Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and his counterpart at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, need maximum points from tonight’s Premier League tie at Stamford Bridge for different reasons.
While Guardiola needs a win to delay Liverpool’s impending emergence as champions of the League, Lampard is in dire need of maximum points to keep his team firmly in the race for a top-four finish.
Both City and Chelsea have secured maximum points in their earlier two games after the enforced coronavirus pandemic break, but either or both could drop points in tonight’s tie in London.
The Blues have alternated between defeat and victory in their last four Premier League home games against Man City, winning this same fixture 2-0 last season. But it is not certain which way Thursday’s tie would swing.
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Manager Frank Lampard is likely to rotate his starting line-up from Sunday’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa to cope with fixture congestion.
Guardiola would likely do the same as he is already without record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who has undergone knee surgery after suffering an injury in Monday’s victory over Burnley.
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Kickoff is 8.15 p.m.
Game underway at Stamford Bridge… It is the battle of the Blues
City dominating the early exchanges
Willian and Pulisic almost unlock the city defence
First corner kick for Chelsea but not much threat for City
Fernandinho directs a header goal-bound but it’s saved to a corner-kick by Kepa Arrizabalaga!
Though playing away from home Pep Guardiola’s men are dominating at Stamford Bridge Ball possession: Chelsea: 33%, Manchester City: 67%.
Free kick for Chelsea as Kante is tripped down by Riyad Mahrez.
Water break. the game is paused so the players can take some liquids on-board.
Approaching the half hour mark and it’s still goalless at Stamford Bridge
If it ends like this.. Liverpool would be crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years
Chelsea now getting more into the game but Aymeric Laporte relieves the pressure with a clearance for City
Goal…. Pulisic gets the opener for Chelsea!
Horrendous defending by Mendy and Guandogan
Free kick for City as Alonso pulls down Mahrez
Chance… But Mahrez loses a glorious chance
Two minutes added time
Half Time Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City
Second half already underway at Stamford Bridge!
Injury scare for Chelsea… Andreas Christensen is injured and is taken off the field to receive medical treatment.
Game back on and Andreas Christensen is also well enough to continue
Poor attempt by Mendy and Chelsea get a goal kick
Goal….. Kevin de Bryune with the equaliser !!
Raheem Sterling almost gave City the lead
Free kick for City but Chelsea deal with the situation this time
Sixty minutes have gone… Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City
Olivier Giroud is leaving the field to be replaced by Tammy Abraham in a tactical substitution.
Water break for both teams
Game back on and still 1-1
Chelsea come close but Kyle Walker clears Mason Mount’s effort off the line
According to the Goal Line Technology there is no goal! Inches!
A double substitution for both City and Chelsea
Ross Barkley is replaced by Mateo Kovacic while
Nicolas Otamendi takes the place for Aymeric Laporte
Fernadinho handles the ball .. Chelsea likely to get a penalty here
Double blow for City.. Red card for Fernadinho and penalty for Chelsea
Willian takes the penalty and the Brazilian score .. Goal for Chelsea and joy for Liverpool
Manchester City are one man down and also a goal down
Six minutes added time..
Full Time: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City