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Ben Chilwell singles out ‘brilliant’ Reece James for praise after Man City victory

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Ben Chilwell singled out his Chelsea teammate Reece James for praise following his side’s 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s side looked to be well on their way to being crowned Premier League champions when Raheem Sterling fired the home side ahead shortly before half-time.

Sergio Aguero squandered the opportunity to extend City’s advantage shortly after when his Panenka penalty was saved by Edouard Mendy and that miss was to prove costly as Chelsea turned the screw after the break.

Hakim Ziyech drew the visitors level shortly after the hour mark with a crisp, low shot from the edge of the penalty area and Marcos Alonso sealed all three points in injury-time, applying a slightly fortuitous finish to Timo Werner’s cut-back.

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Central to Chelsea’s comeback was the performance of rampaging wing-back James, who provided a regular supply of ammunition for Chelsea’s forwards to feast on.

One particularly dangerous cross was tucked away by substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi, only for the assistant referee’s falg to deny James an assist with the winger standing narrowly in an off-side postion.

Chilwell, whose influence has grown in recent weeks, was rested on Saturday but still took time to recognise the influential display of the 21-year-old, writing on Twitter: ‘Thought this guy was brilliant tonight Reece James!’

The victory not only laid down an important marker ahead of the Champions League final later this month, but also cemented Chelsea’s place in the top four with just three games left of the Premier League campaign.

was brilliant tonight Reece James!’ The victory not only laid down an important marker ahead of the Champions League final later this month, but also cemented Chelsea’s place in the top four with just three games left of the Premier League campaign.

‘I think the second half was a fantastic response to the last five minutes of the first half where we almost lost it all,’ said a delighted Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel afterwards.

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‘To me it was a clear 0-0 half but suddenly we did one decisive mistake and maybe the match becomes out of reach at half-time.

‘With every minute we gained confidence and quality. We got better and better. It was a tough battle and once we got the equaliser we never stopped attacking. [The winning goal] was a huge reward.

‘This tells us we can rely on our fitness which is a fantastic feeling at the end of a season. We can also rely on our team spirit, we keep going. ;This team never stops, they don’t want to lose, they want it that bad.’

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