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[OPINION] Chelsea's Cracks Are Beginning To Show Up

Pep Guardiola has reason to revert to a familiar issue despite his team's victory and another superb performance. Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 at Vicarage Road to take top of the Premier League for the first time this season, but perhaps it should have been ten, as the legendary terrace song goes. "We generated more opportunities than we did on Wednesday [a 2-1 win over Aston Villa], but the game might be gone in 15 minutes," he observed, after Bernardo Silva added to his season tally of seven goals, one in each half, following an early opening from the resurgent Raheem Sterling.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Manchester City at Vicarage Road on December 04, 2021 in Watford, England.

"We squandered a lot of opportunities, but perhaps we'll be able to convert next time." "Scoring goals is the hardest thing in football, and we're not experts, but we're playing well, and it's crucial to generate chances." City's lack of a natural striker will continue to dominate the debate around Guardiola's club as they pursue a fourth Premier League championship in five seasons, no matter how magnificent their build-up play is or how much they dazzle opponents who they squeeze almost totally out of games.

The finger of blame will be placed at them if they do not maintain internal dominance. Perhaps it is an oversimplification, but they excel at practically everything else. The one glaring hole in City's composition was seeing them scythe through Watford multiple times on Saturday evening, only for several decent chances to go begging.

Of all, no club is flawless, and as the league table shows, City is better at handling their own flaws than the team who beat them in the Champions League final last season. Chelsea tumbled to third place after a 3-2 defeat at West Ham, which may be considered a long time coming. With a third of their nine goals surrendered going past Edouard Mendy at London Stadium, Thomas Tuchel's team remains joint-best in the Premier League with City.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Michail Antonio and Declan Rice of West Ham United and Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at London Stadium on December 4, 2021 in London, England.

Chelsea ticks a lot of boxes for traditionalists, even if Guardiola's strikerless players appear to be the antithesis of a usual title-winning side in England. When they're not at their best, they're tough to break down and grind out results.

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Aston Villa Bernardo Silva Manchester City Pep Guardiola Raheem Sterling


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