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Much-changed Manchester City beat Chelsea amid title party

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A rotated Manchester City squad eased past Chelsea to treat the Etihad faithful to a win in the preamble to their trophy ceremony.

MANCHESTER – A much-changed Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 as the main focus at the Etihad Stadium was to celebrate their third-straight Premier League title win.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the team which battered Real Madrid in midweek and three of them combined for the only goal as Kalvin Phillips played in Cole Palmer who set up Julian Alvarez to finish.

Chelsea huffed and puffed as Conor Gallagher hit the post while Raheem Sterling (who got a great reception from the City fans when he was subbed off) twice came close as caretaker boss Frank Lampard at least saw his side dig in.

But it was City’s fringe players and youngsters who showed just how good they are as Guardiola will have the luxury of resting his star men for the final three Premier League games and ahead of the FA Cup final against Manchester United on June 3 and the UEFA Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

With the win Manchester City move on to 88 points for the season with two games to go. Chelsea remain on 43 points and are guaranteed to finish in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 1996.


City’s youngsters ready to stand in

Yes, this was a Chelsea side struggling but the likes of Cole Palmer, Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Rico Lewis all proved they can stand in whenever they are called upon and the level won’t drop that much. Now and in the future. Pep Guardiola rotated his team, as he should, but the likes of Foden, Alvarez could still play a big role in the FA Cup and Champions League finals. Kalvin Phillips also proved his class and there is so much focus on the starting lineup at City that the back ups don’t often get the credit they deserve. Most of these players will get another run out next Sunday against Brentford and the hunger they showed proves they can play their part in the finale of what they hope is a glorious treble. Even if they don’t play a big role in the two finals coming up, City’s future is looking bright as this much-changed side played an incredible similar style and imitated the superstars they back up. Yes, that is what they should do. But few teams in the history of the game have ever had a reserve lineup as good as this.


Stars of the show; Manchester City vs Chelsea player ratings

Cole Palmer: Set up Alvarez’s goal and was majestic cutting in off the left. What a talent he is and hopefully we get to see more of him in the future.

Kalvin Phillips: Lovely first time ball to set up Alvarez’s goal. Header hit the post and positioning was excellent. Showed he can be counted on.

Julian Alvarez: Took his goal well and looked sharp throughout. There are no better back up strikers than him.

Manchester City vs Chelsea


What’s next?

Manchester City travel to Brighton Wednesday, May 24 then end their Premier League season with a trip to Brentford on Sunday, May 28. Chelsea have another away trip to Manchester as they play at Man United on Thursday, May 25. The Blues then host Newcastle on the final day of the season.


How to watch Manchester City vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET SundayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com

Manchester City vs Chelsea live analysis + title celebrations! - By Joe Prince-Wright at Etihad Stadium

Plenty of reaction and analysis to City’s title win across our platforms. A good time was had by all in Manchester. Thanks for joining us!

What a brilliant celebration this is. City’s players are enjoying this, but you get the feeling they holding back until they win the FA Cup and the Champions League too. Or at least that is their plan...

Manchester City lift the Premier League trophy (video)

Huge ovations for Silva, Haaland, Dias, De Bruyne and Stones. Brilliant atmosphere here.

The players are out to collect their medals and there is a huge line of support staff, coaching staff and other members of the club all lined up and receiving applause from the fans.

FULL TIME: Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea - A routine win for City’s youngsters and back ups and Haaland, De Bruyne, Rodri and Stones made appearances in the second half. It is party time at the Etihad.

Erling Haaland comes on for Mahrez to a huge ovation and with his first touch he plays the ball across goal and Lewis almost converts at the back post. So close to a second for City.

NO GOALLLL! Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea - Riyad Mahrez is played in over the top and beats Lewis Hall who slipped over, but Mahrez handled the ball as he controlled it and then played it to Alvarez to slot home. Clear handball. No goal. Play on.

Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling gets a standing ovation from the City fans as he is subbed off. Nice touch, that.

Raheem Sterling denied on the counter as John Stones clears his shot off the line. Turns out Sterling was just offside but it was very close. Still, great defending from Stones.

