Chelsea's Cole Palmer, left, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023

9 absurd stats from Chelsea’s thrilling 4-4 draw with Manchester City

Well, that was probably the game of the season, wasn’t it? Super Sunday at its absolute best, without getting too cliché.

The spoils were shared and so were the goals at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea and Manchester City cancelled each other out in an endlessly breathtaking display of football.

From the first whistle to the very last the two teams in blue traded blows and attempted to knock each other back into the era of the Barclays, with goals, crunching tackles, flashes of brilliance and the inevitable VAR controversies in between.

Erling Haaland opened the scoring after 25 minutes from the penalty spot following (another) questionable VAR call, before Thiago Silva headed Chelsea level four minutes later.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side then raced into the lead through Raheem Sterling, the winger one of two ex-City players to put their former employers to the sword, with Cole Palmer dazzling on the opposite flank.

City forced an equaliser before half-time through Manuel Akanji, leaving the game finely poised for another 45 minutes of chaos after everybody had regained their composure in the interval.

That chaos then inevitably resumed. Haaland struck again moments after the game restarted, but City were pegged back once more by the hosts, Nicolas Jackson getting in on the action.

As if the Barclays wasn’t already pulsing through our veins with the game tied at 3-3, Rodri’s deflected thunderb*stard left Robert Sanchez stranded and City ahead with four minutes and change to spare.

Inevitably, though, the scriptwriters pulled it out of the bag. A rash challenge from Ruben Dias in the dying embers of injury time gifted Chelsea a late penalty, which £42.5million signing Palmer stepped up to take, rifling home to send his old club back up the motorway with just one point.

The likelihood is we’ll struggle to find a better game of Premier League football all season.

Palmer told Sky Sports after the game it was ‘very strange’ to turn out against the treble winners: “I’ve got the utmost respect for the club I spent 15 years at. Another great game. I know many City fans. That’s the game.”

Guardiola was complimentary of his opponents after the final whistle and generally pleased to have watched such an entertaining joust: “Could be better! But could be worse too. Good advert for the Premier League, tight game, they started better.

“They’ve built something new with a lot of young players.”

Enough of the handshakes and pleasantries, though. We’re trying to get our heads around what felt like a real one-off.

Here are nine stats which sum up just how exceptional and outrageous a game of football the 4-4 draw was.

– For the first time in Pep Guardiola’s 882 games as a manager, his side scored and conceded four goals in a single match.

– Chelsea 4-4 Man City was the first Premier League match to see four equalising goals scored since Liverpool and Arsenal’s iconic 4-4 draw in April 2009. Classic. – via @OptaJoe.

– The 4-4 draw was the first top-flight game between Chelsea and Manchester City to see both sides score 3+ goals since November 1960 (Chelsea 6-3 Man City).

– Thiago Silva became the fourth different player to score a Premier League goal while aged 39 or older, along with Teddy Sheringham, Dean Windass, and Ryan Giggs.

– Only four different teams have scored 4+ Premier League goals in a game against Pep Guardiola’s Man City (Leicester 2016, 2020, Everton 2017, Liverpool 2018, Chelsea 2023).

– Erling Haaland has scored more Premier League goals in 2023 (28) than any Man City player has ever managed in a calendar year – via @Squawka.

 Cole Palmer registered more successful passes into the final third (7) than any other player for either Chelsea or Manchester City.

– This was the first time Chelsea both scored and conceded 4+ goals in a league game since March 2008 (4-4 vs Tottenham), the first time Man City did so since January 1961 (4-4 v Arsenal), and first time the pair did so against one another in the league since December 1956 (5-4 to City).

 Palmer and Raheem Sterling were the eighth and ninth different players to score in the Premier League against City after having previously played for them in the competition.

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