The Premier League curtain raiser saw Manchester City pull one over Chelsea and today we take a look at some of the lessons we learned.
Diminished role for Moses?
Chelsea have played with wing-backs for the last two years under Antonio Conte and Victor Moses played an integral role on the right wing. Maurizio Sarri prefers a flatter back four as has been the case during their pre-season tour. This was also the case at Wembley in the Community Shield where Moses was dropped to the bench. It is very likely that he will operate as a winger but this will mean dropping down the pecking order, behind Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro and youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi. We should expect to see less of him in a starting role in the new season.
Chelsea need to sign a striker
The Blues might have lost yesterday’s fixtures because of many reasons, but chief amongst them is their lack of a consistent striker. Alvaro Morata has found it difficult to fit in the shoes left by Diego Costa and the same was apparent yesterday when they played City. He was isolated for the better part of the time he was on the pitch and he has not looked dangerous for Chelsea during the pre-season. Olivier Giroud is in his 30s whilst Michy Batshuayi lacks experience to lead a team like Chelsea for a whole season. There is a very strong case for Chelsea to sign an out and out striker if they are to remain competitive on many fronts.
Bernardo and Foden further City’s midfield options
Manchester City won the Premier League title last season, thanks in part to a very efficient midfield manned by Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho. De Bruyne and Silva were missing yesterday but the presence of Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden ensured that the two were not missed one bit. Silva produced a brilliant man of the match performance alongside Foden and the two registered an assist each for Sergio Aguero. City looked very comfortable and they will be approaching the new season full of confidence now that they have enough options in their midfield.
Good start for Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez completed his dream move to City from Leicester and the future looks bright for the Algerian international if what we saw is anything to go by. There is no doubt he is an excellent signing and whereas he will need time to adapt he showed elements of what we should expect from him. He was quite effective on the left side of the wing, despite being caught offside on a few occasions. He will get better with time as he adjusts to a totally different system to the one he was used to at Leicester.
More youngsters for the Premier League
The lateness of some players due to their involvement in the World Cup ensured that there was space to incorporate young talent from the two sides in the fixture. There were a lot of positives seeing that Foden and Hodson-Odoi impressed their managers with their displays. Foden is only 18-years old and he produced a mature performance setting up Aguero for City’s first goal. Hodson-Odoi, was equally impressive for Chelsea with flashes of his pace and skill showing despite being set-up against the experienced Kyle Walker. From the foregoing, there is a lot of hope for the future of these youngsters.