To their credit, Chelsea have hung in there. They are pressing high and City haven’t been at their free-flowing best.

POST! Kalvin Phillips flicks a great header towards the bottom corner but it hits the post and Chelsea clear. So close to a second for Man City.

John Stones comes on early in the second half and City’s other subs are going for a warm up on the sidelines. As they do, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva all get very warm receptions. City’s fans and players are having a lovely old time out there.

The second half is underway and there are no changes for either team.

HALF TIME: Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea - The hosts looked slick to start the first half and Julian Alvarez gave them a deserved lead but Chelsea had a few chances. The sun is out and City’s fans are enjoying seeing some of their youngsters and fringe stars play. It is scary how good their second XI is.

There has been a lull after that flurry of chances for Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s side are in damage limitation mode. Man City are playing not to get injured.

POST! Another good chance for Chelsea as Conor Gallagher’s header hits the post and then comes off Ortega’s knee and bounces clear.

SAVE! First big chance of the game for Chelsea as Enzo Fernandez does really well in midfield and Kai Havertz finds Raheem Sterling but his low shot is brilliantly saved by Stefan Ortega.

Meanwhile, back on the pitch (there is a game going on, you know!?), Phil Foden lofts a delicate effort just wide of the far post. Foden, remember him? Just one of the best young players on the planet who has been a back up for City for most of this season due to injury.

There is a real party atmosphere here. City’s fans aren’t even watching the game. They’re doing the Poznan in the stands. Delightful stuff.

CLOSE! Cole Palmer’s deflected shot is cleared off the line by Chalobah. This is quite embarrassing from Chelsea. Man City playing through their entire midfield with ease.

There is the occasional rendition of ‘stand up, for the Champions!’ from the home fans and most of the supporters all get up and applaud. Lots of appreciation for a third-straight title win. This type of dominance will never, ever get boring to these Man City fans.

Should be 2-0 to City. Brilliant flowing move involving academy graduates Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis ends in Alvarez getting in Foden’s way, then Mahrez’s shot is deflected over.

GOALLLL! Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea - Julian Alvarez slots home and the party continues here at the Etihad. That all came from Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana giving the ball away and Palmer surging forward to find Alvarez to slot home. Too easy for City. On the pitch the party has been started early.

Chelsea have yet to get going and it is all Man City. Cole Palmer is seeing a lot of the ball down the left.

City have had three chances already. Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Riyad Mahrez all heavily involved.

KICK OFF! We are underway here and the atmosphere is electric.

We are edging towards kick off here and City’s subs are having a lovely game of keepy ups. De Bruyne, Rodri, Grealish, Stones, Gundogan and Dias all involved. Not a bad crew...

The starting lineups are here and Manchester City have rotated heavily. That is still quite the team they have put out but just look at that bench. Manuel Akanji and Kyle Walker are the only two who keep their starting spot from the win against Real Madrid. Chelsea make plenty of changes from their draw with Nottingham Forest, with Kepa, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kai Havertz and Wesley Fofana all coming in.

Hello and welcome to the Etihad! The sun is shinning, the flags and banners are out and Manchester City fans are in full party mood as they celebrate winning the 2022-23 Premier League title. Quite the atmosphere here.


Key storylines & star players

Is there any letdown for City following the Real Madrid blowout? It seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened in the Premier League. Erling Haaland continues to rewrite the Premier League single season goals record book, and Kevin De Bruyne is going to lead the division in assists yet again.

Do Frank Lampard’s Blues have anything in the tank? Can the occasion help them find some semblance of the quality that matches their talent and reputation? Players like Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta have the character to drive the Blues, but they’ve looked cooked more often than not.


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup

QUESTIONABLE: Nathan Ake (thigh)

Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Mateo Kovacic (other), Marcus Bettinelli (other), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Marc Cucurella (thigh), Mason Mount (groin), N’Golo Kante (groin), Reece James (thigh), Armando Broja (ACL), Benoit Badiashile (groin)

Follow @NicholasMendola