Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea


Chelsea's first League loss of the campaign came in a tense, close encounter decided by a second-half Carlos Tevez goal.
In a goalless first half with few chances at either end, Carlo Ancelotti's side did hit woodwork, and Nicolas Anelka tested Joe Hart early in the second half, but this was not the potent attacking machine seen in every game this season up to this point.
Trailing in the second-half, the Chelsea manager was not afraid to take off some of his major players this season who were underperforming on the day. Didier Drogba and John Mikel Obi were two to make way, and there was a late Premier League debut for Josh McEachran.
There were two changes to the side which lined-up against Blackpool, with Branislav Ivanovic returning to right-back instead of Paulo Ferreira and Anelka back instead of Salomon Kalou.
Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi were back in midfield following a midweek rest against Newcastle, while a young contingent of Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt and Daniel Sturridge took their positions on the bench.
Ancelotti selected his main attacking trio, with Didier Drogba flanked by Florent Malouda on the left. Anelka took up his position on the right.

Ramires started in midfield and was involved from the off, dispossessing David Silva with a neat tackle from the side before feeding Malouda on the left flank.
But it was the hosts who had the first shot when Carlos Tevez broke down the centre and drilled goal-ward, only for the ball to skim across the face of Cech's goal and go wide.
Our keeper was then forced to collect a hanging Silva cross, intended for Tevez, as City made a break down the left, and soon Zabaleta won a free-kick after colliding with Ivanovic.
The resultant free-kick went nowhere but Manchester City could boast the better of the opening exchanges.
The tables began to turn when Anelka twice sent searching balls into the box, the first landed for Drogba who couldn't find space to shoot, while the second was deflected from danger.

It was the Frenchman who would produce Chelsea's first real chance on goal when he curled a shot inches past the top right from just outside the box. That was with 18 minutes gone.
City retaliated well, hindered only by the accuracy of their final ball, but when Alex nodded a Malouda cross on for Ivanovic to head off the bar, the tempo of the game changed.
City continued to pressure but Chelsea looked a lot more threatening on the attack, and soon Ivanovic won a free-kick for which Zabaleta was shown a yellow 30 yards out from goal.
Drogba took the set piece, which was cleared from danger before City broke down Chelsea's right once more and Cole coolly put the ball out for a throw.
With 35 minutes gone the game was still 0-0. It was end-to-end football with Cech the more tested keeper.
After shots from Malouda and Essien both went astray, a tense first half ended 0-0 but City fans would not have been blamed for feeling optimistic.
Ancelotti made no changes before the second half and within minutes Chelsea were showing their intent once more when Anelka forced Hart into an acrobatic save to tip his 25-yard shot away for a corner.
Chelsea had control in the early stages of the second half, although Cech's quick reactions did come into play when Silva's left-footed strike towards the near post was pushed away for a corner.

But with 58 minutes gone, the hosts took the lead. When Tevez collected a Yaya Toure ball, he ran deep into Chelsea's half of the pitch, cut outside Cole and drilled into the far corner via the inside of the post.
It was against the run of the play for the second half and a well-taken goal by the Argentine, although he was gifted space as the Blues failed to close him down. It was the first time Chelsea had conceded the opening goal this season.
The visitors immediately tired to pull one back, with Ramires latching onto a Malouda through ball before being denied by Nigel De Jong.
Frustrations began to show as Gareth Barry collided with Ivanovic before Mikel was shown yellow for a late challenge on Tevez, resulting in the goalscorer briefly receiving treatment on his ankle.
Despite the deficit, and the noise from a buoyant home crowd, Chelsea continued the hunt for an equaliser, as Ramires edged further and further forward with each move. He wanted a debut goal.
Lifted by the support, City began to threaten further, while Mikel made way for Yury Zhirkov in midfield after 68 minutes on the pitch.
Essien then sent a ball screaming past the post from 25 yards before Drogba was replaced by Sturridge in the 74th minute. Anelka moved into the centre and the young number 23 moved out on the right.
Referee Andre Marriner then brandished yellow at Ramires for knocking Yaya Toure to the ground. It was the last thing he'd do in the game as McEachran came into midfield.
Emmanuel Adebayor was next to make an appearance, replacing Tevez while Yaya Toure took the armband for City. Jerome Boateng then replaced Dedryck Boyata with two minutes left.
City's changes made little difference to the remainder of the game. Sturridge looked bright on the right and teamed up well with Anelka but the host's tight defence denied Chelsea a path through.
By Christian Collison
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel (Zhirkov 68), Ramires (McEachran 80); Anelka, Drogba (Sturridge 74), Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, van Aanholt, Kakuta.
Booked Mikel, Ramires, Alex.

Manchester City (4-3-3): Hart; Boyata (Boateng 88), K Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta; Y Toure, De Jong, Barry; Silva (A Johnson 78), Tevez (c) (Adebayor 86), Milner.
Unused subs Given, Lescott, Vieira, Jo.
Scorer Tevez (59)
Booked Zabaleta, Boyata
Referee Andre Marriner
Attendance 47,203
Shots on Chelsea 4 Man City 3
Corners Chelsea 4 Man City 3
Fouls Chelsea 13 Man City 11
Offside Chelsea 1 Man City 2

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