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Mahrez winner helps Man City cut Arsenal's lead and adds to Chelsea problems

Manchester City kicked off their year in ominous fashion, with a 1-0 win at Chelsea cutting their gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points.

Arsenal's draw at home to Newcastle on Tuesday opened the door for the second-placed defending champions to reduce the deficit and, after a below-par first half, City eventually ramped up the pressure in the second period and broke through when two subs combined, with Riyad Mahrez tucking in Jack Grealish's low cross (63).

Carney Chukwuemeka had struck a post on 44 minutes for Chelsea but Nathan Ake headed against the frame of the goal for City soon after the restart and the visitors deservedly went on to claim a fourth win in a row against Chelsea since losing the Champions League final to them in 2021.

There was no goal for top scorer Erling Haaland at Stamford Bridge but that's the 11th time in a row City have won their first Premier League game of the year and this one sets them up for another title charge in 2023.

As for Chelsea, they will get the opportunity to hit back in the FA Cup third-round tie with City at the Etihad on Sunday, but with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic limping off early on and just six points from their last eight games - their worst run since 2010 - the problems are mounting up for Graham Potter. They stay 10th, 10 points off the top four.

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