Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Manchester City
from the Etihad Stadium. City are currently fourth in the table, some 12 points off leaders Liverpool, who continued their winning run away to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Chelsea, meanwhile, are a point ahead of the Citizens in third spot. Stay tuned for what should be a cracking contest!
MAN CITY: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; D Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
CHELSEA: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic
Man City's team shows five changes from the one that started against Liverpool before the international break, with Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Mendy, David Silva and Riyad Mahrez
all coming in. Bernando Silva misses out through suspension, while Claudio Bravo, Angelino, Ilkay Gundogan and Kyle Walker drop to the bench for tonight's game.
As for Chelsea, head coach Frank Lampard has made two changes to the side that started against Crystal Palace last time out. Cesar Azpilicueta returns at right-back while Mason Mount drops out to allow Jorginho to return. Christian Pulisic keeps his spot as part of a front three with Tammy Abraham and Willian. Kickoff is now just moments away here!
KICKOFF: Chelsea kick things off at the Etihad Stadium...
... there is simply no downplaying the importance of this match for both teams. Can City respond from the Liverpool defeat? Guardiola's side really, really need to win tonight.
The home fans are in fine voice here, which is not a surprise when considering the importance of the match. City have started the better in terms of possession.
CHANCE! Big chance for the home side as Aguero finds De Bruyne free inside the Chelsea box, but the Belgium international fires just wide of the post - big moment there.
City again work a bright moment as Aguero finds De Bruyne in a dangerous position, but Chelsea have enough players in a defensive area to deal with the latest attack.
City have unquestionably made the better start to this match with the home side in control of the possession. That said, Chelsea have taken up a nice shape here.
CHANCE! Big chance for Chelsea this time as Abraham finds Willian in a dangerous area, but the Brazil international flashes his attempt wide of the far post. Bright move there.
Mount has dropped out of the Chelsea XI tonight but the visitors are still committing plenty of players forward when they have the chance to break. Abraham's use of the ball has been very good in the first 11 minutes as the Englishman continues to hold off Stones.
SHOT! Abraham misses the post with a curling effort as Chelsea threaten again.
Mahrez strikes towards goal but his shot is blocked and Chelsea clear their lines again. Still goalless with 14 minutes on the clock but plenty happening at the Etihad Stadium.
CLOSE! Chelsea come close to taking the lead as the ball breaks for Tomori following a half-cleared corner, and the centre-back's effort is just wide of the post with Emerson beaten!
The flag stays down as Abraham finds himself free inside the City box once again, but eventually the linesman raises his arm. Chelsea continue to enjoy themselves here.
SAVE! Ederson has to keep out a strike from Emerson after the Chelsea defender had found space in a forward position - the defender might have found a pass there!
GOAL! MAN CITY 0-1 CHELSEA (KANTE)
GOAL! Breakthrough! The away side take the lead in the 22nd minute as Kante breaks into the City box before managing to hold off Mendy and squeeze the ball into the back of the net!
If City lose this game then it has to be curtains in terms of their Premier League title hopes. Liverpool would be 12 points clear with both teams on the same number of games.
Chelsea are passing the ball with real confidence here, and the home side are really struggling to get anything going in the middle of the park. Guardiola has real issues here.
All Chelsea at the moment as the visitors continue to move the ball across the park. City have just not managed to gain control of the midfield, with Lampard's tactical change making a real difference. A second for the visitors would not be a surprise here.
GOAL! MAN CITY 1-1 CHELSEA (DE BRUYNE)
GOAL! The home side level the scores in the 29th minute as De Bruyne strikes one from outside the box, with the ball taking a big deflection off Zouma before dropping past Kepa!
Much better from the home side at the moment as they start to move the ball quicker through the lines, and Chelsea's defensive unit is just starting to wobble here.
Pass, pass, pass from City as they continue to probe; Sterling has just burst into the Chelsea box but Zouma was across to make an important interception. Still 1-1 in Manchester.
Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and it must be said that the first half has been excellent. Chelsea will feel unfortunate not to be ahead at this stage.
CLOSE! De Bruyne just misses the top corner with a powerful strike. Much, much better from the home side and particularly De Bruyne, who really seems to be in the mood now.
GOAL! MAN CITY 2-1 CHELSEA (MAHREZ)
GOAL! The turnaround is complete! The home side have a second as Mahrez drives into the Chelsea box before finding the bottom corner with an excellent finish. Mahrez had been quiet up until that point, but it is a very important goal from the attacker.
Willian delivers a dangerous cross into the City box, but Fernandinho does really well to make contact ahead of Abraham. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining here.
City want a penalty as Aguero goes down under a challenge from Tomori, but the referee is not interested and VAR agree with the decision. Still 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
OFF THE BAR! Oh my word! Horror moment from Kepa as the Chelsea goalkeeper gives the ball straight to Aguero, but the Argentine sees his effort hit the crossbar. Huge moment here!
SHOT! Cancelo strikes over the Chelsea crossbar from distance.
We are into the first of two additional minutes at the end of the first period.
Big moment for City as Sterling breaks forward before finding Aguero, who in turn releases David Silva, the Spaniard looks for Sterling again, but the ball runs out of play.
