Chelsea remain in charge of Premier League title race with Manchester City triumph

Chelsea players celebrate after Eden Hazard’s crucial goal at the Bridge.
Chelsea players celebrate after Eden Hazard’s crucial goal at the Bridge.

Chelsea remain in charge at the top of the Premier League after claiming a crucial victory over Manchester City.

Antonio Conte’s side regained their grip on the title race after coming under a bit of pressure following their shock defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The gap remains at seven points as Mauricio Pochettinho’s Spurs recovered from a scare at Swansea to win 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

Managers Pep Guardiola and Conte sprung a few surprises with their team selections at Stamford Bridge.

Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph were unexpected names in the City starting XI while Conte opted for Kurt Zouma over Nemanja Matic in a slight reshuffle.

READ MORE: Premier League Round-Up – Blues in control but Spurs show grit

READ MORE: Five things we learned from a crazy night in Swansea

David Silva on the ball for Man City
David Silva on the ball for Man City

It took just 10 minutes for the deadlock to be broken in west London as Eden Hazard’s deflected effort put Chelsea in front.

Guardiola’s team hauled themselves level midway through the half when Sergio Aguero took full advantage of a comical Thibaut Courtois clearance.

City were in the ascendancy but found themselves behind at the break after Fernandinho clumsily brought down Pedro and conceded a penalty.

Belgian superstar Hazard stepped up and watched in horror as Willy Caballero got down well to keep out his spot-kick before slotting home the rebound.

Conte was seemingly unhappy with Chelsea’s defensive play and replaced Zouma with Nemanja Matic at the interval.

Eden Hazard wheels away in celebration
Eden Hazard wheels away in celebration

Matic occupied his usual midfield role as Pedro switched to right wing-back and Spanish international Cesar Azpilicueta moved back into the centre.

The tactical switch worked a treat as the Blues took control in west London with a professional performance that had all the hallmarks of a title-winning side.

A trip to Bournemouth, who held Liverpool to a draw on Tuesday, awaits Conte’s Chelsea this coming weekend in what looks an easier fixture.

Another three points against the Cherries and the silverware will be tantalisingly close for the Italian manager in his debut Premier League campaign.

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