Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola opted for a switch in formation today, fielding a back-three to match Chelsea’s customary 3-4-2-1 shape. However, the former Barcelona man suffered a second defeat against German tactician Thomas Tuchel this campaign, with the first coming in the FA Cup semi-final.
It was a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes of football at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City drew first blood as Raheem Sterling put his name on the scoresheet with a goal at the end of the first half.
City had an opportunity to double their lead moments later, but Sergio Aguero made a mess of the spot-kick awarded to the Sky Blues. Chelsea made the Citzyens pay, with Hakim Ziyech pulling one back in the second half. Marcos Alonso sealed City’s fate and won three points for Chelsea with a strike in stoppage time.
With that said, let’s take a look at five major talking points from this game-
#5 Sergio Aguero potentially cost Manchester City an early coronation
Argentine forward Sergio Aguero had a night to forget as his dismal performance – which included a penalty miss – potentially cost Manchester City an early coronation.
City were awarded a penalty in first-half stoppage time and Aguero stepped up to take the spot-kick. The Argentine attempted an audacious panenka, which was saved with ease by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Strangely, Aguero’s first touch also went missing today. The former Atletico Madrid man fumbled the ball right before Raheem Sterling bailed him out and scored Manchester City’s solitary goal.
#4 Chelsea’s Reece James staking a claim to be England’s first-choice right-back at the Euros
England’s young right-back Reece James was the difference-maker for Chelsea in the second-half, tirelessly shuttling up and down the Blues’ right-flank. James was splendid on both ends of the pitch, registering three shots, two key passes, two tackles and a clearance.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold having a quiet season and Kyle Walker being preferred in the right center-back position by Gareth Southgate, James is a favorite to start the coveted right-back role for his national side.
Kieran Trippier has been in fine touch as well, but it seems as though James might have an edge over the Atletico Madrid man.