Manchester City missed the opportunity to move three points clear at the top of the Premier League table as they drew 4-4 with Chelsea on Sunday.
It was a captivating contest that went back and forth, with City taking the lead three times, while Chelsea also held the advantage in the latter stages of the first half. As the game entered injury-time, and Erling Erling brace, Manuel Akanji’s header and Rodri’s deflected goal seemed to have handed City the win, but Cole Plamer, who left City last summer, netted a 95th-minute penalty to ensure the points were shared at Stamford Bridge.
The visitors had lacked their usual elegant fluidity in the early exchanges, with Chelsea seeing more of the ball and having some joy in the wide areas via ex-City men Raheem Sterling and Palmer.
Yet, it was the champions to netted first after Marc Cucurella, somewhat harshly, was judged to have pulled Haaland down in the box, and a spot-kick was awarded. The Norwegian stood up and emphatically slotted his penalty into the back of the net.
Chelsea responded well with Reece James seeing a free-kick tipped over by Ederson, before Thiago Silva headed Mauricio Pochettino’s men back on level terms, just four minutes after Haaland’s penalty.
Soon after, Chelsea took the lead in a pulsating end to the first period. It was Sterling who taped in at the back post in the 37th minute, a trademark goal and the sort he honed under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.
But the game opening up allowed City to get into their groove, with Robert Sanchez forced to make smart stops to keep out Haaland and then Phil Foden, before Akanji headed in a fourth goal of the game in injury-time after he connected with Bernardo Silva’s perfectly flighted cross into the box.
The game’s topsy-turvy nature continued into the second period, as Haaland slid in at the back post within two minutes to restore City’s lead. Foden and Julian Alvarez combined down the right, with the latter crossing towards the back post, and City’s unremitting no.9 managed to bundle the ball across the line.
City could have increased that lead through chances for Alvarez, Jermey Doku and Foden, but all three were saved by Sanchez around the hour mark, while Palmer also spurned an opportunity at the other end after he danced through the City defence and shot right at Ederson. It mattered little, though, as the City stopper spilled a Connor Gallagher shot back into the path of Nicolas Jackson, who poked it into the City goal on 67 minutes.
It was a case of when, not if, there would be another goal, and went it came it was Rodri who smashed the ball past Sanchez, helped by a flick off the toe of Thiago Silva. And a match that was filled with drama wasn’t quite done, as an eighth and final goal of the game was converted from the spot in the fifth minute of injury-time.
Fittingly, on a drama- laden evening, it was Palmer who netted the decisive strike after Ruben Dias whipped out Armando Broja in the box.
Here’s how we rated the City players…