Premier League
Man CityManchester City2ChelseaChelsea1

Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea: Champions come from behind to go third

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 10 goals in his 11 starts for Manchester City this season - four goals and six assists

Premier League champions Manchester City got back to winning ways by coming from behind to beat in-form Chelsea in an entertaining game.

The visitors, who had won their previous seven away games, led when N'Golo Kante slipped the ball past Ederson from Mateo Kovacic's aerial pass.

At that stage City were facing back-to-back Premier League defeats which would have left them 12 points behind leaders Liverpool and given them an uphill task to retain their title.

But the hosts rallied and equalised when Kevin de Bruyne's shot hit Kurt Zouma and wrongfooted goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Riyad Mahrez put the reigning champions - who move above Chelsea into third place - ahead with a fine finish after cutting in from the right wing.

Both sides could have scored more in a chaotic first half, City going closest when Sergio Aguero hit the crossbar after a poor clearance by Kepa.

There were fewer incidents in the second half although Aguero hobbled off and had to be replaced by Gabriel Jesus, with Pep Guardiola worried it is a bad muscle injury.

Raheem Sterling thought he had scored a late third for City but it was ruled out by the video assistant referee in a very tight offside call.

City only had 46.74% of the ball, the lowest percentage by any Guardiola team in any of his 381 top-flight matches in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich or City.

They sit nine points behind leaders Liverpool, who beat them 3-1 in the last game before the international break.

"Chelsea are an incredible team," Guardiola told BBC Sport after the game. "We knew it, but we beat them.

"It was a typical high-level game. Our back four played so good today. In the most difficult period of the game, we scored on the counter.

"We created enough chances to score more goals."

City ride their luck in first half

Fernandinho proving doubters wrong - Pep Guardiola

Both sides had plenty of opportunities in a manic first half.

De Bruyne went close after two minutes from Aguero's pass while Tammy Abraham had a hand in four Chelsea efforts, setting up Willian and Fikayo Tomori to shoot wide and having two efforts himself.

They then tore City apart as Willian picked out the unmarked Emerson Palmieri on the left wing but his powerful shot was saved by Ederson.

Their goal eventually came though, when Kante held off Benjamin Mendy before turning the ball past Ederson, who may have been advised to stay on his line.

However that 21st-minute goal would prove to be Chelsea's final shot on target of the game.

There was a degree of fortune to City's equaliser. David Silva's pass to De Bruyne took two deflections, including one off Zouma, to find the Belgium playmaker, whose shot - which looked as if it was heading for Kepa - also hit the France centre-back to leave the keeper helpless.

From that moment, City were on top and Mahrez produced a wonderful effort to give them the lead. The Algeria winger was fed by Rodri down the right, skipped between two defenders as he cut in before firing a shot between the legs of Tomori and into the net.

City's fightback should have been even more comprehensive when Kepa passed the ball straight to Aguero, but the Argentina striker lifted the ball over the Spain goalkeeper but off the bar.

"We were controlling the game," Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BBC Match of the Day. "We were playing some great stuff and we felt in control but you can't be absolutely in control against Manchester City.

"It was bad luck for their first goal, and absolute quality from Riyad Mahrez for the second and that changed the game.

"Maybe we were a bit slow with our movement at the back. I know we were giving them a good game but I am disappointed with the small details.

"If you look at City they are an example, and we're at the absolute start of that process. A few of our players were in the Championship last season, but we want more."

Drama at both ends in dramatic finish

Small details cost Chelsea the win - Frank Lampard

Guardiola's side did enough to see the game out after the break, restricting the visitors - who had won their previous six Premier League games - to only five shots, all off target.

The hosts had most of the second-half opportunities - despite their unusually low amount of possession - with De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Phil Foden all having shots saved by Kepa.

However Chelsea were inches away from equalising in injury time when substitute Mason Mount's 30-yard free-kick went just wide.

Seconds later City were celebrating for a third time as Mahrez headed the ball on for Sterling to blast home - but a VAR check ruled that the England forward was marginally offside.

Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez was excellent, firing in five shots - including his goal - and setting up Raheem Sterling's disallowed goal

Match stats - Chelsea only lose to top-six teams

  • Manchester City have won four Premier League games against Chelsea despite conceding the first goal, more than they have against any other opponent in the competition.
  • While Chelsea have scored more away goals than any other Premier League side this season (19), no side has conceded more on the road than the Blues in 2019-20 (14).
  • City have conceded the first goal in three of their last four home league games, as many as they had in their previous 51 at Etihad Stadium.
  • Chelsea's last four Premier League defeats have been against last season's top six, including all three so far this season.
  • City's Kevin de Bruyne has been involved in more home goals than any other player in the Premier League this season (nine - three goals, six assists).
  • Chelsea's N'Golo Kante has scored with all three of his shots on target in the Premier League this season.

What's next?

City host Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday (20:00 GMT), before visiting Newcastle in the Premier League next Saturday (12:30).

Chelsea are at Valencia on Wednesday (17:55) and host West Ham on Saturday (15:00) in the same competitions.


Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 5Stones
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 22Mendy
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 16RodriSubstituted forGündoganat 52'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 67'minutes
  • 26Mahrez
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 77'minutes
  • 7Sterling


  • 1Bravo
  • 2Walker
  • 8Gündogan
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 12Angelino
  • 30Otamendi
  • 47Foden


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 15Zouma
  • 29Tomori
  • 33EmersonSubstituted forJamesat 59'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 5JorginhoBooked at 61minsSubstituted forMountat 74'minutes
  • 17Kovacic
  • 10Willian
  • 9AbrahamSubstituted forBatshuayiat 73'minutes
  • 22Pulisic


  • 4Christensen
  • 11Pedro
  • 13Caballero
  • 18Giroud
  • 19Mount
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24James
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamChelsea
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea).

  4. Post update

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Goal Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mason Mount (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  8. Booking

    Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

  13. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Kurt Zouma tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Willian (Chelsea).

  15. Post update

    Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Mateo Kovacic.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Kepa Arrizabalaga tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Benjamin Mendy tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Christian Pulisic.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Kepa Arrizabalaga tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


As It Stood

3Man City1391337142328
8Sheff Utd12453139417
10Man Utd124441612416
13Crystal Palace134361118-715
16West Ham133461623-713
17Aston Villa123271720-311
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC