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City 1 Chelsea 0

25 Sep 2010 18:28:24

| Submit Comments| Comments (231)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapCarlos Tevez in action against ChelseaManchester City threw down a Premier League title marker by inflicting Chelsea's first defeat of the season at Eastlands. Carlos Tevez settled a tight and exciting contest with a well taken goal after 59 minutes. There had been fears about the Blues' defence going into the game but Roberto Mancini's men put in a committed performance throughout to lock out the champions. City are now four points behind leaders Chelsea with each having played six games. Defensively, City had neither Joleon Lescott nor Jerome Boateng - who did make his debut as a late substitute - considered fit enough to start. And once Wayne Bridge had failed a pre-match fitness test on a thigh injury it was anticipated would keep him out for another fortnight anyway, Mancini went for 19-year-old Belgian Dedryck Boyata, normally a centre-half, to make only his fourth league appearance. Boyata rewarded his manager with a solid contribution to an obdurate defensive performance from City. Only once were the Blues opened up properly, and that had nothing to do with the teenager. In fact it was Tevez who drifted away from Florent Malouda as he anticipated a return pass to Didier Drogba, who had just taken a corner on the Chelsea left. Tevez's movement gave Malouda the space to curl a deep cross to the far post, where Alex nodded it back to Ivanovic. The Serbian had two goes at putting Chelsea in front. The first came bouncing back off the bar, giving him a second header to go for, this time Joe Hart making a comfortable save. Apart from that, both goalmouths were largely underused. Knowing this was their biggest test of the season so far and without Frank Lampard to drive them forward from midfield, Chelsea were content to play within themselves, keep a fairly rigid shape and let City expend their energy trying to break them down. Tevez work For their part, the home side failed to get sufficient support to Tevez, who worked incredibly hard up front on his own but was limited to speculative long-range efforts. Under such circumstances, it was hardly a surprise it began to get a bit tetchy and Pablo Zabaleta's booking for a reckless sliding tackle on Ivanovic gave way to a period of play scarred by physical confrontation. The first two minutes of the second period produced as much intense action as there had been in the whole of the first. After Hart had pushed a curling Nicolas Anelka shot away from danger, Michael Essien should have done far better with the near-post corner than send his header sailing over the bar after being picked out completely unmarked. City responded with their first meaningful assault on the Chelsea goal, which forced Cech to make a decent low save to deny Silva. It proved to be the prelude to the deadlock being broken. Yaya Toure and the nippy Silva deserve mentions for their short pass and running off the ball respectively after Ramires had conceded possession just inside the City half. The rest of it was all the South American's own work as he ran ferociously at the visitors' defence, jinked to his right, then blasted a shot through Cole's legs and into the net off the inside of Cech's right-hand post. Twice Essien tried to level from long-range. Twice his radar was way off and the ball sailed over. Alex glanced a header wide after Boyata had marred his effective performance by getting booked for chopping down YuZhirkov,ry Zhrikov, but with Cole also belting a shot into the side-netting, Chelsea ran out of ideas. The result is City's third consecutive league victory against Chelsea. What is your verdict on the performance? Have your say.


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