Riyad Mahrez came off the bench to score a 64th minute winner for Manchester City in a 1-0 win at Chelsea and cut the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal back to five points.
Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton on New Years day but against injury-ravaged Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, Pep Guardiola’s men benefitted from the quality from the bench to emerge victorious.
Pep Guardiola introduced Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez in the 60th minute with scores level and the blues displaying signs they could nick a point.
Three minutes after coming on, Grealish and Mahrez combined to find the breakthrough for City.
England Midfielder Jack Grealish teed up Algerian winger Mahrez for the winner which keeps Arsenal firmly in their sights in the race for the title.
Riyad Mahrez has scored nine goals as a substitute for Manchester City in the Premier League, with only Edin Dzeko (13) and Sergio Agüero (12) scoring more goals as substitutes for the club in the league.
The Algerian winger is the Premier League’s top scoring substitute since he joined Manchester City in 2018-19.
For Graham Potter and his Chelsea charges, the struggle continues with the defeat leaving Chelsea 10 points off the top four and 10 points above the relegation zone.
Their injury list will be further decorated following early setbacks to Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic who were taken off early in the game on Thursday night .
Chelsea are not off City’s sights as they lock horns on Sunday in a cup clash.