Chelsea dusted off the big, strong, double-decker parked bus from a bygone era, and rode that thing to a solid 0-0 half-time scoreline, restricting Manchester City to just a handful shots and very few dangerous opportunities, but as a consequence, offered very little going forward.
The pattern continued in the second half. Hazard wasted a 1-v-1, then Aguero had a goal rightly ruled out for offside. Legs eventually tired and spaces started opening up. Kanté, then Pedro wasted amazing counter-attacking chances.
And so, neither Chelsea nor City were able to drag the scoreline out of the 0-0 draw. Into extra time we went, bringing forth new striker Gonzalo Higuaín for the excellent Willian in hopes that we put an end to the deadlock.
We did not, and City failed once again. Penalties ensued, where City came out as winners.
- Sarri surprises with the return of the false-9, which provides extra balance by putting Hazard in the center rather than either flank. It lasts 95 minutes, as Higuaín takes over the no.9 position in extra time.
- Emerson gets a second consecutive start; uninjured Alonso not even in the matchday squad.
- Subs are Callum Hudson-Odoi for Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Ross Barkley, Higuaín for Willian.
- We would have a fourth one if Kepa did not refuse to leave the pitch for Caballero. LOL.
- Azpilicueta, Emerson, Hazard scores for Chelsea on penalties, with Jorginho and David Luiz missing. Gündogan, Agüero, Silva and Sterling beat Kepa, with only Sané not converting his PK.
- Next up: Tottenham at Stamford Bridge for the Premier League.