Kevin de Bruyne strike lifts Man City 13 points clear

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Kevin De Bruyne produced a moment of world-class quality to tighten Manchester City’s stranglehold on the Premier League title race with victory over Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.

The former Chelsea player broke the deadlock in a tight game with a superb curling drive past keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with 20 minutes left to extend City’s lead at the top of the table to an imposing 13 points.

Chelsea had their chances, the best coming when Ederson saved from Romelu Lukaku in the second half but De Bruyne made the difference, and City now also have a 14-point advantage over Liverpool, who have two games in hand.

City deserved the win for their greater urgency and possession, Kepa keeping out Jack Grealish with a first-half save, and this represents another significant stride in their quest to retain the Premier League crown.

In a game of this nature, fought out by two well-disciplined sides led by elite managers in Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel, it always seemed likely a mistake or a moment of the highest quality would settle it.

And so it proved as De Bruyne created and finished the decisive move all on his own as City and Chelsea strived to make the breakthrough.

City had not been able to impose sustained threat on Chelsea, despite having so much possession, but they have the calibre of player who can fashion a goal out of nothing.

On this occasion, it was De Bruyne who stepped up, running deep into Chelsea territory in the 70th minute before curling a perfect low right-foot finish before the outstretched left arm of Kepa and into the bottom corner.

Etihad Stadium celebrated in a fashion fitting for a moment of such class and importance and these three points once again give the impression that City’s lead in the title race is pretty much unassailable.

Guardiola has stars at the other end too and keeper Ederson played his part with a vital save from Lukaku when he was clean through. He also brought fist pumps and wild applause from his manager when he raced out of the area to head clear and snuff out Chelsea danger late on.

City closed out the win without any serious alarms, Guardiola and his team striking a huge blow as they try to see off the chasing pack – which is effectively Chelsea and Liverpool – at the top of the Premier League.

SourceBBC

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