By Gary Watton
April 5 2017
The Premiership leaders produced a performance that wasn't pretty, but was pretty effective and atoned for their surprising defeat to Crystal Palace. Peculiarly, the loss to Palace is a match that we could easily have won and the win over Manchester Mercenaries was a match that we could have lost. It is actually better to win one and lose one than to draw two, which could easily have happened as well. To be fair to the Premiership favourites, they were more than solid in the second half, after Conte had shrewdly applied a tactical switch. As a consequence, the visitors huffed and puffed but rarely looked like blowing the house down.
Eden Hazard was the match-winner with two goals, but his performance didn't exactly hit the heights. His first goal was courtesy of a deflection off the returning Kompany, whilst the decisive effort was the result of a weak penalty from him, but the Belgian did at least possess the presence of mind to follow up his own shot. The wing wizard does have a tendency to try and roll the ball into the net, but maybe it is time he put his foot through the ball, and tried to deposit a spot kick into the roof of the net, like a Lampard or a Ballack. Maybe the excellent David Luiz should be called upon for penalty kicking duties, because he can despatch a mean penalty, if his effort in Munich back in May 2012 is anything to go by.
Of course, the other Belgian, young Courtois, gifted the vsiitors an equaliser. Personally it wasn't his misplaced kick straight to the dangerous Silva which annoyed me, but instead he still he had the opportunity to make amends for this error, but regrettably his save merely pushed the ball into the onrushing Aguero for a simple tap in. Remarkably, the away team could not build upon their first half superiority, and Chelsea were much more resilient after the interval.
What an irritation that Tottenham should score three late goals at Swansea, but seven points is still a healthy lead going into the last eight Premiership matches of the season.
CHELSEA 2 Manchester City 1; half time: 2-1
CHELSEA goal scorer: Hazard (two)
CHELSEA team: Courtois; Azpilicueta; Luiz; Kante; Zouma; Cahill; Alonso; Fabregas; Costa; Pedro; Hazard. Used substitutes: Matic, Willian, Loftus-Cheek
CHELSEA leading scorers:
Costa eighteen goals
Hazard thirteen goals (including two penalties)
Pedro eleven goals
Willian seven goals
Fabregas six goals
Batshuayi five goals (including one penalty)
Cahill five goals
Alonso four goals
Moses four goals