Manchester City continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 0-1 win over fellow title contenders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge thanks to a stunning strike from Kevin de Bruyne.
Antonio Conte brought Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen into his back three alongside club captain Gary Cahill, while regular centre back Cesar Azpilicueta moved to wing back, as the home side looked to stifle the creativity that had seen City score 21 times in six league outings.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus led the line for the visitors in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero, and Fabian Delph switched to wing back as makeshift cover for Benjamin Mendy, who is a long term absentee with ACL damage.
The best chance of a relatively quiet first half came minutes before the break when Fernandinho powered a bullet header towards Chelsea’s goal from a Kevin De Bruyne corner. However, Belgium number one Thibaut Courtois produced a fine save to keep the score 0-0 at half-time.
The big news of the first half however came on 35 minutes, when Chelsea star striker Alvaro Morata limped off with a suspected hamstring injury and was replaced by Willian.
Manchester City looked in a class above the home side for the majority of the encounter and the Citizens’ got the lead they deserved in the 67th minute.
Kevin De Bruyne played a pass into Gabriel Jesus on the edge of the box, the Brazilian forward then flicked the ball back into the path of the Belgian playmaker, who unleashed an unstoppable effort into the back of the net.
This was the second time this week De Bruyne had scored a long range strike, following his Champions League effort against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening.
Despite Chelsea being 1-0 down, it was the visitors who pushed hardest for the next goal of the game and the Citizens were unlucky not to double their lead when Rudiger made a superb block off the line from a Gabriel Jesus shot.
Pep Guardiola will be delighted with the dominant display his team showed against one of their title rivals, while Antonio Conte may feel he got his tactics a little wrong – particularly after Morata’s injury – as his side failed to get a foothold in the game against the high pressing from City.