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manchester city

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Chelsea winger Willian scored in the Blues’ comeback win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon. Chelsea are now four points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

The Brazil international said: “Diego Costa laid on a great pass for my goal, playing with him is great.”

Willian paid tribute to Chapecoense when he scored: “I wanted to dedicate my goal to the victims and their families – he claimed  – They have to stay strong.”

Also centre-back David Luiz spoke after the game, saying: “I want to dedicate this win to the people who died in Brazil.

“It was difficult to get my head together as I had some friends there. We just need to pray for the victim’s families.”

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola analysed his team’s defeat against Chelsea.

First of all, he gave his opinion about Aguero’s horrible challenge on David Luiz in the injury time:

“It was not intentional, I don’t think so. If it’s a red card, it’s a red card. We accept that,” Guardiola said in his post-match press conference.

It’s a pity it finished like this. It’s the way the referee decided but it’s a pity. I don’t like that, I apologise for what happened. Fernandinho went to defend his team-mate.”

“We didn’t win because we missed a lot of chances, not because of the referee. Never in seven years have I blamed that referee,”

“My team have to be proud of what they did and the way they tried to play. In the box we are not strong enough. We arrive in the box and don’t score, the opponents arrive and they do score.”

 

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This is how Chelsea boss Antonio Conte viewed the match against Manchester City, that eventually brought the Blues three points:

“I think today was very tough and the game was open until the end,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“There were lots of chances for both teams to score.

“I saw lots of character from my team and that’s very important to grow.

“But we must continue to work and improve.”

Cesc Fabregas today made his first appearance since September and Conte admitted he was delighted with the midfielder’s performance.

“He played a good game – I know I can always count on him,” Conte said.

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Diego Costa explains Chelsea’s success at Manchester City after a thrilling come-back.

Pep Guardiola side were leading 1-0 at the end of the first half but were also inconsistent in front of the goal, and eventually the Blues took advantage of Citizens’ forwards poor form today:

“We are working very well tactically, everyone know what we have got to do,” Costa explained after the game.

“Man City had opportunities to score second goal but they missed and when we scored we had more confidence then had opportunity to score and we did. It was a great game.”

Costa also opened up on his improved discipline in recent weeks.

“I want to be on the pitch and I want to be cool.”

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MANCHESTER CITY – Bravo, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Navas, Sane, De Bruyne, Silva (c), Aguero

Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Sagna, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Fernando, Iheanacho

Manager: Pep Guardiola

CHELSEACourtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard

Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Aina, Chalobah, Oscar, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

Kick-Off 12:30 BST Saturday 3rd December

Venue: Etihad Stadium

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Chelsea winger Pedro spoke ahead of the clash against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

The Spaniard, who has been recently named for the Goal of the Month prize, told the club’s official website: “It’s good to be nominated for the awards but it’s not just me, the team are all in good form and full of confidence,”

“I’m working well with my team-mates and just looking to help the side by doing my best and scoring goals”.

“It was a beautiful goal against Tottenham and it came at the right moment in the game for us, it was very important for us to score before half-time”.

“It was a very tough game and in a derby it’s always good for the team to get a win, especially after going 1-0 down. We want to continue to play with this mentality and take it game by game. We are top of the league right now so that’s very good for the confidence of the team.”

Then Pedro added: “It’s very good to react well when you need to. Against Tottenham we started to press higher up the pitch and scored the winning goal in the second half: the team are performing well in every game, we are all working for each other, which is really important”.

About the team: “I feel very comfortable in the team. With Antonio we are working very hard and planning for the matches during the week. Now we face a very difficult game against Man City, it’s an important challenge for the team. We want to stay top but of course it will be difficult.”

About Moses: “Victor is playing very well, he’s on fire and performing well in every game,’ he adds. ‘In the last few matches he’s been our best player and it’s a pleasure for me to play with him on the right-hand side. He’s very compact, really strong and he has a lot of skill, he’s a complete player.”

About Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “My relationship with him is very good, he’s a very important person in terms of my career from our time at Barcelona. He was a very good coach for me”.

“He has very good ideas, he likes to press high and play from side to side, with people in between the lines looking to score goals. He’s a very good coach, they are a strong team and it will be a difficult game for us.”

Chelsea are set to face the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium today, and Pedro is confident that his side can earn another crucial win.

“I think he will probably tell them to press us high and make it difficult for us to play. He will want them to move the ball very quickly and look to create chances. It’s a tough game but we are doing very well, it’s a good moment for us and a good time to play this game”.

“It would be a big step for us if we can go four points clear of Man City. It would be very important for our confidence, It’s a big test for us and we’re looking forward to it.”

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Ivanovic, Aguero and Fabregas challenging for the ball in last year game at Stamford Bridge © Francesca Ceciarini

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City

– No fresh injuries concerns for Pep Guardiola

– Captain Vincent Kompany is the only notable absentee after being ruled for about another month with a knee injury.

– Midfielder Fabian Delph has not played since August but is training and nearing a return after a groin operation.

 

Chelsea 

– Only John Terry will be absent for a muscular injury in his gluteus that will rule him out for another couple of weeks

Antonio Conte will probably line up the same starting formation for the seventh consecutive game

– The Italian manager said two players were a doubt before travelling to Manchester but didn’t want to reveal their names

 

POSSIBLE LINE UPS

MANCHESTER CITY – Bravo, Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Nolito, Aguero.

 

CHELSEA – Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Pedro, Costa, Hazard.

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Antonio Conte and Chelsea when meeting the press ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the Blues:

Conte one of the best coaches in the world right now,” said the Spaniard.

“It is the first time we are going to face each other. It’s good to play against him.

“He made an exceptional job in Turin and in the Italian national team. It doesn’t matter if it is Serie A or the national team, you realise his strengths.”

Going on about Conte’s job at Chelsea, he said:

He has started here with maybe not good results, but they have won last seven games, conceding one goal. That says a lot about how good they are.

“They were contenders to win the Premier League from the beginning. Now, maybe more than before. It’s a good test for us.”

“When they have the ball, they play like a 3-4-3,” he said.

“They defend with many players behind the ball.

“They have conceded just one goal. They are doing well. When I was at Munich, a lot of teams play with four or five at the back, closing the space down in the middle. They allow you to cross the ball from wide because they have five players in the box.”

Guardiola claimed there are no fresh injuries ahead of the game and also revealed he gave his players Monday and Tuesday off because they had their first free midweek of the season.

He and his players are also sleeping at their training complex tonight because the game is a 12.30 kick-off.

“We were 11, 12, 13 days with a day off. In training, the players like to play every day,” the ex Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss stated.

“We don’t give a day off to the players when you have a lot of games in a row. That’s why they had two days off and we were training for three days to prepare for Chelsea.

“We all like to play football, that’s why we’re here, but sometimes you have four, five or six months, playing, playing, playing, so not playing one week is good, not only for the players, the staff to see their families.

“Tomorrow we play early, so we will sleep here. Today I decided to go to the Etihad before the game, but not for a special thing.”

 

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