Chelsea’s lead in the English Premier League remains at five points following their 1-1 stalemate with second-place Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on January 31. The game solved nothing and Man City may regret not going for the jugular since Chelsea was missing leading scorer Diego Costa due to suspension and top playmaker Cesc Fabregas with an injury. Chelsea seemed to be content with the sister-kisser as they didn’t lose any ground to their nearest rival and actually gained a point on Southampton, who went into the weekend in third place.
Southampton dropped to fourth place in the standings after their 1-0 loss at home to Swansea, but Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool all gained a pair of points on Chelsea and Man City with wins over Leicester City (3-1), Aston Villa (5-0) and West Ham (2-0) respectively. Man United is now 10 back of the leaders while Southampton and Arsenal are 11 points off the trail. Chelsea’s draw meant their perfect home record came to an end as they’ve now won 10 and tied one at Stamford Bridge. For Man City, it was their third straight match without a win.
Chelsea vs Man City clash solves nothing
Chelsea took the lead in the 41st minute when French international striker Loic Remy beat Man City’s English keeper Joe Hart. However, the lead didn’t last long as Spanish forward David Silva redirected Sergio Aguero’s shot into the net at close range past Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois just three minutes later. While the first half provided fans with some exciting and adventurous soccer the second half was a rather dull and defensive affair. Still, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was proud of his team as they attempted to win the game rather than settle for the draw.
Pellegrini added, “It’s not easy to come here, to Stamford Bridge against the leaders of the Premier League. We created, especially in the first half, clear chances to deserve more than the point. That’s why I’m not happy about the point, but I’m happy about the performance of the team.”
The game was billed as the biggest of the season in the Premier League and it attracted worldwide interest as 26 different broadcast teams from around the globe showed up to televise it. Chelsea had to play without Spanish international striker Costa, who leads the league with 17 goals this season, as he was handed a three-game suspension for stamping on Emre Can of Liverpool in a League Cup semifinal earlier in the week. Costa appealed the ban to the English Football Association, but it was upheld.
The contest wasn’t the greatest advertisement for Premier League soccer, at least in the second half, but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was satisfied with the result. But from the fans’ point of view, the top two teams in England looked like they were more afraid of losing than attempting to go for a win. The teams played to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season in Manchester as well. There are still 45 points up for grabs this season, but bet365 has Chelsea at 2/9 to win the league with Man City at 4/1.