by Pontsho Mantlhakga
It was a battle of the blues for top spot as Chelsea visited Manchester City. The Blues came into the game knowing three points would send a statement to their rivals for the Premier League title.
In a game of much significance, where a win for either team would guarantee them top spot, Manchester City started the game like a house on fire, forcing Chelsea defenders to make mistakes. On the stroke of half-time; a Jesus Navas' inviting delivery into the box caused panic for the Blues' defence as Gary Cahill scored an own goal to give the home side the lead going into the break.
In the second interval, Man City continued to make Chelsea's defensive area a panic station. Kevin De Bruyne missed a sitter from a telling cross to put the game beyond doubt for the Sky Blues. On the contrary, the Blues made Man City to pay for their missed chances, the introduction of Willian in the 50th minute paid dividends. Chelsea started containing the home side and in the 60th minute a Hollywood pass by Cesc Fabregas saw Diego Costa through to give the visitors the equaliser.
The game turned on its head as the visitors started to dictate proceedings. Diego Costa went from scorer to provider when he laid through a fine pass for the substitute Willian on the 70th minute mark in what was an orthodox Chelsea counter-attack to give the London side the lead.
The home side then went forward in numbers pushing for the equaliser, but it proved costly as they were left exposed at the back. In the 90th minute, Eden Hazard added salt to the wounds of the home side when he sealed victory with the third goal to make it 3-1 for Chelsea.
It was a highly charged game, and tempers flared in the dying minutes when Manchester City's duo of Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho got their marching orders. Agüero tackled Chelsea's David Luiz on the knee while Fernandinho choked Cesc Fabregas during a brawl on the touch line.
Two great European managers in Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola went head-to-head for the first time in club football, and it was Conte who came out on top.
The Italian Antonio Conte has done an outstanding job in reviving Chelsea Football Club following their ratchet form last season.
Chelsea have now won eight games on the spin, scoring 22 goals, keeping six clean sheets and conceding only two goals in the process.
On Sunday, Liverpool travelled to the South Coast to face Bournemouth looking to go a point behind log leaders Chelsea to keep the title race heated, but the home side had other ideas.
Bournemouth stunned Liverpool after coming down from 3-1 to win 4-3. Liverpool came into the game without their talisman Coutinho, who sustained an ankle injury and is out for five weeks.
Sadio Mané and Divock Origi gave Liverpool a 2-0 lead before half-time. The Reds were in cruise control. But the Introduction of Ryan Fraser in the second half by the home side changed the dynamic of the game, Fraser added zest and incisiveness to the Cherries. The home side were awarded a penalty which was converted by Callum Wilson to make it 2-1. Emre Can extended the lead for Liverpool after a superb pile-driver to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
Super sub Ryan Fraser reduced the deficit to one goal to make it 2-3 for the home side after 76 minutes. With Liverpool taking their foot off the paddle, the Cherries kept pilling the pressure and Steve Cook equalised for the home side to make it 3-3. It was a frantic ending to the game and the unthinkable happened, in the 92nd minute Nathan Aké scored the winner for Bournemouth to make it 4-3 after a goalkeeping error by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Red Devils held
In another game on Sunday, Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw against Everton after leading for most of the game.
Zlatan Ibrahimović opened the scoring for The Red Devils in the 42nd minute after goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg came out of his line to stop the goal but he was beaten.
Man United's substitute, Marouane Felliani conceded a penalty that brought the Toffees back in the game. Leighton Baines slotted the penalty home to equalise.
Manchester United is winless in six games.