Premier League: Rodri rescues a point as Man City share spoils with Chelsea

February 18, 2024
Manchester City fell behind in the title race when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea.

Manchester, Feb 18 (IANS) Manchester City fell behind in the title race when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea.

Raheem Sterling got on the scoresheet against his former side and Chelsea, after missing a few chances to double their lead, conceded a late equaliser to Rodri on Sunday night.

City had a number of opportunities to score themselves, with Erling Haaland, their top scorer, missing from a match-high total of nine shots.

It means that after victories for Liverpool and Arsenal earlier in the day, City dropped to third, four points behind leaders Liverpool, having played a match fewer.

Haaland missed a great chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute but headed over Julian Alvarez’s cross, Premier League reports.

Nicolas Jackson then had a better chance for Chelsea 10 minutes later when Malo Gusto sent in a low cross, but the striker’s first touch was poor and Ederson collected the loose ball.

Chelsea managed to break the deadlock three minutes before half-time in similar fashion to Jackson’s miss. Jackson this time sprinted down the right before squaring the ball to Sterling, who cut inside past Walker and found the far corner against his former side.

Jackson almost turned the ball into his own net soon after from a corner, but Axel Disasi was on hand to clear the ball off the line. It meant that City trailed at home at half-time for the first time in 13 months.

De Bruyne went close for City very early in the second half, but his free-kick whistled over. Chelsea were also a threat and a well-worked move had Gusto sliding the ball across the six-yard box, but Sterling saw his shot saved well by Ederson, who did well to stop Ben Chilwell’s follow-up shot with his legs.

City started to lay siege to the Chelsea goal and Haaland saw a close-range shot blocked by Levi Colwill. Then Djordje Petrovic made a brilliant save at his near post to keep out Haaland after his strike was deflected by Disasi.

Chelsea then broke down the right again and Gallagher set up Christopher Nkunku, but the substitute’s shot was blocked before Jackson and Enzo Fernandez got in each other’s way with the follow-up.

Guardiola had his head in his hands after Haaland squandered another great chance. De Bruyne found his team-mate with a brilliant left-footed cross, but Haaland’s header from eight yards inexplicably went over.

But City’s constant pressure paid off as Rodri, once more, came up clutch with their 27th shot. After Walker’s effort had been blocked, the ball fell to the Spaniard and his powerful drive from just inside the area was deflected past Petrovic in the 83rd minute.

City pushed for a winner but their appeals for a penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time after the ball struck the arm of Colwill went unheeded and they had to settle for a point.

Chelsea return to 10th on 35 points after Wolverhampton Wanderers briefly overtook them earlier in the day.



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