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City powers past Chelsea as title moves closer

06 March 2018

Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, look set to relinquish their crown to Pep Guardiola's rampant side this campaign.

Records are being broken by this City team and more are likely to fall before the season is done, but the ease of their procession to the championship may ultimately cost them when it comes to challenging for the biggest prize of all - the UEFA Champions League.

"Chelsea are still champions".

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville lambasted Conte for Chelsea's approach.

Two Belgian superstars went head to head as City slicker Kevin De Bruyne, who has to be a serious contender for the next month's player of the year gong, came up against compatriot Eden Hazard.

Chelsea got through that first half, only to concede within 33 seconds of the second half when David Silva crossed for Bernardo Silva to force in a finish at the far post. "They're better than that, they're much better than that".

"If I remember well, two days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and then you criticise a lot Wenger because they concede three goals in only 30 minutes".

City, with a performance that showed their adaptability, edged nearer to the title.

I just don't know why Conte did not change anything during the game, even though his approach clearly wasn't working and he could see where the danger was coming from.

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It was understandable when the mission was clearly to frustrate City and for 45 minutes it delivered a measure of success as Guardiola's side were restricted - it was after they conceded a goal that matters became confusing. "We're going to play good to win games and after that will be a effect".

Chelsea's tactics could be regarded as a compliment to Manchester City - but they are also a reflection of their own decline this season and how their sights appear to have altered.

In the end it was to no avail - leaving them with an uphill task to qualify for the top four.

Chelsea's only real opportunity of an equalizer came midway through the second half when Victor Moses was played in down the right with City's defense momentarily torn open.

Chelsea stayed in fifth place but is now five points adrift of the fourth and final Champions League qualification position - currently occupied by Tottenham.

And a jubilant Pep Guardiola celebrated wildly at full-time safe in the knowledge it would now take a monumental collapse to miss out on delivering his first Premier League title.

However, Conte's contain and counter-attack game plan was undone within a minute of the second period when Sergio Aguero's reverse pass picked out David Silva and his namesake Bernardo knocked the ball into the ground and over the helpless Thibaut Courtois for his seventh goal of the season.

City completed more passes (902) than any team has managed in a Premier League game.

Given a run of starts for the first time this season, Bernardo Silva is finally showing why City paid 43 million pounds ($55 million) to Monaco for his services last summer.

City powers past Chelsea as title moves closer