Gabriel Jesus struck a potentially significant blow in the Premier League title race for Manchester City, as his goal helped them defeat their Champions League final conquerors Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
The meeting between the European and English champions, four months on from their clash on the big stage in Porto, lived up to its billing, with City at first dominant, grabbing their deserved goal when Jesus swivelled and shot into the bottom corner on 53 minutes.
It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded from open play in the league this season and it transformed the contest into a furious end-to-end battle.
Jack Grealish had a shot tipped around the post and Jesus was denied a second by Thiago Silva’s goal-line clearance, before Romelu Lukaku’s tap-in was ruled out for offside, Mateo Kovacic’s shot was deflected wide, and Grealish was kept out again by Edouard Mendy.
After suffering three defeats in a row to Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola could finally celebrate a victory over the German at the final whistle – and a result which pulls Man City level with previously unbeaten Chelsea on 13 points in the table.
After their stutter against Southampton last weekend, the win and performance also adds belief to City’s campaign for back-to-back titles, ahead of a week which sees them go to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League and then Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
As for Chelsea, who failed to land a shot on target, they will have to pick themselves up in time for a Champions League trip to Juventus in midweek, and then re-focus on their Premier League aspirations at home to Southampton next time out.