Bernardo Silva scored the one objective as Manchester Metropolis took one other stride in direction of the Premier League title with a 1-Zero victory over lacklustre Chelsea.
The scoreline didn’t mirror Metropolis’s dominance of a one-sided contest on the Etihad Stadium, with fading champions Chelsea providing little as they slipped to a fourth defeat in 5 league video games.
The guests did at the least make Metropolis dig deep for his or her victory as, taking part in with out a recognised striker they sat again, however Silva’s 46th-minute breakthrough was at least the hosts deserved.
It prolonged Metropolis’s lead on the prime of the desk to 18 factors and left them solely 4 wins from the title, whereas Chelsea had been minimize 5 factors adrift of the highest 4 in fifth place.
It was an emotional event for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte following the sudden demise of his former Italy worldwide participant Davide Astori. The Italian wore a black armband in tribute.
Tactically, his strategy was restricted with Eden Hazard taking part in up entrance as a false 9 and Alvaro Morata on the bench. Chelsea had been additionally with out their midfield talisman N’Golo Kante by way of sickness and his absence confirmed as Metropolis utterly dominated possession within the first half.
Metropolis boss Pep Guardiola, his yellow ribbon once more briefly seen earlier than masking it up with a shawl, watched as Metropolis managed possession and Chelsea struggled to cross the midway line.
Sergio Aguero, chasing his 200th Metropolis objective, had the hosts’ first try on objective however Antonio Rudiger blocked his shot.
Aguero then teed up Silva after one in every of a number of mazy runs by the spectacular Leroy Sane however the Portuguese curled simply over the bar.
One other second of magic from Sane nearly yielded a objective as he confirmed equisite management to convey down a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick however Cesar Azpilicueta blocked on the road.
Metropolis did get the ball within the web earlier than the break however Nicolas Otamendi’s tap-in was dominated out for offside in opposition to Aguero.
Chelsea confirmed little ambition and so they threatened simply as soon as within the first half.
Referee Michael Oliver performed benefit after a Oleksandr Zinchenko caught Victor Moses with a late deal with and Willian pressured Ederson to save lots of along with his toes. Zinchenko was finally booked for the problem however some might argue that was lenient and, after numerous different rash challenges, he was maybe lucky to not see a pink card.
Metropolis had been rewarded for his or her superiority inside a minute of the restart. Aguero regained possession on the sting of the field and located the excellent David Silva on the left. The Spaniard’s cross was turned in by his namesake Bernardo on the far publish.
That lastly stirred Chelsea into motion and a Cesc Fabregas break created a gap for Moses however he shot into the side-netting.
Metropolis upped the tempo and David Silva twice tried his luck, first forcing a save from Thibaut Courtois after which seeing an effort deflected for a nook.
Conte lastly determined to introduce a striker after 78 minutes, however it was Olivier Giroud, and never Morata, that originally received the decision. Morata entered the fray within the final minute however Chelsea’s final probability got here and went as Marcos Alonso sliced vast.