Kevin de Bruyne hit the winner as Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City enjoyed more than two-thirds of the possession in the first half as they dominated proceedings, but struggled to make a breakthrough against disciplined Chelsea defending.
Chelsea were dealt a blow when Alvaro Morata – a doubt before the game – limped off with a hamstring injury on the half-hour mark.
City needed a win to go back ahead of Manchester United on goal difference, and went closest in the first half when Fernandinho’s header from close range was expertly palmed away by Thibaut Courtois.
In the second half, a slick passing move from City let De Bruyne rifle in a brilliant shot from distance as Pep Guardiola secured his second win in seven games against Chelsea, with a superbly suffocating performance.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City): He was part of a Manchester City forward line that, in truth, started from the base of midfield. Their dominance was almost total throughout the match, and De Bruyne’s incisive passing meant that Chelsea were camped back in their own half. However, it was his brilliant strike which settled the tie, and was the sole case of world class talent shining through after 90 minutes.
Chelsea: Courtois 6, Rudiger 6, Christensen 7, Cahill 5, Azpilicueta 6, Kante 5, Fabregas 6, Bakayoko 6, Alonso 5, Hazard 6. Subs: Wiilian 5, Pedro 6, Batshuayi 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 7, Walker 7, Stones 6, Otamendi 6, Delph 7, Fernandinho 7, Sterling 7, De Bruyne 8, Sané 6, Silva 7, Jesus 7. Subs: Danilo 6, Gündogan 6, Silva 6.
15′ – JESUS CHANCE – City go close. Jesus closes in on Courtois who clears the ball straight at the striker, and it bounces just wide of the goal.
26′ – EDERSON SAVE – Azpilicueta seizes on a loose ball to hook a volley at the near post after a Bakayoko air-shot, and Ederson tips his shot away at the near post.
45′ – COURTOIS SAVE – Fernandinho heads at goal from point blank range from De Bruyne’s corner, and Courtois palms it away brilliantly to keep City in the game just before half time.
61′ – HAZARD SHOT – Fabregas clips a pass out to Hazard, in space in the box on the left, and his shot across Ederson brings a smart stop.
67′ – GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City. De Bruyne scores – De Bruyne plays a smooth one-two with Jesus, and he lashes in a left-foot rocket past Courtois.
84′ – RUDIGER CLEARANCE – Gundogan finds Sterling ahead of him down the right, and Sterling floats it to the back post for Jesus. His excellent volley beats Courtois, but Rudiger is on hand to clear it off the line.