THE DATA DAY: MANCHESTER CITY V CHELSEA
We made the most of our time in possession, according to the statistics, on a night when records were equalled and broken in Manchester...
It was a game full of attempts of goal with 43 shared between the two sides. The home side could only muster three of their 25 shots on target, whereas six of our 18 efforts tested Joe Hart, with three others - deemed off-target - striking the woodwork.
City bombarded our box with crosses, 40 in total, but only 10 times did a man in light blue get to the ball first. We made an impressive 57 clearances (31 headed) over the 90 minutes, with Gary Cahill responsible for 16 of those, 11 of which came during the second half. Of the 53 aerial duels contested, we came out on top in 29 of them, an impressive effort considering the height and stature of much of City's side.
Though Man City enjoyed more possession of the ball (65%) that was not reflected in terms of territory, with only 53.7% of the match played out in our half, suggesting when we were in possession we were able to use it more consistently in threatening areas of the pitch.
A closely-fought game saw us make more ball recoveries and more interceptions than our opponents, with five of the top six players successfully picking up loose balls wearing royal blue, including Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard and Willian.
The duo of Hazard and Willian proved a constant thorn in the City backline. They completed more passes than anyone else in our team, including in the final third, and also provided our most frequent pass combination.
Willian created six chances, twice as many as any other player on the pitch, while Hazard was successful in 11 of his 16 attempted take-ons, almost three times as many as the next best player in that respect, Jesus Navas. Hazard was also fouled more than anyone else on the pitch.
Our victory at the Etihad, and the clean sheet that came with it, also ended a number of impressive City runs on their home turf.
Petr Cech was the first Premier League goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet there since November 2010, a sequence of 61 games.
City had won all 11 league games at the Etihad this season prior to last night's loss, and had been behind for just eight minutes - when Liverpool briefly took the lead on Boxing Day - but after Branislav Ivanovic's brilliant first-half goal, his maiden league strike with his left foot, we held on to the lead for 64 minutes, including additional time at the end of both halves.
In City's previous 20 games in all competitions, meanwhile, they had won 18 and drawn 2.
The 1-0 win was our fifth consecutive game on the road when we have not let in a goal, our best run in all competitions since 2008.
We have already kept six clean sheets away from home in the league this season, matching our total from last year and already bettering the number we managed in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.