Chelsea end Manchester City's unbeaten start; Liverpool stay top
Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 2 (Kante 45, David Luiz 78) Manchester City 0
A canny, doughty performance from Chelsea dealt a disappointing City their first defeat of the season,. They move third, while the champions stay second, a point behind Liverpool.
City dominated the first half, but without the injured Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero lacked their usual edge, making only one clear-cut chance, which Raheem Sterling wasted. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Chelsea struck: an excellent long pass from David Luiz set up a break which finished with Eden Hazard cutting back for N'golo Kante, who spanked high into the net.
In the second half, the anticipated City onslaught never materialised. Chelsea started faster and looked more dangerous throughout, sealing their victory on 78 minutes when Luiz contorted his body to impart a fine header to Pedro's corner.
Still City created little, and at full-time had been dealt their first defeat since April. It will still be a shock if they do not retain the title, but perhaps, for the first time in five seasons, we will have a proper race for it. And perhaps, in years to come, Chelsea will look upon this win as the spiritual start of the Sarri era.
Chelsea's French midfielder N'Golo Kante (C) celebrates with Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta afer scoring during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on December 8, 2018.Getty Images
Did City get too cocky? With Sergio Aguero injured, Pep Guardiola moved Raheem Sterling from the wing into the middle, keeping Gabriel Jesus on the bench. And they missed a focal point inside the box while lacking their usual intensity - the game was easy for them in the first half, so easy, that they forgot they were paying a match not an exhibition, so didn't bother to score. This defeat was no more than they deserved.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 8, Rudiger 7, David Luiz 9, Alonso 6, Jorginho 6, Kante 7, Kovacic 5, Pedro 6, Hazard 8, Willian 5. Subs: Barkley 6, Loftus-Cheek 6.
Chelsea have now beaten Pe Guardiola teams on three occasions, more than any other club.
Eden Hazard's pass for N'golo Kante's goal was one of just six completed by Chelsea in the final third of the pitch during the first half.
9’ - First chance of the match! Fernandinho mugs Jorginho and Sterling breaks through the middle, moving the ball left to Silva. The return arrives as expected but he can't adjust his body-shape and plops a tame left-footer straight at Kepa.
33’ - Sterling turns up on the right and slows it down, then pirouettes and dashes away from Alonso, who looks a right Charlie. Sterling then looks up and slides a cut-back to the other side of the box, where Sane waits; he drives hard, but Azpilicueta hurls himself in its road. That's a brilliant block and saves a certain goal.
45’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City (Kante) Look at that! Luiz slings a long pass into Pedro, who clips out to Willian. His touch is wonky, but he doesn't lose possession and finds Hazard close by. A shake and he's conjured a crossing angle, sliding the ball across the box and into the path of Kante, who arrives to punch a sidefooter high into the net. We have ourselves a ball-game!
52’ - Look at this! Chelsea break again, Hazard stretching the play and finding Kante, who squares for Willian ... his shot is saved easily enough by Ederson, but Chelsea are coming!
78’ - GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City (David Luiz) Luiz comes into the box late, wanders towards the six-yard box, and when Pedro crosses flat, an arch of the back and a shake of the locks gets a fine flick over Ederson and into the corner! The champions are going to lose for the first time since April!
86’ - Lovely from Azpilicueta, who takes a ball from Pedro and flicks it back to him. The cross is decent too, picking out Barkley, who gets up well but heads wide.
Chelsea's David Luiz and Ross Barkley celebrate against Manchester CityGetty Images