the armband. The Citizens went looking for a second as Arrizabalaga was called into action to keep Grealish out from a tight angle.

There were no more goals at the Etihad as Guardiola’s men continued their exceptional winning run.

READ MORE: Erling Haaland admits frustration at Dortmund ‘pressure’ as Chelsea, Man City eye move