History repeats itself as the Citizens beat Blues
Written By: Robert Halter
Premier League champions, Manchester City and FA Cup holders Chelsea met in the 2018 FA Community Shield for the first time in six years after the Citizens beat the Blues. In the third minute, a threaded pass from John Stones, was driven wide of the far post by Leroy Sane. On ten minutes, a right footed shot by Sergio Aguero was fired wide to the left through an assist by Riyad Mahrez. But the Citizens got the breakthrough three minutes later, when after exchanging passes with Phil Foden, the ball was driven past Willy Caballero, with a menacing strike from Aguero, into the bottom right corner. The Blues looked for a response, after Jorginho was brought down by Mahrez, and a free kick from Cesc Fabregas, drifted high into the area, which was pushed away by Claudio Bravo. But at the other end, Aguero went close again, with a low drive outside the box, from a long ball forward by Bravo, but the strike from Aguero was smothered by Caballero. Midway through the first half, from an Aguero assist, a brave block by Caballero, fended away Sane. In the twenty fifth minute, from a Fabregas pass, the ball was bent wide of the crossbar by Alvaro Morata. In the thirty first minute, Pedro found an unmarked Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose effort went wide. In the next three minutes, after collecting a pass from Ross Barkley, a strike by Hudson-Odoi, was scooped away by Bravo. In first half stoppage time, a speculative lob by Marcos Alonso fooled Bravo, as the ball bobbled over him, before the Citizens keeper collected the stray ball. Before the re-start, Pep Guardiola replaced Sane with Ilkay Gundogan. A slip by Jorginho let in Aguero, who raced through but put his strike wide of the mark, in the forty seventh minute. City missed out again on fifty minutes, when Foden freed space for Aguero, who rounded Caballero, but could only find the outside netting of the right post. Two minutes on, after Foden collected the ball from Aguero, his left footed strike went straight into Caballero. In the fifty eighth minute, Gundogan ran the show, before the ball was slid through from Bernardo Silva, and the unmistakable Aguero, struck the ball into the bottom right corner with a low strike off his right peg. The Blues then switched Hudson-Odoi with Willian and at the same time replaced Fabregas with Danny Drinkwater. In the sixty fifth minute, after Willain pressurised Aymeric Laporte, the loose ball was collected by Pedro, who turned his strike wide of the target. But the Citizens responded, as Foden supplied Mahrez, whose first time strike went narrowly past the right post. Mahrez was then taken off for Gabriel Jesus before Chelsea new boss, Maurizio Sarri switched Morata with Tammy Abraham. After David Luiz cleared the lines from a Foden header, through a free kick by Gundogan, following a foul on Jesus by Anotonio Rudiger, moments later a hat trick opportunity then fell to Aguero from a delivery by Kyle Walker, but Caballero, denied the City forward with an instinctive stop to palm the ball away. Foden then made way for Benjamin Mendy, who could have made an impact but found the side netting from an Aguero assist. Further changes by both sides saw Victor Moses replace Pedro and Aguero made way for Vincent Kompany. On eighty three minutes, Caballero was at full stretch to keep out a low strike by Diaz, following a pass by Gundogan and then Caballero made a double handed block to keep out Jesus, who was found by Walker. Another City change saw Nicolas Otamendi appearing for the weary Laporte. The Blues soon broke forward with Barkley finding Abraham, and as Bravo made the stop, a frantic interception by Otamendi, put the ball out to prevent Moses from converting. At the end from a Walker through ball, Caballero fended away Silva. Then a mix up in the Blues defence nearly gifted City a goal, as there was a scramble with Diaz and Gundogan, before Silva steered the ball wide off Rudiger. Another substitution was made as Stones made way for Claudio Gomes as Man City conquered Chelsea 2-0.