Chelsea won their eighth straight game in the Premier League, as they defeated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. With the win, Chelsea established further ground on their way to the title, and now lead second-placed Liverpool by four points.
It was a great contest between the two sides, but Chelsea’s excellent second half showing meant the match swung in the away side’s favour.
In what was an eventful fixture, we take a look at the three major talking points:
Did David Luiz impede Aguero?
One of the biggest talking points from the match was the incident involving Sergio Aguero and David Luiz in the first-half.
30 minutes into the first period, Cesar Azpilicueta miscued a back pass to teammate Luiz on which Aguero pounced upon, but ended up colliding into Luiz and going down as he tried to breeze past the Brazilian and go through on goal.
City players and fans appealed vociferously to the referee Anthony Taylor and for a moment It seemed like the referee was about to stop the play for the free-kick and a red card for Luiz seemed imminent as he was the last man between Aguero and the Chelsea goal. But after a glance towards his linesman, Taylor waved play on, much to the chagrin of the home team and their supporters.
Should it have been given as a foul? Or did Aguero go down a little too easily fishing for the red card? The debate will go on for days to come.
Kevin De Bruyne’s costly miss
With City continuing to boss over Chelsea early in the second half, a glorious chance fell to Kevin De Bruyne to heap further misery on the Blues. City managed to open up the visitors down the right-hand side, and Ilkay Gundogan, sent in a lovely ball across for the Belgian to double City’s advantage. But the former Chelsea player only managed to hit the crossbar with an empty goal staring at him.
The Belgium international missed to capitalize when it surely was easier to score and with that City lost the chance to tighten their grip on their game. De Bruyne and City were made to pay for the missed opportunity as Diego Costa equalized for the visitors soon, before Willian and Hazard added two more to finish City off.
Aguero and Fernandinho sent off
The game’s biggest talking point though came in the dying moments. With all the three points sealed for Chelsea, a frustrated Aguero launched into a reckless knee-high tackle on Luiz, which caused a furious Nathaniel Chalobah to push the Argentine leading to a full-on scuffle with both benches getting involved.
An out of control Fernandinho appeared to grab Cesc Fabregas by the throat and push him over an advertising board meaning the game ended in very ugly scenes. Both Aguero and Fernandinho were shown the red card as City finished the game with 9 men on the field.
The actions come with serious consequences for the duo and City as Aguero will now have to serve a four-match ban, having been found guilty of elbowing West Ham defender Winston Reid earlier in the season, while Fernandinho will be missing three games.
Both will miss City’s next game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, followed by the midweek home match against Watford and the following Sunday’s very crucial fixture against Arsenal at the Etihad. The Brazilian will be eligible to play against Hull City on Boxing Day but Aguero will not be returning to action until City’s away game at Anfield on December 31.