De Bruyne brilliance lifts Man City 13 points clear in EPL

AP , Saturday 15 Jan 2022

Kevin De Bruyne curled home a brilliant second-half goal to earn Manchester City a 1-0 win over Chelsea and a 13-point lead over its nearest rival in the Premier League on Saturday.

Manchester City s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) avoids a challenge by Chelsea s French midfielder N Golo Kante during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on January 15, 2022. AFP

The Belgium midfielder collected a pass from Joao Cancelo deep in his own half, drove forward, and found the bottom corner with a shot from just outside the area.

It gave City a 12th straight win on its relentless march toward a sixth title in 11 years, with third-place Liverpool now the team with likely the best chance of catching Pep Guardiola's side at 14 points behind but with two games in hand.

It also would have given De Bruyne a certain sense of personal satisfaction, being a former Chelsea player _ he was sold in 2014 without making a mark at Stamford Bridge _ and considering the anguish he suffered by being forced off with a head injury during the Champions League final loss to same opponent last season.

City dominated the majority of an intense game at Etihad Stadium, stopping second-place Chelsea from having a shot in the first half and seeing Jack Grealish squander the best chance before halftime when his shot was deflected behind by the outstretched leg of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Romelu Lukaku had Chelsea's best opportunity at the start of the second half, but Ederson saved the striker's curling shot after he had been played through. Otherwise, the visitors were penned back inside their own half by City's press and control of the ball.

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