Chelsea vs Manchester City: Signs Pep Guardiola’s side would see unbeaten record ended were already there

It could sound like a barely ridiculous factor to say a couple of staff that, earlier than as we speak, had dropped solely 4 factors all season and enjoying as Manchester City, however indicators that Pep Guardiola‘s facet would quickly see their unbeaten file come to an finish.

Take the 3-1 victory over Bournemouth every week in the past, when Metropolis slumbered after Bernardo Silva’s opener, started merely going via motions quite than attempting to kill the sport off, and duly conceded an equaliser to Callum Wilson. 

Then on Tuesday night time, at Vicarage Highway, two targets forward and with the three factors seemingly claimed, Abdoulaye Doucouré dragged Watford again into the competition and ensured there could be a nervy end.

The defensive points, small however important, shouldn’t be ignored both. Metropolis have now saved only one clear sheet of their final 5 matches, having saved 5 in a row earlier than that.

And so, although they spent 45 minutes being comfortably second-best, Chelsea scoring out of nothing via N’Golo Kanté on the cusp of half-time to determine an unlikely lead was not completely stunning, regardless of it coming from their first try at objective.

David Luiz would double Chelsea’s lead within the 77th minute, punishing Metropolis’s unusually limp efforts to claw their means again. This sport, nevertheless, was misplaced within the first half. One phrase can be used greater than another to explain this primary defeat of the season: ‘complacency’.

It’s a easy rationalization and virtually definitely not a complete one. The absence of Sergio Aguero was expensive, with Guardiola’s in-form wingers unable to be efficient, central focal factors, and Gabriel Jesus in a match of depressing scoring type.

But it’s exhausting to not conclude that Metropolis additionally, understandably, started to consider their very own hype. It’s an inevitable consequence of enjoying so effectively, successful so handily. Confidence rises and it may be difficult to maintain it in examine.

For all their dominance within the first half right here, the guests managed simply 4 makes an attempt at Kepa Arrizabalaga’s objective. The sense all through was nonetheless {that a} Metropolis objective was inevitable. That ultimately, regardless of little urgency on their half, it will come. It didn’t and so they have been punished.

Manchester Metropolis tasted defeat for the primary time this season (AFP/Getty Photos)

In Metropolis’s defence, they’ve maybe not been helped by the curious means during which their fixtures have fallen. Guardiola’s facet have performed 5 of the underside six at house already this season, beating them by an combination rating of 22-3, and the three targets conceded arguably inform as a lot about this facet because the 22 scored.

Ought to Huddersfield City, Newcastle United and Southampton – the three lowest-scoring sides within the top-flight – have scored on the Etihad this season, in opposition to a supposedly imply defence? All three did, in video games Metropolis would finally win comfortably. Huddersfield and Southampton’s targets got here when Metropolis have been three targets forward.

What’s that all the way down to if not a sure complacency and a way that they might afford to concede a objective right here and there if six have been stepping into on the different finish?

The flip facet to enjoying so most of the division’s weakest groups at house is that they’ve performed most of the higher sides away, and their hopes of retaining the title stay notably robust provided that they’ve already travelled to the Emirates, Wembley and Anfield and left every of them undefeated.

However the long term of enjoying weaker sides at Etihad each different week, beating them handsomely and increase the objective distinction column has maybe distorted the notion of this nonetheless good staff and their perceptions of themselves.

Even a staff this good, more than likely the very best of the Premier League period, can’t take something without any consideration.

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