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Match Report: Man City 1 – Chelsea 0

Didier Drogba looks to break down the Man City defence

Manchester City brought our 100% unbeaten record to an end yesterday at Eastlands with a single Carlos Tevez goal.

Initially there were very few clear chances for either side and both goalmouths were largely unthreatened.

This was our biggest test of the season so far and once again without Frank Lampard who is still recovering from injury to drive us forward from midfield, we seemed content to play within ourselves, keep a fairly rigid shape and let City expend their energy trying to break us down.

For their part early on the City side failed to get sufficient support to Tevez, who worked up front on his own but was limited to speculative long-range efforts

It soon began to look as if it would be the kind of game where it would take just one goal to separate the teams.

Just before the hour James Milner stole the ball off Ramires with most of the Chelsea team committed up field for a corner. Milner found Yaya Toure who set Tevez off from about the half way line. Unusually for Ashley Cole he backed off willing to let him shoot from range; Tevez steered a low shot through Ash’s legs across Petr Cech and in off the far post.

Before that, it was us who had come closest when Dider Drogba, who seemed a bit subdued by his standards, took a corner short which Florent Malouda feinted superbly, making room for a cross. Flo found Alex at the far post and he nodded back into the box where Ivanovic headed against the post and then nodded the rebound into the arms of a relieved Joe Hart.

City grew in strength after going ahead and fought quite aggressively to stop us imposing ourselves on the game and it worked. 

The emphasis was on the physical contest and there were times when the tackles grew wilder and it nearly went too far.

Dedryck Boyata body-checked Drogba off the ball in the penalty area in the first half when Vincent Kompany had the ball covered but despite protests from the Chelsea players Andre Marriner was prepared to let it go. 

There were however a few yellow cards brandished later in the game for both sides.

With 15 minutes to go, and us chasing the game, Carlo Ancelotti took off Drogba and replaced him with Daniel Sturridge but aside from a mistimed Alex header, and a couple of long-rangers from Michael Essien, we could not break Roberto Mancini’s team down and so it ended with a City victory.

Subsequently of course it transpires that our major rivals have dropped points this weekend, so whilst the game at Eastlands was disappointing we can be comforted by that fact.

It’s not often ALL the other results go our way!

Gill Reeves CSG Disabled Rep

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