Manchester City took a giant step towards retaining their Premier League title as Kevin De Bruyne scored 20 minutes from time to hand them a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.
The victory, City’s 12th in a row in the top-flight, lifts Pep Guardiola’s men 13 points clear at the top of the table.
Here, Sportsmail’s Jack Gaughan rated the performances of both sets of players on what could prove to be a pivotal day in the title race…
Man City’s players celebrate picking up an important three points in front of their home fans
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3)
EDERSON – 7
Barely any involvement until just after half-time when excellently thwarting Romelu Lukaku.
KYLE WALKER – 7
Strong recovery runs stopped Chelsea threatened to break at pace down City’s right-hand side.
JOHN STONES – 7
First game in nearly a month. Out-muscled by Lukaku early on but improved significantly.
AYMERIC LAPORTE – 7
Kept Lukaku very quiet, with the Belgian largely isolated and City able to build from the back.
JOAO CANCELO – 7.5
Appeared a simple ball for Kevin De Bruyne’s ball but the sort that Cancelo executes intelligently.
Joao Cancelo hardly put a foot wrong at the back as Manchester City kept Chelsea at bay
BERNARDO SILVA – 7.5
A trademark industrious display on the right of a three-man midfield. Often seen hustling possession.
RODRI – 6.5
Unusually wasteful in possession when trying to move City forward yet defensively very sound.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE – 8.5
All-action and tenacious. Approaching close to his best, the curling effort dividing the two teams.
Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring the only goal of the game for Manchester City
RAHEEM STERLING – 7.5
Constantly had the beating of Marcos Alonso and threatening all afternoon. Might’ve gambled more.
PHIL FODEN – 7.5
Linked play beautifully when drifting into midfield. Gives City added control with his weight of pass.
JACK GREALISH – 7
Should have given City the lead late in the first half when clean through. Remained dangerous.
Ilkay Gundogan (for De Bruyne, 84)
Gabriel Jesus (for Foden, 88)
Subs not used: Steffen, Dias, Fernandinho, Mbete, McAtee, Lavia, Wilson-Esbrand
MANAGER: PEP GUARDIOLA – 7
Repaid for retaining faith in his starting XI and the system when the game was meandering.
KEPA ARRIZABALAGA – 6
Huge save before break from Grealish yet may question his initial positioning for De Bruyne’s strike.
ANTONIO RUDIGER – 7
A lot of unseen work in helping double up on Grealish and had to keep an eye on De Bruyne too.
Antonio Rudiger was one of Chelsea’s better players but it was not enough to secure victory
THIAGO SILVA – 6.5
Chelsea’s set-up allowed Silva to act as a spare man when Foden dropped deeper. Strong display.
MALANG SARR – 5.5
A difficult afternoon with Alonso next to him. A few loose passes put Chelsea in tricky situations.
CESAR AZPILICUETA – 6
Most uncomfortable when Grealish was running at him. Reece James was a big miss for the visitors.
N’GOLO KANTE – 6
Might look back with regret that he allowed De Bruyne the run on him for the opener.
N’Golo Kante arguably could have done better to stop De Bruyne for the only goal of the game
MATEO KOVACIC – 6.5
Went from one of the best players on the pitch to among the worst. Superb when City dominated early on.
MARCOS ALONSO – 5
Struggled to contend with Sterling from the off. Pushed backwards from wing-back which narrowed Chelsea.
CHRISTIAN PULISIC – 5
Ineffective for the most part and not helped by the lack of help from Chelsea’s wing-backs.
HAKIM ZIYECH – 5
Only Lukaku had touched the ball fewer times than Ziyach’s 23 when the forward was hooked.
ROMELU LUKAKU – 5
Huge chance moments after the break saved by Ederson and took a wrong option early on too.
Romelu Lukaku endured a frustrating afternoon for Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium
Timo Werner (for Pulisic, 69) – 6
Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Ziyech, 69) – 6
Mason Mount (for Alonso, 81)
Subs not used: Bettinelli, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Niguez, Barkley, Havertz
MANAGER: THOMAS TUCHEL – 5
Curse of the substitutions, making a change and Chelsea falling behind immediately. Looked exasperated throughout.
REFEREE: CRAIG PAWSON 6