Treble winners Manchester City travelled to Stamford Bridge to face rejuvenated Chelsea on Sunday and played their part in a classic encounter.
The game started positively as both sides tried to figure each other out. It sparked to life in the 24th minute when Anthony Taylor deemed Marc Cucurella’s hold on Erling Braut Haaland as a penalty.
The Norwegian stepped up and rolled the ball beyond Robert Sanchez to put City ahead.
Chelsea took the lead after a Josko Gvardiol miscue allowed James to cross for the electric Raheem Sterling to tap home.
Mauricio Pochettino would have hoped to see his side take the lead into the half-time break. However, Manuel Akanji lost his markers in the Chelsea box to head in Bernardo Silva’s cross to make it 2-2.
The second half started brightly, and City took the lead as Haaland linked up with his teammates before storming into the box to finish off Julian Alvarez’s cross to make it 3-2.
City held the lead and had the momentum, but Chelsea kept coming forward and got their reward as Gallagher’s shot forced Ederson to make a save but the keeper couldn’t hold it.
Nicolas Jackson stole in and netted his fourth goal this week level again.
The Blues had a massive chance to go in front as Sterling set up Malo Gusto, but the substitute fired over with the goal gaping.
With four minutes of normal time left, City found a way to steal in front as Rodri’s shot took a massive deflection off Silva to beat Sanchez. 4-3.
It looked like City would take all three points, but Chelsea had one more say. Armando Broja came on and forced Ruben Dias to bring him down in the box.
Cole Palmer stepped up and beat Ederson to earn his side a draw in an unforgettable eight-goal thriller.
Chelsea vs Manchester City Player Ratings
Robert Sanchez (6/10) – He could do nothing about the City goals scored today and made big saves against Haaland, Alvarez, and Doku to keep his side in the tie.
Reece James (6.5/10) – The Chelsea captain was stressed by Jeremy Doku as expected but held his own as Cole Palmer helped him out a lot. He provided a stellar assist for Sterling’s goal.
Axel Disasi (6.5/10) – The Frenchman had customary shaky moments but was better when Chelsea’s defensive line dropped deeper.
Thiago Silva (7.5/10) – He is now the fourth oldest goal scorer in the Premier League and defended brilliantly with all that experience. He was unlucky to deflect Rodri’s strike into the net.
Marc Cucurella (5/10) – The Spaniard has looked better in recent weeks but is still capable of brain farts that can derail his team. He gave away a needless penalty for City’s first goal and looked tense defending his flank.
Enzo Fernandez (6/10) – Fernandez has not been at his best recently and looked leggy against the Cityzens. His passing was not as crisp as can be, and he took too long on the ball.
Moises Caicedo (6/10) – Caicedo’s distribution was stellar today, but he failed to protect his defence and cut out danger when he could have.
Conor Gallagher (8/10) – The Englishman was everywhere. He is Chelsea’s engine in midfield, and he was motoring today. Also, he delivered a gorgeous ball for Silva’s first-half goal.
Raheem Sterling (8.5/10) – MOTM – Every time Sterling had the ball for Chelsea, he looked to make something happen and got a goal for his terrific performance against his former side. He had a statement to send to Gareth Southgate, and the message couldn’t have been clearer.
Nicolas Jackson (6.5/10) – He looked anonymous until his goal in the second half. He had a few good touches but couldn’t offer his side more.
Cole Palmer (7/10) – It was a bright showing from the young playmaker against his former side, as he was constantly looking to make things happen. He took his penalty so well to earn his side a crucial point.
Malo Gusto (5/10)
Mykhailo Mudryk (4/10)
Armando Broja (7/10)
Lesley Ugochukwu (N/A)
Ederson Moraes (6/10) – The sweeper keeper did well today but could have done better with Gallagher’s hit that Jackson poked home.
Kyle Walker (6/10) – Sterling torched him a couple of times in the first half and early in the second half, but he did okay against a stunned Mykhailo Mudryk.
Ruben Dias (5.5/10) – Dias came into the line-up and gave away a penalty in the dying minute when his side looked like they would take three points.
Manuel Akanji (6.5/10) – He held his own against Jackson and netted an important goal for his side.
Josko Gvardiol (5/10) – The Croatian was a bit too proactive and got caught out of position a few times. He also looked uncomfortable playing as the left-back.
Rodri (6.5/10) – Pochettino realised how important he is and covered him in the first phase. He did bang in a terrific hit to nearly steal three points for his side.
Bernardo Silva (8/10) – The Portuguese midfielder was excellent and got his side an important goal with a stunning cross for Akanji.
Julian Alvarez (7/10) – He dovetailed Haaland excellently and was ready to spring every pass into an attack. He looked good today.
Jeremy Doku (7/10) – The young Belgian was characteristically excellent, burning James a couple of times but did not find the end product today.
Phil Foden (7.5/10) – Also bright and sharp in attack. He gave Cucurella nightmares, skipping past the uncalculated Spaniard with his dainty touch.
Erling Haaland (8.5/10) – Haaland bagged a double against a side he had failed to score against last season to keep his hand firmly on the top scorer award.
Jack Grealish (7/10)
Mateo Kovacic (N/A)
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