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NFL Mock Drafts 2021: Compare Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts

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NFL Mock Drafts 2021: Compare Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay & other experts

Is there a draft in here?

This is 2021. Of course there is. In fact, there is a draft everywhere.

Everyone has an NFL mock draft now. Just ask your next Uber driver or Target cashier if they’ve got a mock draft. They absolutely do, and don’t be surprised when they tell you that when they’re bagging up your toilet paper and oat milk.

MORE NFL DRAFT: SN’s latest 2021 mock draft | Top 100 big board

See, everyone’s got a mock draft. But, truthfully, there are people — experts, if you will — who know a little bit more about the NFL draft, the ins and outs, needs of teams and knowledge of prospects than your average barstool GM.

This year, there are a number of intriguing storylines heading into the first round: How many QBs will go in the first round? How many in the top 10? How many Alabama players will be selected?

Here’s what some of the experts are saying about the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft:

Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)

Iyer’s latest mock draft was released on April 26:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
8 Carolina Panthers Penei Sewell OT Oregon
9 Denver Broncos Justin Fields QB Ohio State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
13 Los Angeles Chargers DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
14 Minnesota Vikings Micah Parsons LB Penn State
15 New England Patriots Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
16 Arizona Cardinals Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
17 Las Vegas Raiders Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah OLB Notre Dame
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan
19 Washington Football Team Kadarius Toney WR Florida
20 Chicago Bears Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
21 Indianapolis Colts Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
22 Tennessee Titans Sam Cosmi OT Texas
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Azeez Ojulari OLB Georgia
26 Cleveland Browns Christian Barmore DT Alabama
27 Baltimore Ravens Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
28 New Orleans Saints Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
29 Green Bay Packers Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
30 Buffalo Bills Joseph Ossai EDGE Texas
31 Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs) Jalen Mayfield OT Michigan
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Levi Onwuzurike DT Washington

Noteworthy:

— A little bit of a slide for Justin Fields, but not too far down: Fields lands at No. 9 to the Denver Broncos, who will have to find a suitor for Drew Lock.

— The Giants add to their hog mollies, selecting Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern with the No. 11 pick. The Giants took Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall selection in 2020.

— Justin Herbert gets a new toy with Heisman winner DeVonta Smith falling to No. 13 overall. 

You can read SN’s full seven-round mock draft here.

Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on April 13 and features trades:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Ohio State
4 Miami Dolphins (mock trade with ATL) Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Penei Sewell OT Oregon
6 Atlanta Falcons (mock trade with MIA) Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
7 Detroit Lions Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
8 Carolina Panthers DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
9 Denver Broncos Micah Parsons LB Penn State
10 New England Patriots (mock trade with DAL) Justin Fields QB Ohio State
11 New York Giants Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from SF) Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Rashawn Slater OL Northwestern
14 Minnesota Vikings Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
15 Dallas Cowboys Jaycee Horn CB Virginia Tech
16 Arizona Cardinals Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
17 Las Vegas Raiders Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye DE Michigan
19 Washington Football Team Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
20 Chicago Bears Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
21 Indianapolis Colts Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
22 Tennessee Titans Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Gregory Newsome II CB Northwestern
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Trevon Moehrig S TCU
26 Cleveland Browns Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
27 Baltimore Ravens Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
28 New Orleans Saints Zaven Collins OLB/DE Tulsa
29 Green Bay Packers Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
30 Buffalo Bills Azeez Ojulari OLB/DE Georgia
31 Kansas City Chiefs Jayson Oweh OLB Penn State
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian Barmore DT Alabama

Noteworthy:

— Of course, all eyes on the QBs, and Kiper has the Patriots trading up to secure a falling Justin Fields at No. 10 — the NFL’s worst nightmare.

— The Detroit Lions could go in any direction, but in this mock they take Ja’Marr Chase as the first WR off the board.

— The Packers finally get Aaron Rodgers the receiver he so desperately wanted, grabbing Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman at No. 29. 

Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)

McShay’s latest mock draft was released on April 1, but was updated to include the Sam Darnold trade and what it could mean for the rest of the NFL draft.

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
8 Carolina Panthers Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
9 Denver Broncos Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
10 Dallas Cowboys Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
11 New England Patriots (mock trade) Justin Fields QB Ohio State
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Micah Parsons ILB Penn State
13 Los Angeles Chargers Penei Sewell OT Oregon
14 Minnesota Vikings Rashawn Slater OL Northwestern
15 New England Patriots Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ILB Notre Dame
16 Miami Dolphins (mock trade) Alijah Vera-Tucker G USC
17 Las Vegas Raiders Trevon Moehrig S TCU
18 Arizona Cardinals (mock trade) Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
19 Washington Football Team Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
20 Chicago Bears Kadarius Toney WR Florida
21 Indianapolis Colts Kwity Paye DE Michigan
22 Tennessee Titans Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Travis Etienne RB Clemsons
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
26 Cleveland Browns Gregory Rousseau DE Miami
27 Baltimore Ravens Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
28 New Orleans Saints Elijah Moore WR Mississippi
29 Green Bay Packers Jamin Davis ILB Kentucky
30 Buffalo Bills Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
31 Kansas City Chiefs Azeez Ojulari OLB Georgia
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Zaven Collins OLB Tulsa

Noteworthy:

— John Elway and Denver finally have a long-term solution at the QB position, as McShay has Trey Lance going to the Broncos at No. 9. Elway has been searching for the next great QB after Peyton Manning for years.

