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Football: Jesus goal earns Manchester City win over Chelsea

LONDON: An early second-half goal from Gabriel Jesus with Manchester City's first shot on target earned the Premier League champions a 1-0 win over joint league leaders Chelsea on Saturday (Sep 25).

Jesus pushed the ball home with a deflection off Jorginho after a goalmouth melee in the 53rd minute following City's 10th corner of the game. The goal sparked the match into life, forcing Chelsea to attack, after a first half of intense pressure from City and attritional defending from the home side.

It was a deserved win for the visitors who pressed Chelsea from the outset and enjoyed 60 per cent possession with Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden buzzing round Chelsea's area.

The victory also broke a three-match losing streak for City against Chelsea, the most recent in the Champions League final in Porto in May.

"NOT GOOD ENOUGH"

Thomas Tuchel admitted his Chelsea side were not good enough in the defeat which ended Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season.

City would have won by more but for home keeper Edouard Mendy.

"We lost the game and City deserved to win. Until the goal we were very strong in the last 20 metres of the field, but only there unfortunately," Tuchel told reporters.

"Everywhere else we were not good enough to relieve pressure and to hurt them. The performance was not complex enough.

"Overall, simply, we were not at our best level."

Chelsea did try and raise the tempo in a bid to salvage the game but it was too little too late and Tuchel was asked why he started the game with such a cautious approach.

"We can debate and we won't have the answers. We played 5-3-2 but I don't think it was the structure," he said.

"It was a matter of adapting to the opponents' spaces. We tried the system to have connections in the build-up. We win together and lose together. I will ask questions of myself."

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku hardly got a look in apart from one effort that was disallowed for offside.

"I don't think we need to talk about Romelu because when the ball reached him the attack was half over because there was no connection. It wasn't a Romelu problem," Tuchel said.

City produced their best display of the season, pressing the ball relentlessly and smothering the home side who failed to register a shot on target.

Manager Pep Guardiola, a keen golf fan, said his side's teamwork reminded him of the Ryder Cup.

"Today we played for each other, ran for each other and passed the ball for each other. Now I'm watching the Ryder Cup and I'm seeing how they play for each other. That is nice when you play football too," the Spaniard said.

"It's just three points, but the way we played was so good."

For City it was the perfect boost ahead of their midweek Champions League clash with Paris St Germain.

"It's a good way to start this fascinating week that we have ahead of us," Guardiola said.

Source: Reuters/zl

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