Manchester City beat Lampard’s Chelsea to keep Premier League title hopes alive

Manchester City came from a goal down to leapfrog Chelsea into third in the Premier League table with a 2-1 win at the Etihad to keep the title hope alive.
A late winner for Liverpool at Crystal Palace earlier in the day meant City started 12 points behind the table leaders and looked to be in great danger of failing to cut the gap when N’Golo Kante gave Chelsea the deserved lead 21 minutes into the first half.
However, it was long when Kevin de Bruyne’s deflected strike breathed new life into City, and a left-footed finish from Riyad Mahrez saw the home side edged a thrilling encounter.
The defeat ends a run of six straight Premier League victories for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, but there was still plenty of improvement for the Blues on a ground where they were they lost 6-0 last season.
De Bruyne’s shot flashed inches wide in a bright opening by the home side as they sought to bounce back from the 3-1 defeat at Anfield in their last outing.
However, it was the visitors who began to take control of the game in the opening minutes.
Willian could not hit a target at the end of a counter-attack before Fikayo Tomori’s effort following a corner ricocheted around the City box also flew just off target.
There was no surprise when the London side took the lead 21 minutes in when Kante made an impressive run from midfield that Lampard made his trademark during his playing days before slotting the ball under goalkeeper Ederson from Mateo Kovacic’s beautiful pass.
City lamented over their luck in defeat at Anfield a two weeks ago but got the slice of fortune they needed to get back in the game eight minutes later when De Bruyne’s shot deflected off Kurt Zouma to leave goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga wrong-footed.
Mahrez then gave City the lead with a brilliant jinking run and finish into the far corner as City gradually got into the game.
The champions should have extended their lead when Kepa’s poor clearance gifted possession to Sergio Aguero, but the Argentine hit the bar with only the keeper to beat.
Kante was close to adding another when a goal-bound shot was deflected behind by Fernandinho.
At the other end, a well-worked corner saw Mahrez pick out Joao Cancelo, but the full-back could not get a perfect strike before Kepa prevented Mahrez from sealing all three points.
Willian’s dipping volley went just over, and Mason Mount’s free-kick was inches away from grabbing a point for Chelsea.
City thought they had extended the lead when Raheem Sterling found the bottom corner deep into stoppage time, only for VAR to disallow the goal for offside.

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