N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go top

LADIES and gentleman, we have a title race.

It is on for Liverpool, out on their own after Manchester City’s first defeat of the season.

N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 N'Golo Kante scored as Chelsea beat Man City 2-0
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topReuters10 David Luiz also netted to inflict City's first defeat of the Premier League season

Pep’s players were undone, beaten for the first time since Manchester United’s famous comeback at the Etihad last April.

Chelsea unseated them, outsmarting Pep with a perfectly-executed tactical triumph in front of their own fans.

They scored in each half, with N’Golo Kante scoring just before the break and David Luiz sealing this win with a 78th minute header.

Chelsea are just seven points off City now. This is a big win for Maurizio Sarri, coming at a time when his methods were already starting to be questioned.

N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topPA:Press Association10 It was a match to remember for Maurizio Sarri
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 Pep Guardiola looked puzzled as his team struggled for ideas

His players had all the answers. They deserved this for sheer endeavour and application, busting a gut out there to record this eye-catching victory.

City, on a hot-streak after 15 games unbeaten in the Premier League since the start of the season, will have to reboot before they play Everton on Saturday.

Chelsea looked frustrated at first. They are not used to this around here, not after years and years of title challenges and trophies under a Who’s Who of top managers.

They were pulverised in terms of possession, sitting off John Stones and Aymeric Laporte as City’s central defensive pairing picked out their passes.

N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 Kante had a fine game as he got on the score sheet
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 The midfielder sent Stamford Bridge into raptures

It was all a little bit too comfortable for them out there. City lacked their customary conviction, all a bit too casual in front of goal as they looked for the opener.

Leroy Sane had their best chance after 32 minutes, with Kepa coming out to stop the City winger putting them in front.

Cesar Azpilicueta deflected his next chance away for a corner, turning it away after birthday boy Raheeem Sterling found him on the opposite wing.

It was all one-way, with Chelsea fans demanding that little bit more from Sarri’s players.

Hazard responded, trying to leave a little bit on Kyle Walker when he was shiedling the ball down by the corner flag.

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Walker sold the Chelsea man a dummy, emerging with the ball before pinging it crossfield to Sane’s chest.

At least it perked Hazard up, finally bringing the false nine into the game after 40 meaningless minutes.

When he was needed a minute from the break he showed his class, playing the pass for N’Golo Kante to smash into the roof of the net.

Willian’s effort had been blocked, but Marcos Alonso picked up the pieces on the edge of the area before slipping Hazard in.

Good on Kante because he has been struggling to adapt to his new role under the club’s latest head coach.

N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 Eden Hazard was instrumental in attack
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz inflict first league defeat of season on Pep Guardiola as Liverpool go topNews Group Newspapers Ltd10 Luiz put some bad performances behind him with an incredible showing

This was stirring stuff, arriving on the edge of the area to direct his effort into the roof of Ederson’s net.

It was a big goal for Chelsea, settling them down after that unexpected defeat at Wolves last time out.

The doubts about Sarri’s coaching credentials, his ability to really get the best out of these Chelsea players.

Defeats against Tottenham at Wembley, then at Molineux, raises those kind of doubts.

The goal lifted the place, encouraging Chelsea to search for another at the start of the second half.

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