Manchester City couldn’t stay unbeaten forever and today’s trip to Stamford Bridge had the feel of a game where the Blues could be troubled, particularly with both Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne missing.
Raheem Sterling squandered a first half chance that could have changed the game, but otherwise City struggled to create much after a promising start, and Kante’s smash-and-grab strike for Chelsea at the end of the first half was the start of City’s downfall. Chelsea got on top in the second half and doubled their lead to take home a deserved win.
Here’s how we rated the players as City lost their first Premier League game since the derby day defeat in April.
Ederson – 6
Could he have done better for Kante’s goal? Some might argue so, but it’s very hard to blame him for that. Made a decent save from a Willian free kick, but in general didn’t have much to do except watch two shots hit the net. His passing was crisp and accurate as always.
Kyle Walker – 5.5
His defending was lacking in the lead up to Chelsea’s goal and he was miles away from Willian. Otherwise, not too bad but I can’t help but feel Walker isn’t playing at his best level despite City’s good form this season.
John Stones – 6.5
The Stones/Laporte partnership has been rock solid and despite a 2-0 defeat today, the blame can’t really be pinned on them. Stones was chasing and chasing in the lead up to Kante’s goal, about the only fully alert defender.
Aymeric Laporte – 6.5
All in all, not a bad performance by City’s best defender this season. City did not concede many chances – Chelsea just took the ones they had. Perhaps could have been closer to Kante when he scored, but Delph and especially Sané were more to blame there.
Fabian Delph – 5
A second poor performance in a row by the England international. He was sloppy and caught out several times. A little flat-footed in Kante’s goal too.
Fernandinho – 7
Excellent in the first half despite an injury scare that saw him clutch his thigh. As Chelsea seized control of the game in the second period, the Brazilian lost his grip on the midfield, but certainly one of City’s better performers on a disappointing night.
David Silva – 5.5
Created Sterling’s first half chance that could and probably should have been converted, creating a much different game. Otherwise, he was fairly quiet as City struggled to pick apart a very well organised Chelsea side.
Bernardo Silva – 5
He made some promising direct runs and tried to link up with Mahrez, but it was an ineffective performance by a usually effective player.
Riyad Mahrez – 4
The best word to describe Mahrez today might be ‘invisible’. After a stunning performance against Watford, which earned him another start, he failed to follow up and did nothing at all.
Leroy Sané – 4.5
Sané is getting a lot of stick and was poor, but I felt he was one of City’s more proactive players in the first half. He had a good chance which Azpilicueta made a big block to deny. Otherwise, like all of City’s attackers, he struggled and was guilty of taking too many touches. Despite working harder defensively, Leroy had to do more to prevent Chelsea’s opener as he wasn’t aggressive enough in closing down Kante. Subbed off just 7 minutes into the second half – personally I would have taken off Mahrez, but Pep’s the boss for a reason.
Raheem Sterling – 5
Sterling has been moved around by Pep lately, playing in a midfield role against Shakhtar and as a false nine today. Neither role is ideal, but he was in position for City’s best chance of the game in the first half, where he needed to be more clinical – had he taken that rare chance, it would have changed the entire complexion of the match. He tried, and went on a promising run in the second half, but it was a disappointing 24th birthday for Raheem.
Gabriel Jesus – 5
The Brazilian had plenty of time after replacing Sané early in the second half, but made no impact whatsoever and still can’t score.
Ilkay Gundogan – 5
David Silva’s replacement, Gundogan struggled to make any real impact and misplaced a few passes.
Phil Foden – N/A
Foden replaced Mahrez late and ran a lot, desperate to make an impact, but the game was pretty much lost by then.