Before the EPL season began, most soccer pundits would have pegged Manchester City to carry home the title at the end of the year. Coming into Monday's contest with Chelsea, City boasted a perfect 11-0 home league record and was looking to reclaim its position atop the league standings from rival Arsenal. Unfortunately for City, no one had told Chelsea any of this information.
In somewhat surprising fashion, Chelsea was able to defeat Manchester City 1-0 Monday, ending City's home winning streak and tying the standings in the EPL between the two teams. The winning goal came in the 31st minute, off the foot of Branislav Ivanovic from 25 yards out. While only 1 goal was scored by either team, Chelsea threatened on many more occasions, hitting the woodwork 3 additional times.
A quite magnificent performance all over the pitch from those in royal blue today. They've made history, too. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) February 3, 2014
The shutout by Chelsea marked the first time City had not scored a goal in a home match since November of 2010. Chelsea is only the second team to defeat City at their home field of Etihad all year, the other being European champions Bayern Munich.
The victory for Chelsea adds new pressure to the EPL title race. With a victory on Monday, City would have been 6 points ahead of Chelsea and would have surpassed Arsenal for the top spot in the league. After suffering the loss, however, City and Chelsea are now tied in second place, with Arsenal sporting a 2 point margin over both clubs.
When asked if the two victories over City this year proves his team is a title contender, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was more than humble: "The title race is between two horses and a little horse that needs milk and needs to learn how to jump. Maybe next season we can race."
Mourinho followed up his comments by explaining how he sees his team this year: "What we are doing this season is what Arsenal have been building to for years. It means nothing for us to come here and park the bus and win 1-0 in a lucky situation. The evolution is more important."
Mourinho did give a hint of optimism concerning his team's title hopes, however, in saying that, "We can (win the title) if they (City) lose it."
While Chelsea celebrated the victory over the top team in the EPL, City brushed the loss off as a slight disappointment: "Chelsea played very well, but we had important players out missing. A lot of things like this affect the result, but even so, I don't think we deserved to lose the game... It's just three points. Now we have 42 more points to play for," stated Manuel Pellegrini, manager of Manchester City.
The title race may be heating up,but there is still quite some time until the end of the EPL season (May 11). City manager Pellegrini may feel as if the loss was not representative of the talents of each respective team, yet his teams two losses to Chelsea may prove costly in the end.
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