A sensational start for Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, with Bruno Fernandes scoring from the penalty spot.
There are just 18 seconds on the clock when Anthony Martial dribbles his way along the edge of the City penalty area under pressure from a crowd of players in blue.
Gabriel Jesus is the one to make the telling contact, bundling into the back of Martial’s right leg. Right under the nose of Anthony Taylor, the referee had no hesitation in pointing straight to the spot.
Bruno Fernandes took charge of matters, pulling his strike to the bottom left corner after a staggered run up. Ederson went the right way, got a good hand on the ball, but couldn’t keep it out.
Pep Guardiola makes three changes to the team that clocked up a 21st straight win against Wolverhampton Wanderers in midweek.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and John Stones return to the defence with Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte dropping to the bench; Zinchenko’s inclusion at left-back sees Joao Cancelo shift over to the right.
In midfielder, Bernardo Silva misses out to allow for Ilkay Gundogan spot in the starting XI. Gabriel Jesus continues in the striker’s role so there’s no false nine this afternoon in City’s 4-3-3 formation.
It’s four changes for Manchester United after the draw at Crystal Palace.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rotates Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly again with the former starting alongside Harry Maguire this afternoon.
In midfield, Scott McTominay replaces Nemanja Matic while Dan James gets the nod over Mason Greenwood on the right. Up front, Anthony Martial has won his battle with a knee problem and starts at the top of a 4-2-3-1 in place of the absent Edinson Cavani.
Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has revealed the six words Jose Mourinho said to him which ended his stay at Chelsea.
De Bruyne spent an unhappy six months at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho, having spent the previous season on loan at Werder Bremen, making just nine appearances – three of which were in the Premier League.
Wolfsburg gave De Bruyne an exit in the January window, and the player has since gone on to become arguably the best midielder in the game with Manchester City.
According to the Evening Standard, but it was one pivotal meeting with Mourinho in December 2013 that made De Bruyne make the “best decision to leave Chelsea.”
“There was so much in the press about my relationship with Jose Mourinho,” De Bruyne explained to Sky Sports. “But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice. The plan was always for me to go on loan for a bit.
“Jose called me into his office in December, and it was probably the second big life-changing moment for me. He had some papers in front of him, and he said, ‘One assist. Zero goals. Ten recoveries’.”
“It took me a minute to understand what he was doing. Then he started reading the stats of the other attacking forwards – Willian, Oscar, [Juan] Mata, [Andre] Schurrle. And it’s like – five goals, 10 assists, whatever.
“Jose was just kind of waiting for me to say something, and finally I said, ‘But… some of these guys have played 15, 20 games. I’ve only played three. So it’s going to be different, no?’
“It was so strange. I was completely honest. I said, ‘I feel like the club doesn’t really want me here. I want to play football. I’d rather you sell me.'”
De Bruyne went on to win the Germany FA Cup and Supercup with Wolfsburg before moving to City and winning the Premier League twice, FA Cup once and EFL Cup four times.
He added: “I decided to go away because I felt I didn’t have any chances of playing at the time.
“I didn’t see more opportunities coming so for me, it was the best decision to leave Chelsea and go to a situation where I felt I could start again.
“Did I expect it to go this way? Obviously not, because at that time it was a low point in my career but I never had any doubt in my abilities as a football player.
“I can’t think what is going to happen eight years down the line playing for City, in World Cups and all that stuff. It’s wonderful.”
Bayern Munich have joined the race to sign Erling Haaland following club manager Hansi Flick’s open declaration that the youngster moving to the German giants is “very much possible”.
Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland stunned the reigning Bundesliga and European champions with two goals in the first nine minutes in their match on Saturday.
Bayern roared back, equalising before half-time and eventually ending victorious in a 4-2 thriller thanks to a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick.
And Flick talked up a potential plan to make Haaland the Pole’s successor up front at the Allianz Arena.
He told Sky Germany before the match: “Very, very much is possible in life, nothing can be ruled out.
“But that is a long way off. He has a long-term contract in Dortmund and is an option for many top clubs.”
The 20-year-old wonderkid scored 27 goals in 27 matches this campaign before Der Klassiker, marking him as one of the world’s hottest properties.
He has a £65million release clause which comes into effect in 2022, while Dortmund may sell him even earlier if they fail to qualify for the Champions League or if they need the money due to the crippling financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed N’Golo Kante will NOT play 90 minutes against Everton as he provided an injury update.
The Frenchman returned to the squad at the end of January having been sidelined with a hamstring problem.
He has started the Blues’ last three matches and was a key figure in their away trip at Liverpool, providing the assist for Mason Mount’s winner.
Tuchel confirmed the 29-year-old will have some form of rest and said: “This is unbelievable and we see his intensity in the physical report after matches and we think maybe they tracked two people and put it into one sheet.
“It is unbelievable what he delivers in terms of intensity and ball recoveries and of devotion for a group.
“This is world class, the highest level, and we are very happy he is in our squad. He comes from injury.
“He will not play now all games 90 minutes before we arrive at the international break. We have to manage him.”
Fresh reports claim Chelsea believe they are firmly in the race to sign Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland, with Roman Abramovich said to be ready to splash serious cash to bring the striker to west London.
Despite reports in Germany this week that Chelsea had no chance of prising the 20-year-old from Borussia Dortmund, the Blues believe they have the most attractive Premier League package to offer Haaland, according to ESPN.
On top of Abramovich’s willingness to offer a significant financial package to the £100million-rated Haaland, Chelsea’s position as a squad brimming with expensive young talent is another supposed feather in their cap.
According to the Mail, Thomas Tuchel has already admitted Timo Werner may not suit his current possession-based system, and could see Haaland as a better fit for the squad.
The Norwegian is one of the hottest properties in world football and has scored an astonishing 33 goals in 31 matches for club and country so far this season.
The report also claims that Chelsea’s London status could also be tempting to Haaland, with the west Londoners the only club in the capital with any real chance of signing him.
Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City are reported to be higher in Haaland’s thinking regarding a move to England.