Blues slip up at the Bridge as Jesus nabs all three points for Man City
By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 0 v Man City 1
Chelsea now know what it takes to win the Premier League - be a bit more like Manchester City who, thanks to Gabriel Jesus 53rd minute strike, showed the west Londoners that just defending with the hope of a counter-attack goal, is not going to be enough.
City were superior in all facets of this game, and fully deserved all three points.
They say the best form of defence is attack, City proved that their incredible work-rate in the opposition’s half will give them the best chance to disable a side possessing the attacking power of Romelu Lukaku, and in this instance the running power of Timo Werner.
Pep Guardiola decided the optimal way to nullify the duo, was to deny them the ball - this he did will characteristic efficiently.
He hoped his side would pounce on a transition error by Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic but the goal was straight from the training ground. A regulation corner was fed into the six-yard box and Jesus grabbed the ball. He took a touch away from goal, thus eliminating the danger of the closing down Jorginho and Thiago Silva.
In a swivelling 180 degree turn and shot, the Brazilian’s scuffed shot took a decisive deflection off the sole of Jorginho’s boot and drifted into the corner of Mendy’s net. The goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
Chelsea struggled to create and it was only the introduction of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, that gave the Blues power, pace and subtle creativity.
But it wasn't enough.
Manchester City took early control of the game through their ability to push the Chelsea midfield and back five back.
The intensity of their pressure designed to create moments of errors, where they could pounce on goal with numbers.
Chelsea, inspired by Toni Rudiger opted for a defensive stance first with the potential for a quick counter-attack
Chelsea suffered the loss of Reece James on 29 minutes, with a right foot injury following a tussle with Jack Grealish.
Thiago Silva replaced the full back.
Rodri had the first shot on target from range on 33 minutes but the ball was deflected for a corner.
Jesus should have scored on 40 minutes when he chested don a Phil Foden pass, but screwed his left-footer well wide of goal.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
And there was no change by either side in their game plan.
City continued to dominate the ball, Chelsea content to contain, but not concede possession on any transitions.
But on 53 minutes, City finally breached the Chelsea rearguard.
From a short corner, the ball was fed to Jesus who took a touch away from goal. He turned 180 degrees and scuffed a right-footer. But the ball took a touch off Jorginho, rooting Mendy to the spot and the ball nestled in the back of his net.
Mendy did foil Grealish minutes later, tipping away a low drive for a corner.
Thomas Tuchel made his first tactical change by replacing ineffectual N’Golo Kante for Kai Havertz.
But City could have scored on the counter with Silva hacking the ball off his goal-line from a jesus drive.
Romelu Lukaku did put the ball in the net, but his provider Havertz was well offside when he received the ball.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaced Jorginho in an attempt by Tuchel to add creativity to the midfield.
Mendy was soon in action again, blocking a goal-bound Grealish effort.
City go joint top with Chelsea and Liverpool with 13 points, but the Scousers have a game in hand.
Chelsea face Juventus away in Turin on September 29, before returning to the Bridge on October 2 when Southampton are the visitors.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Lukaku, Lukaku, Werner, James, Azpilicueta
Subs: Kepa, Silva, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Ziyech, Havertz
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Jesus, Grealish, Laporte, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Cancelo, Foden
Subs: Steffens, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Palmer, Lavia
Referee: Michael Oliver