Three days after the announcement of the 2021 Champions League final, the two English finalists faced off in a ‘dress rehearsal’ in the Premier League. Chelsea came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a fixture that was interesting for many reasons.
City drew first blood following a Raheem Sterling goal, which came after 11 weeks without finding the back of the net for the England international. Andreas Christensen had to go off due to injury, which was a consequence of the error made by the Dane that led to Sterling’s goal.
Shortly after, with 10 men, Chelsea conceded a penalty which was squandered by Sergio Aguero who tried a panenka. Edouard Mendy had no trouble saving the cheeky effort, and it proved to be costly thereafter.
The hosts went into halftime with the lead and were playing with 3 centre-backs, which masked their primary game plan of playing a 4-3-3. Chelsea looked more threatening in the first half, but could not get past Ederson.
The second half spelt another entertaining 45 minutes despite both sides playing below their fullest potential. Hakim Ziyech equalised for Chelsea, following a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta but a major part of the credit must be given to Reece James for exploiting the right-hand side as well as he did in the second 45.
2 minutes into stoppage time, Timo Werner provided his 8th assist of the Premier League season following a brilliant counter-attack from Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi was the man who set up the play and was entangled with Marcos Alonso for the finish, but the Spaniard ultimately claimed the goal and helped the deep Blues into 3rd place in the league.
Chelsea not only march deeper into the top four, but also have 2 out of 2 wins against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this season, which will give them a psychological edge and a lot of confidence heading into the Champions League finals.