• Jack Grealish moved from Aston Villa to Man City in 2021
  • Man City defeated Chelsea 1-0 on Thursday
  • Grealish was involved in City's lone goal against Chelsea

Midfielder Jack Grealish has opened up on how "difficult" was it for him to adapt to his new life at Manchester City.

Grealish became the most expensive English signing in the Premier League when he moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City at $127 million in the 2021 summer market.

Grealish came off the bench Thursday to assist Riyad Mahrez's 63rd-minute goal that sealed Manchester City's 1-0 win over Chelsea in their Premier League meeting at Stamford Bridge.

It was Grealish's third assist in 11 Premier League appearances in the 2022-23 campaign for City. Overall this season, the English playmaker has netted a goal and three assists in 20 matches for Pep Guardiola's side.

"When I came here, I'll be honest with you, it was so much more difficult than I thought. In my head, I thought I was going to a team sitting top of the league and I was going to get so many goals and assists, and obviously, it isn't the case. A lot of teams tend to sit in against us and that wasn't the case at Villa," said Grealish after City's 12th victory of the league season.

Both Grealish and Mahrez did not feature in Guardiola's starting XI against Chelsea. When the two came off the bench, they needed just three minutes and 43 seconds to score a crucial goal that saw City close in the gap on table-toppers Arsenal to just five points.

"I came into City, having been at Villa my whole life, and I've never had to change. I didn't realize how hard it is to adapt to a different team and manager. We've had games this season - Everton and Brentford recently for example - where they've had a back five and they've sat in against us. Against a back four today it just felt so much more open and we were saying we were desperate to come on," added Grealish, who made his senior debut in the 2013-14 season.

Jack Grealish celebrates scoring his first Champions League goal for Manchester City
Jack Grealish joined Manchester City during the 2021 summer window. AFP / Oli SCARFF

Meanwhile, Graham Potter's Chelsea lost two key players to injuries Thursday. Crunching tackles from Manchester City defender John Stones saw Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic leave the field even before the half-time break.

Chelsea and Manchester City will face off against each other again on Sunday in their FA Cup third-round fixture.