Chelsea got the better of Manchester City at the Etihad this evening, with a pair of Blues stars having since grabbed the headlines.
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Alonso strikes at the death
The marquee fixture of the Premier League weekend of course played out a short time ago.
Pep Guardiola’s City welcomed Chelsea to Manchester, aware that a victory would see the club’s long awaited title celebrations finally set in motion.
The visitors, though, had plenty to fight for themselves, with Thomas Tuchel and co. in the thick of the battle for a top-4 berth.
The clash of course also had the added spice of featuring the two sides set to face off for Champions League supremacy in three weeks’ time, on the back of respective midweek semi-final victories.
And, when all was said and done at the Etihad, it was Chelsea who, for the 2nd time in the space of two weeks, got the better of the favoured Citizens.
City actually opened the evening’s scoring on the stroke of the interval, when Raheem Sterling followed up Sergio Aguero’s loose touch to slot into an empty net:
Man City a step closer… 🏆
Raheem Sterling taps home after a mistake at the back from Chelsea
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 8, 2021
Chelsea, though, soon gathered themselves, before pulling level through Hakim Ziyech’s strike from the edge of the area just past the hour mark.
Then, just when it appeared as though the clash was set to play out into stalemate, the Pensioners struck once more.
After being slipped in down the right, the irrepressible Timo Werner squared across the face of goal for Marcos Alonso to loop a miskicked effort beyond Ederson from close range:
Alonso seals the comeback in stoppage time 💥
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) May 8, 2021
Chelsea, in turn, have moved a full six points clear of 5th-placed West Ham in the Premier League table.
Defenders come up big
On the back of such an impressive comeback, meanwhile, it has since come as little surprise to see a number of members of Thomas Tuchel’s squad singled out for praise.
The likes of Billy Gilmour and Antonio Rudiger shone, with the aforementioned Werner’s never-say-die attitude having led him to tee up the game’s all-important winner.
None, though, impressed more so than Reece James.
The Chelsea stopper, particularly over the course of the 2nd-half, ran Benjamin Mendy ragged, with his standard of delivery into the City box having also been a sight to behold.
James never once shirked his defensive responsibilities either, amid a stellar all-round display at the Etihad:
Reece James had Mendy and Ake on strings tonight
86% passing accuracy
2 chances created
2/3 dribbles completed
7 duels won
— ChelseaFCBlogs (@ChelseaFCBlogs_) May 8, 2021
Elsewhere, meanwhile, one of James’ defensive partners this evening managed to etch his name into the Chelsea history books.
As revealed by the reliable Nizaar Kinsella, in teeing up Hakim Ziyech’s equaliser, Cesar Azpilicueta established himself as the defender with the most Premier League assists in Blues history:
Cesar Azpilicueta has broken a Chelsea record.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) May 8, 2021
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|1||Manchester City FC||34||47||80|
|2||Manchester United FC||33||29||67|
|3||Leicester City FC||35||20||63|
|5||West Ham United FC||34||11||58|
|6||Tottenham Hotspur FC||35||20||56|
|11||Aston Villa FC||33||10||48|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||34||-13||42|
|13||Crystal Palace FC||34||-20||41|
|14||Newcastle United FC||35||-18||39|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||34||-4||37|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||34||-34||26|
|20||Sheffield United FC||35||-44||17|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||21|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||20|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||17|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||16|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||15|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||15|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||13|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||13|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||12|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||11|
|Iheanacho, Kelechi||Leicester City FC||11|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||10|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||10|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||10|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||10|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||10|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||9|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||9|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||0||10|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||9|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||8|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||8|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||0||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||7|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||7|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||0||8|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||6|
|McGoldrick, David||Sheffield United FC||0||7|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||0||7|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||0||7|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||0||7|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||7|
|Alioski, Ezgjan||Leeds United||0||7|
|Kante, N`Golo||Chelsea FC||0||7|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||11|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||8|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||8|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||7|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||7|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||6|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||6|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||6|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||6|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||6|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||6|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||6|