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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Riyad Mahrez scores only goal as Manchester city beat Chelsea 1-0 to close gap on Arsenal (Video)

The Algerian winger scored Manchester City’s only goal in their 1-0 victory against Chelsea to close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The Manchester City team closed the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points by defeating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Pep Guardiola’s squad struggled for 63 minutes before two of his substitutes combined to break the deadlock, Riyad Mahrez slotting in Jack Grealish’s low cross.

The Blues were more dominant in the first half despite losing both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic to injury, substitute Carney Chukwuemeka hitting the post from the edge of the area.

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Already without six players, including Reece James and Mason Mount, their evening got off to a bad start when Raheem Sterling was caught by his old City team-mate John Stones in the opening moments and limped off.

The loss leaves Chelsea in the unaccustomed position of 10th, 10 points off the Champions League places, which Graham Potter rightly points out as ill-luck with absentees.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent on in his place and initially the reshuffle did not knock Chelsea out of their stride, and when Kai Havertz played in Christian Pulisic only a last-ditch tackle from Stones prevented the opening goal.

Haaland fed Grealish down the left and Kepa bafflingly allowed the England winger’s low cross to run straight to the far post, where Mahrez had evaded Marc Cucurella to give himself a simple finish.

By contrast to City’s, the Chelsea bench looked distinctly callow but Potter still replaced ineffective first-half substitute Aubameyang with teenager Omari Hutchinson.

Their best chance of an equaliser fell to another young substitute, Lewis Hall, who fired over the crossbar in stoppage time.

So City kept the pressure on Arsenal in a title race which will now be on the backburner for FA Cup weekend, upon which these two sides meet again at the Etihad on Sunday.

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