— Najee Harris — who recently told McShay “kiss my ass” — ends up with the Steelers at No. 24, alleviating pressure on the Steelers offense, which suffered on the ground last year.

— Everyone’s worst nightmare confirmed: Bill Belichick gets his hands on a future franchise quarterback, with the Patriots trading up to 11 to grab a falling Justin Fields.

Todd McShay and Mel Kiper combined mock draft

McShay and Kiper combined for a mock draft on April 20 (days before the blockbuster Chiefs-Ravens trade), with the analysts alternating picks. Kiper kicks it off with the first pick: 

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Justin Fields QB Ohio State
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Penei Sewell OT Oregon
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
7 New England Patriots (from DET) Mac Jones QB Alabama
8 Carolina Panthers Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
9 Denver Broncos Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
14 Minnesota Vikings Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
15 Detroit Lions (from NE) Micah Parson LB Penn State
16 Arizona Cardinals Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
17 Las Vegas Raiders Trevon Moehrig S TCU
18 Miami Dolphins Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
19 Washington Football Team Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
20 Chicago Bears Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
21 Indianapolis Colts Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
22 Tennessee Titans Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Kadarius Toney WR Florida
26 Cleveland Browns Kwity Paye DE Michigan
27 Baltimore Ravens Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
28 New Orleans Saints Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
29 Green Bay Packers Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
30 Buffalo Bills Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
31 Kansas City Chiefs Landon Dickerson C Alabama
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jalen Mayfield OT Michigan

Noteworthy:

— High, high praise here for Jamin Davis, who goes all the way to Washington at No. 19. Davis is a polarizing prospect, with some expecting him to be a Day 2 pick.

— Trevon Moehrig gets some love here, with Kiper selecting the safety to go the Raiders at No. 17. He’s the only first-round safety in this draft.

— The Patriots get their man: This mock features the Pats trading up to No. 7 overall to select Alabama QB Mac Jones. 

Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)

DJ’s latest mock draft was released on April 6.

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
5 Cincinnati Bengals Kyle Pitts TE Bengals
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
7 Detroit Lions Justin Fields QB Ohio State
8 Carolina Panthers Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
9 Denver Broncos Penei Sewell OT Oregon
10 Dallas Cowboys Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan
11 New York Giants DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
14 Minnesota Vikings Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
15 New England Patriots Micah Parsons LB Penn State
16 Arizona Cardinals Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
17 Las Vegas Raiders Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
18 Miami Dolphins Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
19 Washington Football Team Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
20 Chicago Bears Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
21 Indianapolis Colts Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
22 Tennessee Titans Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Azeez Ojulari EDGE Georgia
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Trevon Moehrig S TCU
26 Cleveland Browns Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
27 Baltimore Ravens Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
28 New Orleans Saints Asante Samuel CB Florida State
29 Green Bay Packers Landon Dickerson C Alabama
30 Buffalo Bills Joe Tryon EDGE Washington
31 Kansas City Chiefs Kelvin Joseph CB Kentucky
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Elijah Moore WR Mississippi

Noteworthy:

— Jared who? Jeremiah has the Lions selecting Ohio State passer Justin Fields with the No. 7 overall pick. Detroit, of course, traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff (and more) this offseason. The Goff Era in the Motor City might be over before it even begins.

— After letting All-Pro center Corey Linsley walk in free agency, the Packers reinforce the offensive line with ‘Bama lineman Landon Dickerson at No. 29.

— Five is the magic number, as in five first-round QBs. Jeremiah takes it a step further: Five quarterbacks will be selected in the top 10, the first time that will have happened in NFL Draft history.

Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)

Peter King, who actually had the most accurate mock of the 2020 NFL Draft, released his mock draft on April 26:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Penei Sewell OT Oregon
8 Carolina Panthers Justin Fields QB Ohio State
9 Denver Broncos Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants Micah Parsons LB Penn State
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
13 Los Angeles Chargers Rashawn Slater T Northwestern
14 Minnesota Vikings Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
15 New England Patriots DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
16 Arizona Cardinals Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
17 Las Vegas Raiders Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
18 Miami Dolphins Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
19 Washington Football Team Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
20 Chicago Bears Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
21 Cleveland Browns (from IND) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
22 Baltimore Ravens (from TEN) Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
26 Indianapolis Colts (from CLE) Sam Cosmi OT Texas
27 Tennssee Titans (from BAL) Elijah Moore WR Mississippi
28 New Orleans Saints Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
29 Green Bay Packers Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
30 Buffalo Bills Travis Etienne RB Clemson
31 Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs) Landon Dickerson OL Alabama
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian Barmore DT Alabama

Noteworthy:

— While many think there are four first-round cornerback prospects, King believes there are five, with the Saints selecting Georgia’s Tyson Campbell with the No. 28 overall pick. Campbell joins Patrick Surtain II, Greg Newsome II, Caleb Farley and Jaycee Horn as first-round DBs.

— A pair of first-round trades here: The Browns trade up to No. 21 to select Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, leaving the Colts to select Sam Cosmi at No. 26. Also, the Ravens use one of their two first-rounders to move up to No. 22 to select Kwity Paye out of Michigan, and the Titans select wideout Elijah Moore at 27.

— Another year of no help for Aaron Rodgers: King has the Packers selecting linebacker Jamin Davis at No. 29, opting not to go wideout.

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Connor McDavid hits ‘impressive’ 100-point mark in Oilers’ 53rd game

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Connor McDavid hits 'impressive' 100-point mark in Oilers' 53rd game

Entering Saturday night’s “Hockey Night in Canada” showdown with the Canucks, Connor McDavid had been downplaying how important scoring 100 points this season was to him.

“It’s a number,” McDavid said when he was sitting on 93 points; he had 96 Saturday morning. “If I get there, great. If not, it’s not the end of the world, either. The most important thing is our team is gearing up for the playoffs and making sure we’re firing on all cylinders in Game 1.”

Well, while he may not have been thinking about it, the smile on his face when he notched point 100 in the second period — his fourth point (goal, three assists) of the night — told a different story. The historic moment came in the Oilers’ 53rd game of the season as he assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s game-winning power-play goal.

“Honestly, it’s just impressive,” said Draisaitl, who hit his own career milestone of 500 (and 501) NHL points in the game. “I don’t think my English is good enough to find another word for it right now, but it’s incredible. I mean, I don’t know, we’ve played 50-some games, he’s at 100 points. It’s just very impressive and just, you know, fun to be a part of.”

“I think what it does, it just solidifies he’s one of the top players to ever play the game,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “The level that he’s played at this year, and just what he’s accomplished, it’s one of those years that you look at Wayne [Gretzky] or you look at Mario [Lemiuex], it’s one of those years where he’s taken his talents to another level that is just elite for the league.”

McDavid, who has 32 goals and 68 assists, became just the ninth player in NHL history to hit the century mark in 53 games, joining the likes of Gretzky and Phil Esposito. The last players to do it were Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr with the Penguins in 1995-96. 

“It’s special to be part of a group like that, obviously. Those are the game’s best players of all time so it’s special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys,” McDavid said postgame.

“Four-point nights aren’t something that come regularly, I think. I was just trying to come in and play a good game, play like I can,” he said later, adding that he spoke to his parents and was surprised his mom was awake to see it. “My legs felt pretty good. I was able to get on the board on the first shift, that always helps. I think after the first one, it kind of crosses your mind, and I was fortunate to feel pretty good throughout the night and a couple of great shots from my teammates.”

After the Edmonton captain hit the mark, Twitter not only praised him but was also in awe of the moment.

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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live fight updates, results, highlights from 2021 boxing card

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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live fight updates, results, highlights from 2021 boxing card

One fighter will get closer to the first undisputed super middleweight championship in boxing history when WBC, WBA (Super) and The Ring champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faces off against WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.

The massive 168-pound showdown will take place in front of a live crowd of more than 70,000, breaking the attendance record for an indoor boxing event in the United States. And who better than Alvarez, boxing’s current pound-for-pound king, to be in the main event?

Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) has pursued the undisputed championship since beating Callum Smith for the WBA (Super) and vacant WBC crown in December. He followed that performance with a third-round stoppage of mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February before turning right back around in hopes of collecting another title against Saunders on Saturday night.

Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is a two-division world champion who claimed the WBO title in May 2019 by defeating Shefat Isufi via unanimous decision. He has made two consecutive title defenses, but his opponent in Texas will be his toughest test by far.

There has been some bad blood between the two heading into the fight; Canelo promised a knockout, while Saunders aims to befuddle the Mexican superstar with his technical prowess.

Who will come out on top? Stay tuned as Sporting News will have live coverage of tonight’s fight card.

MORE: Watch Canelo vs. Saunders live on DAZN

Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live updates, highlights

Sporting News’ live coverage of Canelo-Saunders will begin at 9 p.m. ET.

