Cole Palmer secured a dramatic draw for Chelsea against his former team, Manchester City, with a last-minute penalty in a thrilling Premier League encounter. The controversy arose when referee Anthony Taylor awarded a penalty to City, converted by Erling Haaland. Chelsea swiftly responded with Thiago Silva’s header from a corner and then took the lead as Raheem Sterling tapped in Reece James’ cross.
However, City equalized just before halftime, with Manuel Akanji scoring a powerful header. Haaland added his second early in the second half, but Chelsea responded again through Nicolas Jackson’s goal. Rodri’s deflected shot briefly put City in the lead, but Palmer’s injury-time penalty salvaged a point for Chelsea.
The match fueled more debate around VAR, particularly regarding the controversial penalty decision that initially put City ahead. Referee Taylor pointed to the spot after Marc Cucurella seemingly pulled Haaland, but replays revealed Haaland had also grabbed Cucurella. Despite the contentious nature, VAR upheld the decision, sparking frustration from Chelsea, their manager Mauricio Pochettino, and commentator Jamie Carragher.
Chelsea’s impressive performance shattered their goalless streak against City, previously lasting 10 hours. The goals from Silva, Sterling, Jackson, and Palmer also marked the end of a six-game losing streak against City, breaking the blues’ two-year struggle against the reigning champions.
Raheem Sterling’s impactful display, including a crucial goal, highlighted his value after leaving City in the summer of 2022. His performance raised questions about Gareth Southgate’s decision to exclude him from the England squad, despite his stellar performance against City.
Sterling’s goal, tapping in James’ cross, showcased his talent and reminded everyone of his capabilities. The match emphasized the importance of former City stars, with Sterling playing a pivotal role in Chelsea’s dynamic display against his former club.