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‘Top game against a top side’ – Guardiola heaps praise on Chelsea after 2-1 win

Manchester City just about kept their hopes of regaining their Premier League title alive tonight, beating Chelsea 2-1 in a fascinating encounter at the Etihad.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side started fearlessly and dominated the midfield area, with N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, and Jorginho passing and driving past Man City‘s press at will.

It was, therefore, no surprise to see Chelsea take the lead on 21 minutes when Kante stabbed past Ederson from a floated Kovacic ball over the top.

It seemed at that stage that City’s title defence was about to fall apart, but credit to the champions they began to work their way back into the game, and would soon find an equaliser when Kevin De Bruyne’s shot from the edge of the area deflected off Kurt Zouma and into the net.

City’s attempt to wrestle back control was then complete before half-time, with Riyad Mahrez putting them in the lead with a superb solo run and finish.

Despite both sides playing some excellent incisive football at times, Mahrez’s strike would ultimately be the winner, and speaking after the game City boss Pep Guardiola admitted his side had been pushed all the way by Lampard’s exciting Chelsea outfit.

“It was a top game against a top side,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

”Chelsea have been big quality for the past 20 years. When they went ahead in the best moments they had we scored through Kevin de Bruyne. then we missed a lot of chances.

“Chelsea are the masters at reading the passes – we had problems with Willian and Tammy Abraham. We fought a lot and had a good victory.”

“They are so good, they are an incredible team. It’s Chelsea. Football is becoming like this.

”Most teams and young managers have spirit and nothing to lose. That’s why the football is nice. Chelsea are playing incredibly well.”

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