Canelo vs. Saunders start time

  • Main card: 8 p.m. ET
  • Canelo-Saunders main event: 11 p.m. ET (approximate)

The Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders main card launches at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night, with the champions expected to make their ring walks at approximately 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m. ET, depending on the length of the earlier fights.

How to watch Canelo vs. Saunders

  • Subscription: $19.99/month or $99.99/year

The Canelo vs. Saunders fight will stream live globally on DAZN, to more than 200 countries and territories, including the U.S. and Canada.

Those interested in watching the fight can find DAZN on a number of different systems, including, but not limited to, Amazon Fire TV/stick, Android, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iPhone and iPad, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Roku. The DAZN app is also available on LG, Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, as well as Xfinity X1 and Flex.

Viewers can also find it on DAZN.com using browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Click here to learn more about DAZN.

Canelo vs. Saunders fight card

  • Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders for the Canelo’s WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super-middleweight titles, and Saunders’ WBO title
  • Marc Castro vs. Irving Castillo
  • Frank Sanchez vs. Nagy Aguilera
  • Edwin Soto vs. Katsunari Takayama for Soto’s WBO light-flyweight title
  • Kieron Conway vs. Souleymane Cissokho for Conway’s WBA Intercontinental super-welterweight title
  • Keyshawn Davis vs. Jose Antonia Meza
  • Kelvin Davis vs. Jan Maslaek

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Does Chelsea have the edge over Champions League final opponent Manchester City?

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Does Chelsea have the edge over Champions League final opponent Manchester City?

Match statistics: Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea

In terms of the bigger picture, there is nothing more important for Chelsea in the final weeks of the season than securing a top-four finish.

Ensuring the club will be in the Champions League next season was a must for Thomas Tuchel when he took the job in January, and after victory over Manchester City on Saturday, the Blues find themselves sitting third with three games to play.

And yet, the narrative around the last-gasp win at the Etihad Stadium will be framed around one thing: what it means for the upcoming Champions League final meeting between these two sides.

This was meant to be the day that City sealed the Premier League title, and after Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring late in the first half it seemed like the fans who had gathered outside the stadium would have something to cheer at full time.

Instead, it was Marcos Alonso’s scuffed finish two minutes into second-half stoppage time that decided the game, leaving City’s champagne on ice while sowing more seeds of doubt over whether it can take down Chelsea in Istanbul on May 29.

Of course, Pep Guardiola will not play the same lineup in Turkey as he did here. The Catalan made nine changes from the side that beat Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, with only Ederson and Ruben Dias keeping their places.

That said, Chelsea has now beaten City twice in a matter of weeks. Time will tell just how much of a psychological impact that will have on both Guardiola and his players come the end of the month.

In that first game — the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium — it was Chelsea’s impregnable defense that led it to a much-deserved 1-0 win.

Getty Images

Here, though, the Blues found themselves in the unusual position of chasing a game after falling behind to Sterling’s strike, and they really should have been 2-0 down at half time, only for Sergio Aguero’s fluffed attempt at a Panenka penalty to land in the arms of Edouard Mendy.

Given how strong it has been defensively since Tuchel took the reins, Chelsea has generally led from the front under the German coach, and though it too was without key players, the fact that the Blues turned this game around will give them huge confidence for both the remainder of the domestic campaign and their next meeting with City.

Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva were all missing from the squad following Wednesday’s win over Real Madrid, but others stepped up in their place.

Like at Wembley, Hakim Ziyech got himself on the scoresheet, this time with a long-range drive to equalize, before Alonso’s late intervention.

On the opposite flank from the Spain international, Reece James ran City ragged in the second half, while Billy Gilmour was rewarded with a huge hug from his manager at full time after a mature display from the 19-year-old midfielder in a rare start.

Timo Werner, too, troubled the City back line with his pace and willingness to run in behind, even if he does need to work on remaining onside as he saw two more goals chalked off via an assistant referee’s flag.

marcos alonso callum hudson odoi chelsea 2020 21 1vbhihjzngt59z9ph3f9pvh2g
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Tuchel had a terrible record against Guardiola when the pair were in opposing dugouts across the Klassiker divide in Germany, but now the former has the tools within his squad to compete with the one-time Bayern Munich boss.

Certainly, it is these two teams that, on paper, have the deepest squads in the Premier League, and that Chelsea has now come out on top twice against City suggests the title race will be much closer next term.

That, though, is for the future. Right now, Chelsea remains focused on closing out the Premier League season strongly, as well as next week’s FA Cup final meeting with Leicester City.

Soon though, it will join the rest of the footballing world in turning its attention toward the showpiece event of the European season, and its third meeting with City since the start of April.

Only three months ago, Chelsea would have been a huge underdog when facing City.

Now, after two wins from two games, its potential to become Guardiola’s kryptonite is suddenly very real.

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