Man City triumphs over Chelsea on Cup-lifting day
Julian Alvarez’s sole goal helped Man City secure a 1-0 victory over Chelsea on matchday 37, their first game after clinching the Premier League title for the 2022-2023 season.
Arsenal’s defeat against Nottingham Forest allowed Man City to approach the match against Chelsea in a relaxed manner as the reigning champions of the 2022-2023 season. As a result, Pep Guardiola made up to eight changes compared to the 4-0 victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals midweek.
Less frequently seen players such as goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, left-back Sergio Gomez, Rico Lewis, Kalvin Phillips, and Cole Palmer were included in the starting lineup.
Despite this, Man City demonstrated dominance over a struggling Chelsea side. Phillips and Phil Foden continuously threatened Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal before Alvarez found the back of the net. Taking advantage of Wesley Fofana’s misplaced pass, Palmer played a through ball for the Argentine forward to score with a one-touch finish.
If Alvarez and Foden had a better understanding of the subsequent attacking situation, Man City might have doubled their lead. The home team also had their share of misfortune as Palmer’s shot was blocked by Trevoh Chalobah near the goal line, and Foden’s angled strike hit the post.
After the 30th minute, Chelsea started to respond. Raheem Sterling had consecutive opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net against his former team. First, he missed a chance from a pass by Enzo Fernandez.
Then, Sterling faced Stefan Ortega in a counter-attacking situation but failed to get the ball past the German goalkeeper. In the 36th minute, Conor Gallagher headed dangerously from Lewis Hall’s cross, but Ortega managed to push the ball onto the post. It was Chelsea’s best chance in the first half, giving them some confidence going into halftime.
The away team pushed forward in the second half, hoping to equalize early. Hall had two attempts to test his luck but couldn’t overcome the home goalkeeper. In the 65th minute, Sterling almost scored for Chelsea if not for a block by John Stones, who was brought on by Guardiola shortly before.
On the other end, Phillips hit the crossbar with a header from Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick, while Alvarez had a goal disallowed due to a handball by Mahrez.
In the last 15 minutes, Coach Guardiola brought on key players such as Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Rodri. However, no additional goals were scored.
As the final whistle blew, thousands of Man City fans flooded the Etihad Stadium to celebrate with the players and the club. Man City still has the chance to win the FA Cup and the Champions League, completing a treble this season. They will face Brighton in the next round on May 24th. Meanwhile, this result drops Chelsea down to 12th place. They will visit Manchester United on May 25th.
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