Tuesday, 13 December 2011

EPL: Chelsea 2 Manchester City 1

Chelsea played host to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge last night, in a game that was being hyped up as one of the biggest games of the season (so far). Going into the game, City were yet to lose in the Premier League, while Chelsea were looking to maintain the form they had been showing over the course of the last couple of weeks. Most experts predicted that former City player, Daniel Sturridge would be the man to watch out for, as the forward would look to prove a point to his former side. However, Juan Mata and David Silva were proving to be the other players to watch in the game, since both the Spaniards had been running the show for their teams, ever since the season started.

The match kicked off in dramatic fashion, as visitors went on to score the first goal of the game in just two minutes. Sergio Aguero went on to receive the ball from the middle if the pitch and then slipped the ball on to Mario Balotelli with precision. The Italian striker then charged towards Petr Cech, but went on to evade the keeper and then roll the ball into the back of an empty net. Minutes later, there was more animation on the City players faces, as they made appeals for a penalty: Balotelli played a small pass to Silva, who took a touch to beat his defender; Bosingwa went on to stick his leg out to get the ball, but Silva went on to tumble in the box. With every City player demanding a penalty, the referee went on to point to the spot instead, as he asked the teams to get on with the game.

In the 25th minute, Chelsea created their first real chance of the game. Drogba received the ball outside the box and then went on to take a shot at goal. His low effort was tipped around by the keeper, but what was interesting, was the fact that the striker was in an offside position when he received the pass in the first place. Before long it was the home side who capitalised on their domination. Terry played a pass to Sturridge and the striker went on to charge forward, before leaving Clichy for dead. He then lifted a pass towards the middle of the area, where Raul Meireles rushed in and volleyed the ball into the back of the net. Half time.

After the break, Chelsea went on to maintain their pressure on City. Sturridge went on to control a delightful pass in the 48th minute, after a free kick was whipped in towards him. However, he just couldn’t keep his effort on target, as his effort sailed just over the bar. Just before the hour City were down to ten men, as Clichy was shown a second yellow card. The defender picked up both the cards within the span of twelve minutes and in doing so, cut down his sides chances of fighting back in the game. After a partial dry spell, Chelsea went on to charge towards the City goal time and time again.

In the 81st minute, Sturridge found the ball in the City box and after beating Zabaleta, he tried to shoot towards the goal. Lescott managed to get a block on the ball, but only after he used his hands to do so. As a result, the referee had no choice but to point straight to the spot as he awarded the Blues with a penalty kick. After a small debate over who would be taking the spot kick, Frank Lampard stepped up to the spot, as he looked to help his side pick up all three points and cause City to lose their first Premier league game of the season. The midfielder took a few seconds before charging forward and then went on to rifle his shot straight down the middle. With Hart diving to his left, the keeper had no chance of getting anything on the ball. Chelsea were ahead, with just eight minutes left on the clock.

Considering the amount of defensive substitutions that City made, it wasn’t going to be easy for them to get forward in the dying stages of the game. At the same time, Chelsea kept keeping hold of the ball and Drogba used his physical presence to run the clock down, every time he got the ball, by preventing any City player from taking it from him. The referee blew to signal the end of the game, and Chelsea rose up to third in the league and City lost their first game of the season.

Chelsea Cech; Bosingwa; Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Meireles (Lampard 72); Sturridge (Mikel 87), Drogba, Mata (Malouda 83)
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Kalou, Torres
Goals Meireles 33, Lampard 81 pen
Booked Meireles 35, Romeu 64, Ramires 74, Drogba 78

Man City Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott (Dzeko 84), Clichy; Silva (De Jong 74), Y Touré, Barry, Milner; Balotelli, Agüero (K Toure 63)
Unused subs Pantilimon, Savic, Johnson, Nasri
Goal Balotelli 2
Sent off
Clichy 57
Booked Kompany 40, Clichy 46

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