Man City 1-0 Chelsea: Julian Alvarez scores the winner as Pep Guardiola’s part celebrate title with another win

by | May 21, 2023 | Global Football News | 0 comments


Report and free match highlights as newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City celebrated their title win with a 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. Julian Alvarez scored the goal as Pep Guardiola made nine changes

Manchester City celebrated their Premier League title triumph with a 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

Julian Alvarez scored the goal early in the game and had another ruled out for a handball by Riyad Mahrez in the build-up. Although Conor Gallagher hit the post for Frank Lampard’s struggling side, one goal was enough to take City seven points clear at the top.

With Pep Guardiola making nine changes to the team that dismantled Real Madrid on Wednesday evening, this was far from City’s strongest side but they still played the slicker football. Chelsea are now certain to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Man City: Ortega (7), Walker (8), Akanji (7), Laporte (7), Gomez (7), Lewis (7), Phillips (7), Mahrez (7), Foden (8), Palmer (7), Alvarez (8).

Subs: Stones (6), Haaland (6), De Bruyne (6), Rodri (6)

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (6), Azpilicueta (5), W Fofana (5), T Silva (6), Chalobah (6), Hall (6), Gallagher (7), Fernandez (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Sterling (6), Havertz (6).

Subs: Mudryk (6), Madueke (6), Chukwuemeka (n/a), Koulibaly (n/a), Pulisic (n/a)

Player of the match: Phil Foden

How Man City celebrated with victory

With the stadium bathed in sunshine, there was a celebratory mood long before kick-off with the home supporters revelling in the confirmation of their third consecutive title win following Arsenal’s defeat away to Nottingham Forest the previous evening.

The breakthrough goal came when Wesley Fofana gifted City possession with a poor pass and Cole Palmer’s precision pass found Alvarez. The Argentine produced a composed finish to beat Kepa Arrizabalaga and really start the party inside the stadium.

Julian Alvarez scores for Man City

Julian Alvarez scores for Man City in their 1-0 win over Chelsea as they celebrated their title win

Palmer had a chance of his own soon after and Phil Foden also went close, his looping effort drifting just wide after being put through by a fine Kalvin Phillips pass. The midfielder looked assured in what was his long-awaited first Premier League start for the club.

Team news

Pep Guardiola made nine changes to the Manchester City team that beat Real Madrid with only Kyle Walker and Manuel Akanji retaining their places. With the big names on the bench, there were opportunities for Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Cole Palmer.

There were five changes for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea as he brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga, Wesley Fofana, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz. The players to drop out were Edouard Mendy, Benoit Badiashile, Mateo Kovacic, Noni Madueke and Joao Felix.

It must have been galling for Chelsea to find themselves being outplayed by City’s back-up players but they did have their moments. Raheem Sterling had a shot saved by Stefan Ortega when clean through, while Gallagher struck the post with a header.

Phillips hit the post at the other end and Raheem Sterling had a shot cleared off the line by John Stones as the tempo slowed in the second half. There was no second goal even if Alvarez thought he had it, referee Michael Oliver needing a VAR check to rule it out.

City did not need another. In this game, as in the season as a whole, it turns out they were just too good. The supporters celebrated with a pitch invasion. The team with a trophy lift. As the banner brought onto the pitch read, one down and two to go. The treble is on.

Lampard: We deserved a draw

“We needed to show a performance today, in my opinion, with everyone watching. I thought they acquitted themselves very well today. I said to them before the game, we needed to show intensity and show ourselves that we had a responsibility to play.

“The first 15 minutes was frustrating because we didn’t play like we said we would but then we realised we could play into Enzo and Ruben, break lines and switch the play, and be brave on the ball, then the game opened up for us. We deserved a draw.”

Asked if he sees a way forward for Chelsea, Lampard praised the quality of the young players but stressed there is work to do.

“It is in their hands. I cannot predict how long it will take. We don’t know. It is down to the players themselves, for the club it is down to the direction they take going forward with a new coach. This Premier League is getting tougher. We have felt that this year.

“To get to where Man City are a lot of things need to align, so there is a lot of work to be done. There is clearly a lot of young talent in the squad. Maybe a bit of instability, maybe a bit of imbalance within the squad. So those things are club issues.”

Guardiola: We have to win in Europe

“We have the feeling that we have done something exceptional in terms of the Premier League. Of course, to be considered one of the greatest teams we have to win in Europe. We have to win the Champions League otherwise you will say it was not complete.

“It can be unfair that you need to win the Champions League to give credit and value to what you have done but we have to accept it. It is good.

“A long time ago, people did not say I had to come here and win the Champions League but after what we have done, I know it will not be complete if I do not win the Champions League, if we do not win the Champions League.

“But sometimes training with this pressure is so nice. It is necessary. We talked to each other a lot, [saying] we have to do it. At the same time, if the club continues in this way, sooner or later we will do it. But we are there so we have to try.”

Analysis: Even City’s reserves too good

It was a strange situation with Chelsea giving a guard of honour to Manchester City’s reserves. Kalvin Phillips was starting his first Premier League game for City. Sergio Gomez and Cole Palmer were making their first Premier League start for anyone.

But maybe it was appropriate given what followed. City still won. They still outplayed Chelsea. It was not the sublime stuff served up in dismantling Real Madrid in midweek but the patterns were recognisable. That is a testament to Pep Guardiola.

There are those who will claim that City’s vast wealth has made this inevitable. This was just a little clue why that is incorrect. A talented team was inevitable. Not this. Not five titles in six years, all done playing a brand of football that nobody else is able to match.

There have been 15 instances of a team winning 12 consecutive games in English top-flight history. Guardiola’s City now account for five of them. This particular run came with pressure, the responsibility of chasing down Arsenal to retain their title.

With the pressure off and the superstars relegated to the bench, a starting line-up with three academy graduates stepped up and kept the sequence going. The guard of honour may have felt odd. But the occasion highlighted what Guardiola has helped to build.


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