HALF TIME: MAN CITY 2-1 CHELSEA
So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with City leading 2-1. Chelsea had taken the lead through a smart finish from Kante, but De Bruyne levelled the scores before Mahrez completed the turnaround shortly after. It has been a very entertaining first period!
STATISTICS! Chelsea shaded the first-half possession with 56%, while they hit the target with two of their six attempts. City also registered two attempts on target, although the hosts have had three more shots overall. No bookings to report in the first 45 minutes.
BENCH WATCH! Chelsea's bench includes a number of attacking players with Batshuayi, Giroud, Mount and Pedro all capable of making a difference in the second period. City, meanwhile, have the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Foden and Gundogan on their bench tonight.
KICKOFF: The home side resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not a surprise, but both managers will surely have alterations in mind as the second period at the Etihad Stadium develops.
You do get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - will be absolutely massive. If City can score a third then it would be a long way back for the visitors.
CLOSE! Mahrez just misses the bottom corner after again dancing past a couple of Chelsea challenges before looking to score his second of the match.
Not an awful lot happening for Chelsea at the moment as the home side continue to dominate the ball. The visitors really needed to score a second when they had the chance.
MAN CITY SUB! The home side are forced into a change as Rodri limps off the field to be replaced by Gundogan. The Spaniard shakes his head as he leaves the field.
Slightly better from Chelsea in the last few minutes, although the visitors seem vulnerable to the counter-attack as they start to press forward once again here.
SHOT! Kante has a shot blocked behind for a corner as Chelsea threaten again.
SAVE! Really smart goalkeeping from Kepa to keep out an attempt from De Bruyne, who had found space in a dangerous spot once again. End-to-end football at the moment here.
CHANCE! Cancelo meets a low corner from Mahrez, but Chelsea just about manage to deal with it as no City player gambled to fire home from close range. Another big moment.
This has been a cracking game and the atmosphere is brilliant at the moment with the City fans urging their side to score a third, which would really, really harm Chelsea here.
CHELSEA SUB! Chelsea's first change sees Reece James replace Emerson.
Another City attack sees De Bruyne deliver a dangerous cross into the Chelsea box, but Kepa manages to collect before releasing Tomori as the visitors go on the attack.
YELLOW CARD! Jorginho (Chelsea) is booked for a poor tackle on De Bruyne.
Little over 25 minutes of the second period remaining, and you do get the feeling that there is at least one more goal in this match. City really, really must win here.
SAVE! Excellent save from Kepa to tip a Mahrez effort over the crossbar!
MAN CITY SUB! David Silva is replaced by Foden for the home side.
SHOT! Willian strikes over the City crossbar from a dangerous position.
Little over 20 minutes remaining here, and Chelsea are very much in the argument with Lampard's side enjoying plenty of the ball. What a huge conclusion to this match.
SHOT! Foden bursts forward before looking to test Kepa, but the midfielder's attempt never had enough power to seriously trouble the Chelsea goalkeeper. Still 2-1 to the home side.
CHELSEA SUBS! Mount and Batshuayi replace Jorginho and Abraham here.
Smart defending from Zouma to clear ahead of Aguero, who had threatened to meet a low cross from De Bruyne. Little under 15 minutes of the second half remaining here.
MAN CITY SUB! Gabriel Jesus replaces Aguero for the home team.
Little over 10 minutes of the second period remaining, and you do get the feeling that something is going to happen in the latter stages here. Chelsea currently have the ball but City are comfortable. Liverpool will be hoping for a late leveller here.
CLOSE! De Bruyne looks to burst clear of Tomori in a wide position, but the centre-back does really well to make the challenge before Willian strikes over moments later.
Batshuayi breaks into a dangerous position for Chelsea, but the striker loses his footing at the vital moment, allowing City to resume with a goal kick. Still 2-1 to the home side.
Little over five minutes of the second half remaining, and there is no sign of a Chelsea leveller at the moment. However, it only takes a second to score a goal.
Ederson takes a bit of a chance and gets away with one after striking the ball straight against Batshuayi when attempting to chip a pass into his full-back.
Chelsea continue to have plenty of the ball but nothing is happening for the visitors in terms of chances. There might well be three or four minutes of added time here.
Foden breaks into the Chelsea box before delivering a low cross but there are no takers. The Blues then look to break, only for Stones to come across and make the interception.
We are into the first of four additional minutes at the end of the match.
YELLOW CARD! Gundogan (Man City) is booked for a foul on Kante.
CLOSE! Time is running out for Chelsea as the clock continues to tick. Mount has just hit a free kick from distance but it just missed the far post - very good effort.
GOAL! MAN CITY 3-1 CHELSEA (STERLING)
GOAL! The home side secure all the points in the final moments as Sterling manages to find the bottom corner despite a touch from Kepa. That is game, set and match here.
CORRECTION! NO GOAL!
VAR has ruled out Sterling's goal, it was incredibly tight!
FULL TIME: MAN CITY 2-1 CHELSEA
No goal for Sterling, but it matters little in terms of the final result as the home side record a 2-1 win to move to within nine points of leaders Liverpool once again.
That is just about it from me tonight, but I shall leave you with the match report
from what was a very important win for the champions. Thanks for joining us once again!