Kevin De Bruyne’s goal gave Manchester City a 1-0 win over Chelsea to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points.
The Belgian curled home the only goal from outside the box 20 minutes from time to seal the champions’ 12th consecutive league win.
In last season’s Champions League final, Chelsea defeated Pep Guardiola’s side, but qualifying for next season’s competition looks to be their main goal for the rest of the Premier League season.
However, they have only won one of their last six league games.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea, four of the five meetings have been decided by a single goal.
City dominated possession but couldn’t break down a Chelsea defense featuring Kepa Arrizabalaga and Malang Sarr, making his Premier League debut.
Indeed, City’s only clear chance came from a Chelsea error.
Jack Grealish was set up by Mateo Kovacic, but his shot was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Like Grealish, Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku has had a modest impact.
The Belgian has started four games in a row since being dropped for a crucial match against Liverpool earlier this month for complaining to Italian media.
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Early in the second half, Lukaku was set up by Kovacic, but Ederson raced from his goal and made a fine low to his right save.
With Ben Chilwell and Reece James out for the season, Chelsea’s title challenge has slowed.
Raheem Sterling jinked past Marcos Alonso, but the England international couldn’t finish his pass and pulled a shot wide.
In a quiet Etihad, a top-of-the-table clash lacked atmosphere.
The game’s outstanding moment brought the crowd to their feet as De Bruyne delivered what could be the title-clinching blow.
He beat N’Golo Kante to a Joao Cancelo pass and fired into Arrizabalaga’s bottom left corner.
Chelsea couldn’t respond as they chased City’s shadows and could have lost by more.
Sterling’s cut-back found Phil Foden, but one goal was enough to secure their fourth league title in five years.