Chelsea cut Manchester City’s title party short by coming back from behind at the Etihad Stadium to claim a morale-boosting 2-1 victory.
A revitalized Chelsea performance in the second half was capped off with goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso after the hosts had taken the lead through Raheem Sterling.
Sergio Aguero’s failed Panenka attempt in the closing stages of the opening 45 minutes handed Chelsea a lifeline, and they took full advantage of it by moving into third place in the Premier League table.
A host of talking points from that game and Chelsea’s interest in the European market for reinforcements constitutes today’s Blues roundup.
Ziyech reflects on Chelsea’s win at Manchester City
Every successful football team requires a clutch player. Someone who can rise to the occasion with telling moments against opponents that are difficult to break down.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, look no further than Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan has netted goals in the UCL against Atletico Madrid, as well as in the FA Cup quarterfinals and semifinals.
His strike in the FA Cup semifinals against Manchester City was the difference when the two teams last met, while yesterday he came up with the all-important equalizer.
Speaking after the game, the Chelsea winger remarked:
“Everybody was hungry in this game, even in the first half. We go with the 1-0 down to the dressing room [at half-time] but it was more like a 0-0. We were also a little bit lucky that they missed the penalty. If it is 2-0 you go into the dressing room differently, but they missed and we still had faith and belief and I think we showed that in the second half. We came good out of the dressing room.”
“My goal was a good moment for me, I took it with both hands and it was good that it goes in. For me it was more like a draw game but in the end we still had one attack and we claimed the win. It gives confidence of course but in three weeks it will be a totally different game, and three weeks is still long, we have some other games to play.”
Juventus reject Chelsea’s bid for de Ligt
According to reports, Italian giants Juventus have rejected Chelsea’s bid for star defender Matthijs de Ligt.
The Bianconeri view de Ligt as a leader for the coming years, having only signed him a couple of years ago from Ajax for a bumper €75 million fee. Along with Chelsea, Barcelona’s attempts to land the centre-back have also been given short shrift.
The youngster’s contract runs until 2024, and should Giorgio Chiellini depart, he may be given the armband as well.
Marcos Alonso reacts to his winner for Chelsea
Marcos Alonso has often netted crucial goals for Chelsea. He may not have the quickest legs, but as a wing-back, he’s as lethal down the firing line as they come.
The Chelsea defender scored in added time to snatch the points from Manchester City. Having been sidelined by the presence of Ben Chilwell in recent times, Alonso said he is eager to give selection headaches to Tuchel.
“I’m very happy, especially because it’s been a tough season. I do my best every time I play to put pressure on the manager and try to play more. That’s what I want and I think every time I play I’ve done well so that’s what I need to keep doing. With the goal today, it was very emotional and I’m very happy for that.”
Alonso will hope he can keep his spot in the Chelsea XI when they take on fierce rivals Arsenal in midweek.