Over the last few years, some interesting rivalries have been set up in the Premier League. The most obvious one is between Manchester City and Liverpool – who have contested for the league title for the last five years.
The Citizens have won most of the battles, but there is some intense bitterness between the fans and players of respective clubs.
Then there are the traditional rivalries in the Premier League, including Manchester United’s with Liverpool and City, Chelsea’s with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur and basically all the London clubs hating each other.
But in the midst of all this, some beef has also been created between particular players. There are particular match-ups which seem to ignite the fiery nature of these players.
One of these newly-built rivalries over the last few years is that between Man City winger Jack Grealish and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Grealish has a torrid record against the Blues, having been unable to score a goal or even pick up an assist in nine games against them. This stretches back to his days at Aston Villa, where he completely failed to impress when it came to playing against Chelsea.
But it almost seems like his kryptonite is the Spanish defender. While it’s still not clear the reason behind Azpilicueta’s spite against the Englishman’s style, he always seems to have an added aggression to his game whenever playing against him.
Their beef started all the way back at the end of the 2020/21 season. In what was a game which Chelsea lost to Villa, their captain lost the plot towards the end.
He lashed out at Grealish, throwing an arm at his face and leaving the referee with no choice but to send him off.
But that was only the start of him basically just looking to bully the English winger whenever he faced him. That involves clattering him with aggressive tackles, marking him closely, and annoying him with silly fouls.
Azpilicueta and Grealish recreated a FIFA-glitch-like move in the Citizens’ 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season. It came only a few months after their altercation when Jack was still playing for Villa.
The Spaniard almost looked to have barged down the winger and fell on top of him immediately after. As Grealish tried to get up, he just made Azpilicueta hover on his lower back for a few seconds before the two had to be separated.
Well, it seems like the Englishman is sick and tired of the Chelsea captain trying to bully him and harm him with dangerous tackles. In City’s, 2-0 win over the London side in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, Grealish and Azpilicueta went at it again.
Towards the end of the game, it was the City star who became the aggressor this time around.
He pushed the defender as the Spaniard tried to get into his face and seemed to be really angry with something Azpilicueta had done.
Grealish got the last laugh with a comfortable win at the Etihad Stadium, but the beef between these two is far from over.
It seems like they just don’t like playing against each other or the style of one another. Expect to see more such clashes in the near future.