FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s 2-1 win against Chelsea in the Premier League
The manner of Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Chelsea was the «response of champions» following their defeat at Liverpool, Roy Keane told Sky Sports.
A nervous City side fell behind to N’Golo Kante’s first-half goal at the Etihad, but they turned the game on its head before the interval, with Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez on target to keep the nine-point gap to leaders Liverpool, and bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to the Reds last time out.
- City fightback as Chelsea fall short — report and highlights
- Man City 2-1 Chelsea: Player ratings
- Pep and City find a way to win
After the game, Keane said: «Manchester City responded like champions today. They weren’t quite at their best but they punished Chelsea for their mistakes and they deserved to win. We saw the quality they have, even with their problems.
«Ultimately it’s what you do with the possession, and I think Chelsea didn’t quite do enough. Frank (Lampard) will be pleased, they didn’t park the bus and they had a go, but they were punished and that’s what the really good teams do.
«Pep (Guardiola) would’ve wanted a reaction from the game a couple of weeks ago. They’ve got quality and vast experience and a brilliant coach. I still think he’s hurt by that game, there was always going to be a reaction and when they got the equaliser there was no doubt for me they were going to go on and win.»
Pep: We never stop fighting
City boss Pep Guardiola was asked in his post-match press conference if he was worried when his side went 1-0 down, with the prospect of falling 12 points behind Liverpool facing them if they went on to lose.
- Premier League table
But the double Premier League-winning boss said: «We came back. You can approach thinking we’re going 12 points off, or nine points if it’s a good game, always the press conferences before the game it’s about ‘things are going bad’ or ‘we are going to lose the Premier League’. Okay, we are going to lose the Premier League.
5:57 Pep Guardiola described Manchester City’s 2-1 win against Chelsea as a ‘great victory’ and felt his players had to fight hard for the win
«I know what happens in the Premier League after a team wins, what happens the next year. I know what has happened in the last 10 years. And we won it again. And today, there is a team who is almost unstoppable. There has been just one draw. Without that you have a good chance. In any game, do we give up? We fought, we fought and we fought today. The others are better, and they play better, so of course we can lose.
«But it’s always like this — what happens if it goes bad. There will be sunshine tomorrow, well not in Manchester… You can always think the players will show you, you can encourage them that they will make it 1-1 and we could have scored more goals.
«When we play like today or like Liverpool, playing teams with quality, you are going to suffer. We have a lot of problems, players not in the top condition and injuries, and it’s not easy to maintain that level. You see their midfield, they have incredible physicality. But that’s it. They beat Ajax and they did incredible, but we know what they’re like so that’s why I give our team a lot of credit.»
Lampard: We’re getting there
Frank Lampard cut a disappointed figure after his first league defeat as manager since September 22, but took hope that Chelsea’s performance had shown his side were cutting the gap to the biggest teams in the division, having finished 26 points behind City last season.
The Blues boss said: «Big parts of the performance were good, but there’s bits we can improve on. I thought there was a gap last year, of however many points, that’s what City and Liverpool have done.
3:36 Frank Lampard feels his Chelsea team are closing the gap on both Manchester City and Liverpool despite losing 2-1 at the Etihad
«It was a tough game, it felt like we went toe-to-toe in the main, and a moment of quality from Mahrez and a deflection for the first goal feels like the difference to me. There was a lot of detail in the game, but the amount of times we got into their third in either half, but didn’t have that little bit of quality which we can have. Games like this can be won or lost in the boxes, and I think that happened.
«We’re coming to close the gap. I don’t want to shout it too loudly because football is day-to-day, we’ll have to show that because it feels like a long time since we last lost in the league, to now go and get back on it straight away.
«There were big parts of that game showing we’re coming. We’re three or four months in, we know things have changed, we know some of our players were in the Championship last season, we know there’s a different feel to it. But if we keep working, we’ll be coming.»