Match Report: Chelsea 2 – Man City 1
In what was billed as a “do or die” encounter we beat Manchester City 2-1 with Frank Lampard’s late penalty completing a brilliant comeback from us being 1-0 down inside the first two minutes.
Manchester City were looking to extend their lead at the top of the table but two yellow cards for Gael Clichy resulted in them being reduced to 10 making their task all the more difficult.
We piled on the pressure and eventually the extra man made the difference to ensure their unbeaten Premier League record came to an end.
City had opened the scoring after a through ball from Sergio Aguero sliced through our defence and found Balotelli. He rounded Petr Cech and slotted into an empty net despite the attempts of Branislav Ivanovic to get back at him.
Meireles let fly from 25 yards out moments later as we looked for a quick reply but his effort sailed wide of Joe Hart’s goal. He tried his luck shortly after but his shot was deflected over the bar.
From the resulting corner, we couldn’t test Hart and instead the ball went down the other end where Aguero should have put his side two goals in front. He held off Jose Bosingwa before dancing his way past Ashley Cole and Romeu but luckily for us his left foot shot drifted the wrong side of the post.
David Silva went down in the box after Bosingwa stuck a leg out but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away any protests, leaving manager Roberto Mancini frustrated on the sidelines.
Didier Drogba brought Hart into action as he shifted the ball from one foot to the other before making the England international tip the ball around the post and then Meireles got the reward for his determination to get us the equaliser.
John Terry’s ball found Daniel Sturridge who took on Gael Clichy down the right-hand side, biding his time, before nicking the ball past him with a quick change of pace. He crossed the ball into the box, and to the delight of the home fans Meireles was on the end of it with a clever side-foot volley from inside the six-yard box which left Hart with no chance.
Sturridge had a chance to put us in front after a free-kick from Mata dropped to him in the second half. He got the ball out of his feet but his snapshot went over the bar.
Clichy collected a second yellow after a clumsy challenge on Ramires just before the hour mark, leaving City with 10 men. We tried to make the advantage count and had numerous chances through Daniel Sturridge before finally making a breakthrough with nine minutes to go.
Joleon Lescott put his arms up in the air to block Sturridge’s effort and Mark Clattenburg immediately pointed to the spot.
Substitute Frank Lampard proved his character to step up under pressure to convert that vital penalty as he made no mistake thundering down the middle of Hart’s goal and sending Chelsea fans into ecstasy.
After 5 minutes of extra time, during which we reminded the Manchester City supporters where they would be spending their Thursday nights, the Bridge rocked when the speakers almost shook off their hinges to Madness and “One Step Beyond”!!
Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep.
• 01 Cech
• 02 Ivanovic
• 03 Cole
• 17 Bosingwa
• 26 Terry
• 06 Romeu – yellow card
• 07 Ramires – yellow card
• 16 Meireles – yellow card (Lampard 73)
• 10 Mata (Malouda 84)
• 11 Drogba – yellow card
• 23 Sturridge (Mikel 88)
• 22 Turnbull,
• 19 Ferreira,
• 08 Lampard,
• 12 Mikel,
• 15 Malouda,
• 09 Torres,
• 21 Kalou
• 25 Hart
• 04 Kompany – yellow card
• 05 Zabaleta
• 06 Lescott (Dzeko 85)
• 22 Clichy – two yellow cards, red card
• 07 Milner
• 18 Barry
• 21 Silva (De Jong 75)
• 42 Y Toure
• 16 Aguero (K Toure 64)
• 45 Balotelli
• 30 Pantilimon,
• 15 Savic,
• 28 K Toure,
• 11 Johnson,
• 19 Nasri,
• 34 De Jong,
• 10 Dzeko