Manchester City blew their chance of officially regaining the Premier League title against Chelsea on Saturday afternoon as Pep Guardiola’s side were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad.
Although the Citizens can still win the title this weekend should Manchester United fail to win against Aston Villa on Sunday, it was a wasted opportunity for City against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Guardiola opted to make nine changes for the game and his side once again looked disjointed before finding the breakthrough shortly before half time, with Raheem Sterling tapping in after Sergio Aguero looked to have fluffed an open goal.
The Argentine striker was then involved in another of the game’s key moments shortly afterwards, as City were awarded a penalty which had he scored, could have put them in a comfortable position, but instead, he opted to try a Panenka penalty, which was easily saved by Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea fought back in the second half and deservedly equalised through Hakim Ziyech, before Marcos Alonso stole the three points at the death to consign City to defeat.
Although Aguero will understandably take a lot of the blame for the defeat, there were plenty of poor performances on show from City’s players, with Benjamin Mendy, in particular, disappointing with his display.
Although the former AS Monaco man was solid from an attacking point of view, managing two key passes and a 90% pass accuracy, his defending, or lack of, was one of the key reasons why the game turned in Chelsea’s favour.
The second half regularly saw Chelsea get in behind City’s defence down Mendy’s side, with Reece James causing him all sorts of problems when running at him, which highlighted just how much the left-back struggled from a defensive perspective.
He was also out-fought on a number of occasions, winning just two of his nine total duels in the game, resulting in a less than impressive 22% success rate.
The World Cup winner was dribbled past on two occasions, whilst he managed just one tackle and one interception, which was the fewest of any Manchester City defender.
Mendy was eventually axed by Guardiola with 10 minutes remaining after Tuchel brought on Callum Hudson-Odoi to help expose City’s weakness down the left-hand side, which highlights that he was clearly the weak link on Saturday, and arguably cost Guardiola with his inability to defend.
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