By Naijatruth 

Chelsea held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Saturday, ending City’s long unbeaten run at home and giving Liverpool and Arsenal an advantage in the Premier League title race.

City fell behind in the first half when Raheem Sterling scored against his former club on his return to the Etihad. It looked like City would suffer their first home defeat in 34 games until Rodri scored a late equaliser with a deflected shot.
City are still four points behind leaders Liverpool and two behind Arsenal, but they have a game in hand on both. City had won 11 games in a row in all competitions, including a 3-1 Champions League victory in Copenhagen in midweek, and seemed ready to defend their treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup titles from last season.

But Chelsea showed that City were not invincible.

Chelsea have been inconsistent this season, but they have often risen to the occasion against the top teams. They had taken points from all three title rivals at home earlier in the season and they displayed a clinical counter-attacking style away from home that gave Mauricio Pochettino some hope before next weekend’s League Cup final against Liverpool.

Chelsea could have taken the lead sooner in the first half, but Nicolas Jackson was denied by Ederson after a swift breakaway left City exposed.

City did not heed the warning, and another former City player Cole Palmer set up Jackson, who found Sterling in the box. Sterling calmly slotted the ball past Kyle Walker and into the far corner on 42 minutes.

Sterling did not celebrate much, but his goal was welcomed by Liverpool and Arsenal fans.
City had barely threatened in the first half, with Erling Haaland missing their best chance with a header over the bar. But they came out with more urgency after the break. Kevin De Bruyne’s curling free-kick hit the top of the net before Sterling was fortunate to escape a penalty for tripping Walker in the area.

As City pressed for an equaliser, they left more space for Chelsea to exploit on the break.

Ederson made a brilliant save to keep out Sterling’s second goal and Ruben Dias cleared Ben Chilwell’s rebound off the line.

Haaland finally got past the Chelsea defence with his speed and strength 25 minutes from time, but Djordje Petrovic parried his deflected shot at the near post.
Haaland’s frustrating night was complete when he headed wide from a perfect De Bruyne cross, leaving the 53,000 fans in disbelief.

City managed to salvage a point thanks to Rodri, who had not lost a game in a City shirt since February 5, 2022.

The scorer of the decisive goal in last season’s Champions League final needed some luck as his powerful shot ricocheted off Trevoh Chalobah and into the top corner.

Chelsea were under siege for the rest of the game and had to survive a VAR review for a possible penalty in injury time as the ball hit Levi Colwill’s arm.
The draw was a surprise result for Chelsea, who moved up to the top half of the table and closed the gap to the top six to six points.

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