Manchester City celebrated their third successive Premier League title by defeating Chelsea in a quiet, festive atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium.
City were confirmed as champions without even playing after Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal on Saturday, allowing manager Pep Guardiola to make nine changes from the side that thrashed Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.
Erling Haaland was comfortable but Julian Alvarez provided the edge in his absence with a clinical finish to put City ahead after 12 minutes, as their euphoric fans soaked up the warm sun awaiting cup displays and celebrations.
Chelsea had some better chances as the game went on, City’s deputy goalkeeper Stefan Ortega saving from Raheem Sterling when he slotted home and Conor Gallagher headed in the post.
Calvin Phillips headed into the woods clash with City as they ended another winning streak that gave them the title and a Treble chance, with the FA Cup final at Wembley and Champions League final in Istanbul.
Man City shows his strength
The hosts played with the pressure after securing the title and manager Guardiola managed to give the shadow squad time on an occasion where most fans were waiting for the final whistle to salute their heroes.
Guardiola’s selection gave an illustration of the vast resources of talent he has at his disposal once he looked off the City bench.
Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Robin Dias and goalkeeper Ederson were able to sit out this match.
Was there a seat more talented than that?
It is likely that they will all be back when those two big finals come around but it was a showcase, if indeed there was a need, of what other teams have to beat if they are to loosen the stranglehold on City domestically that now gives them the chance of their first Champions League.
Top scorer Alvarez may have worked in Haaland’s shadow for most of the season, but what an possession and season he’s had, with the chance to add the hat-trick to his World Cup win with Argentina.
The Premier League is back again for Manchester City – now it’s at Wembley and Istanbul.
Chelsea should be ready to reset
Chelsea may have had some decent chances here and lost by just one goal to the newly crowned champions, but they bear every guise of a team and a club that can’t wait for the end of a miserable and miserable season.
Frank Lampard is waiting for time on the touchline before leaving for the second time as a coach, while Chelsea players are waiting for the upcoming arrival of Mauricio Pochettino to discover what the future holds.
There is talent within this squad but they, and Chelsea as a club, have lacked direction under the new joint ownership of Todd Bohle and Bagdad Eghbali and now is the time to start getting the big decisions right.
Pochettino will come into Stamford Bridge with the bar set low but there is material to work with, provided he is allowed to do it his way, while his intense attacking style could make this into a quality team with time.
But for now, Chelsea must complete the formalities of a desperate campaign that sees the team currently in 12th place, and they deserve it.
- 25Akanjireplaced withstonesin 57 ‘minutes
- 14La Portereplaced withRodriin 78 ‘minutes
- 21Gomezreplaced withDe Bruynein 78 ‘minutes
- 26Mahrezreplaced withHallandin 74 ‘minutes
- 3Robin Dias
- 17De Bruyne
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 6Thiago Silva
- 5FernandezBooked in 66 minutes
- 12Loftus checkreplaced withChukwuemekain 81 ‘minutes
- 67Hallreplaced withCoulibalyin 81 ‘minutes
- 23Gallagherreplaced withModricin 69 ‘minutes
- 29HavertzBooked in 18 minutesreplaced withPolicyin 85 ‘minutes
- 17Sterling poundreplaced withMaduekiin 69 ‘minutes
- 16who is this
- to rule:
- Michael Oliver
The match is over, Manchester City 1 and Chelsea 0.
The second half ended, Manchester City 1 and Chelsea 0.
missed attempt. Trevhoe Chalobah (Chelsea) header from the left side of the six-yard box is slightly high. Assisted by Mikhailo Modric with a cross after a corner kick.
Chelsea corner. Awarded by Phil Foden.
missed attempt. Mykhailo Modric (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the penalty area is high and wide to the left. With the assistance of Karne Chukwuemica.
Foul by Julian Alvarez (Manchester City).
Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Phil Foden (Manchester City) won a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
missed attempt. Julian Alvarez (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the penalty area, too high after a corner.
Attempt is prohibited. Cole Palmer (Manchester City) is blocked with his left foot from the right side of the box. With the help of John Stones.
Corner, Manchester City. Against Kalidou Coulibaly.
Alternative, Chelsea. Christian Pulisic replaces Kai Havertz.
Corner, Manchester City. Against Kalidou Coulibaly.
Alternative, Chelsea. Carney Chukwuemeka replaces Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Alternative, Chelsea. Kalidou Koulibaly replaces Louis Hall.
Substitution, Manchester City. Rodri replaces Aymeric Laporte.
Substitution, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne replaces Sergio Gomez.
Foul by Calvin Phillips (Manchester City).
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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