Antonio Conte opted to field a starting XI without a recognised striker at the Etihad Stadium, with Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro sharing the attacking responsibilities. On paper, at least - they haven’t had particularly attacking responsibilities during the match itself. The first 45 minutes of football have seen Chelsea “suffer without the ball”, as Conte himself would surely prefer to put it. In rough translation, it’s pretty much been all Manchester City and Chelsea have been set up accordingly, in anticipation.
City’s ball possession teetered around the 80% mark for most of the half, with Chelsea just about gnawing a little more into it towards the end. Pep Guardiola’s side have been tireless and relentless, with and without the ball, owing to which Chelsea simply haven’t been able to string passes together. Thankfully, Chelsea have turned up defensively, weathering the City storm without too much of a hassle. The Champions-elect have had one major chance to speak of, with Kevin De Bruyne finding Leroy Sane from a set play and Cesar Azpilcueta subsequently clearing off the line.
To put a long story short, most of the game has been spent in the Chelsea half but the Blues look to be good value for a draw, as things stand.