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Ferdinand changes title prediction after Tuchel’s Chelsea tactics ‘backfired’

Rio Ferdinand, Arsenal
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The six-time Premier League winner has changed in his mind on this season’s title favorites after the showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Rio Ferdinand reckons Thomas Tuchel’s tactics against Manchester City ‘backfired’ and that Chelsea are no longer favorites to win the Premier League.

On Saturday, Manchester City grabbed a crucial 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Gabriel Jesus scored the winner in the second half, although Pep Guardiola’s men could’ve scored more goals. They dominated possession and had 15 shots compared to Chelsea’s five, but met their match in Blues keeper Edouard Mendy.

The result moved City ahead of Chelsea into second place on goal difference. Manchester United, Everton, and Brighton are also level with the two clubs on 13 points in the league table.

“The way City played at the weekend, that is the way champions go to a rival and say, ‘Listen, you think you’re at our level? You guys better start working more’,” said Ferdinand on his YouTube channel.

“And I think Chelsea looked a little bit [overawed]. Tuchel said after that maybe they were a bit fazed by the occasion. He changed his style of play, the formation played two up front, which I think backfired. They didn’t play long enough. They tried to keep playing and got caught with the press.

“In this league, in the Premier League, City will dominate every team possession-wise, every team. It’s just, can they finish the chances off?

“I said Chelsea were favorites a couple of weeks ago, but after watching them two – probably the best two teams in the league for the last six months – I can’t see past City. Seriously, I can’t.

“Unless there’s some massive injury crisis at the club. Because what Pep does there, they dominate people in and out of possession. That’s the key. He dominates you with the ball and he dominates you without it. That was so impressive for me sitting there watching it live.”