Chelsea star rages as Blues draw with Man City in title race twist | Football | Sport

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Chelsea frustrated Premier League champions Manchester City to earn a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Saturday night. Raheem Sterling looked like he might have led the Blues to victory over his former club after his first-half goal as the Londoners defended doggedly. But Rodri finally broke their resistance in the 83rd minute to rescue a point late on for the treble-winners. Express Sport runs through some talking points from the match…

Another twist in the title race

In 10,000 pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer, Man City beat Chelsea in 64 per cent of them. Opta gave the visitors just a 13.6 per cent chance of victory. As it happens, neither team could find a winning goal.

But that City dropped points in a match they were expected to win – and could have won given their chances – will give an in-form Arsenal and Liverpool, the only other team to win the league in the last six seasons, fresh belief that they can dethrone the champions.

City now face Brentford on Tuesday night knowing victory will still leave them a point behind Liverpool after both have played 25 matches. Had they beaten Chelsea, a win against the Bees would have put them two points clear at the summit. City’s trip to Anfield on March 10 just became even bigger.

Rodri steps up yet again

For a defensive midfielder, Rodri’s ability to chip in with crucial goals is quite incredible. In 2021-22 there was the late winner at Arsenal and the final-day equaliser in the title-winning triumph against Aston Villa. Last season there was the decisive strike in the Champions League final against Inter Milan.

This season, the Spaniard now has an excellent seven goals and seven assists in 31 matches. For a No. 6, those numbers are scarcely believable. And it is the importance of his contributions that really stand out, too. He secured the late win at Sheffield United at the start of the campaign.

And this goal could yet be crucial in the title race. The extra point could make a lot of difference come the end of May. It also ensures the player remains undefeated at club level since 5 February 2023. He is on a 56-match unbeaten streak and City’s league defeats have all come in his absence this term.

Nicolas Jackson rages

It was quite the rollercoaster evening for Nicolas Jackson, who supplied a brilliant assist for Sterling’s goal but wasted some excellent goalscoring opportunities himself that might’ve secured victory for the away team. The striker should have made it 1-0 before Sterling’s goal when he was one-on-one with Ederson, only for his touch to let him down.

But it was another moment from the game that went viral on social media – his rage after Enzo Fernandez took a second-half shooting chance away from him. As he set himself to fire a right-footed effort towards goal, Fernandez stole in to fire a left-foot shot well off target.

And Jackson was absolutely furious with his team-mate, performing a 360-degree spin while wildly waving his arms and gesticulating his frustration. The pair will be talking about that in the dressing room post-match, you’d think.

Wasteful Haaland

How many times does Erling Haaland squander three clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in one game? Pep Guardiola was left with his head in his hands when the Norwegian, eight yards out and completely free, headed over the crossbar from a late Kevin De Bruyne cross.

And the frustration was written all over Haaland’s face at the full-time whistle. He pushed away a Sky Sports camera on the pitch after scoring zero goals from an xG of 1.71.

He had nine shots overall and managed just two on target. Fantasy Premier League managers, many of whom will have triple-captained the City No. 9 this week, will not be thanking him. He’ll be hungry to make up for it against Brentford.

City protect incredible home run

City were unbeaten in all competitions across 2023 at the Etihad, drawing just four of 29 games. For so long in this match, it looked like they would taste defeat in a Premier League home game for the first time since November 2022.

But the champions showed their mettle at the end. They are now unbeaten in 36 successive league, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup matches at the Etihad. It is a remarkable record.

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