Even when Manchester City aren’t at their best their determination not to lose was on display. Several of City’s key players had a rare off day against Chelsea. The squad’s ability to overcome any setback saw Pep Guardiola’s side leave Stamford Bridge with a point.
It was evident from kick-off against Mauricio Pochettino’s side that Chelsea were up for the contest. The Blues were determined to unsettle the European champions. They pressed City with intent and their pace to get in behind the City defence caused the treble winners issues throughout the game. It was one of Chelsea’s better performances of the season.
It was clear during the game that Chelsea had unnerved Pep Guardiola’s side. The usual composure in possession and defence was missing. Due to that, the game became an open affair reminiscent of famous Champions League ties City had been involved in years past. A draw was a fair result but the way the game played is something Pep Guardiola wants his side to avoid.
The ability to overcome a down night from several key players is an underrated ability of Pep Guardiola’s side. All champion sides have the ability to grind out results and overcome adversity and Manchester City have it in spades. During the past three title-winning campaigns City’s resolve has been a key part of their success.
To leave a difficult ground after a down performance from so many with a point makes it a valuable point for City. Manuel Akanji spoke of the team’s disappointment to not claim all three points after leading the game three times. But at times during a long season a point won under trying circumstances can prove valuable come the season’s end.