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Chelsea seemed to have lost the game against Manchester City before it even started.
Leading to the game, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had admitted that he was preparing his side for a counterattacking football against Pep Guardiola’s side who love to boss possession.
Lampard named a front three of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner, and it was expected that the pace and brilliance of the trio will hurt Manchester City’s depleted backline.
However, City boss Pep Guardiola had a different plan in mind. City’s game wasn’t just about possession but rather penetration, quick and intelligent passes and a stout backline. They have the best defence in the league so far this season, and it’s not hard to see why.
Interestingly, City didn’t really boss the possession in both halves as Guardiola’s men let Chelsea have the ball more than them, but ensured that the Blues couldn’t make any penetration through the middle.
With the way Man City sat, there was no way for Chelsea to play counterattacking football, rather it was the Citizens who kept hitting Chelsea on the break, and their third goal was from a split counterattacking move.
Lampard’s gamelan of using a fast front three to hurt City never worked and Chelsea never looked like scoring. However, in the second half, the Blues got into a number of crossing positions, but nothing came off it.
Frank Lampard’s half-time substitute of Billy Gilmour and Callum Hudson-Odoi changed the game for Chelsea, but all that was lacking was a focal point. The game at the time was begging for Olivier Giroud to use his strength and physical presence to shake City’s defence. Rather, Lampard’s final change was to bring on Kai Havertz for Mateo Kovacic.