Premier League

March 21, 2012


Manchester City

2 - 1


Premier League

19:45 +00:00, March 21, 2012

Etihad Stadium

Referee: Mike Dean


    That's it for tonight, but remember you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    It was far from a vintage performance by City, but the most important fact is that they have three points and go back to a point behind Man United.

  • 94'

    And the final whistle goes! City win 2-1!

  • 94'

    Aguero breaks into the box rather than the corner, but fires just a yard wide.

  • 94'

    Mata has the chance to deliver in space on the right, it's an awful cross.

  • 93'

    This would be a massive three points in the title race. Ninety seconds to go.

  • 92'

    Hart slices a goal-kick out of play, ball back to Chelsea. And they give it away too.

  • 92'

    Drogba smashes a cross-shot across the face of goal, no real danger.

  • 91'

    Four minutes to be added on.

  • 90'

    Dzeko's speculative shot is blocked.

  • 89'

    Drogba wants a corner, Mike Dean points for a goal-kick to the Chelsea man's disgust.

  • 89'

    Chelsea now try and find a last-ditch leveller.

  • 88'

    Nasri was booked for taking his shirt off during his celebration.

  • 87'

    Now the other half of Manchester goes crazy!

  • 86'

    Lovely little reverse pass from Tevez to play in Nasri, who is cool as you like to finish past Cech and find the bottom corner.

  • 85'


  • 85'

    Aguero turns brilliant and has four team-mates in the box - but picks out a defender.

  • 84'

    Chelsea enjoy possession until Cahill tries to find Cole with a crossfield ball and puts it out. Pressure back on.

  • 83'

    Nasri delivers from the left, Cech punches away and Barry is penalised for a trip on Lampard.

  • 82'

    City pushing and probing, trying to find a opening. And Dzeko wins a corner.

  • 81'

    Nasri shoots from the edge of the area, straight at Cech.

  • 80'

    No complaints from Essien at the award of the penalty, not the Chelsea defence will have real work to do.

  • 79'

    Cech went the wrong way, and Aguero rolled the ball into the other corner. Game on!

  • 78'


  • 78'

    Lampard flicked the corner away at the near post, it went through to Zabaleta who saw his blast at goal hit the hands of Essien.

  • 77'


  • 77'

    Dzeko's first act is to win a corner.

  • 77'

    It's another poor corner, City are unconvincing in clearing but they get it away.

  • 76'

    Edin Dzeko replaces David Silva.

  • 76'

    Mata bursts into the box with no opitons so strikes a shot - Hart has to palm behind for a corner.

  • 75'

    Dzeko getting ready to come on.

  • 74'

    Free-kick to City - Drogba's first contribution is to bash into Richards.

  • 73'

    It's Fernando Torres who is replaced by the big man Drogba. Torres isn't too happy, but it's a sensible switch.

  • 73'

    Clichy delivers from the left, easy unchallenged head away for Luiz.

  • 73'

    City have chances to deliver into the box, but they hesitate on the ball until it is robbed off them.

  • 72'

    City really have to improve their delivery if they are to get back into this game.

  • 71'

    It comes in from the left, it's far too close to Cech who punches clear before Kolo jumps into the keeper and gives away the free-kick.

  • 70'

    Clichy with the cross, Luiz heads behind for a corner.

  • 69'

    Chelsea fairly comfortable at the moment. The onslaught has to start soon.

  • 68'

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  • 68'

    Clichy tries a snap shot from 20 yards out but it's straight at Cech.

  • 67'

    Opta Stat: Since he joined, Man City have won 52% of Premier League matches (1.8 goals/game) with Tévez playing, vs 69% without him (2.2).

  • 66'

    Tevez comes on for De Jong to play his first game since last September. Huge cheers from the home fans.

  • 66'

    It's time...

  • 65'

    This is the first time City have been behind at home in the Premier League this season.

  • 64'

    Barry plays a terrible ball into the box, it comes off a defender but was never finding a blue shirt.

  • 63'

    City with work to do now, they looked stunned.

  • 62'

    One thing's for sure, Chelsea may have scored but there will be celebrations in Manchester.

  • 62'

    Gary Cahill - Chelsea's new goalscoring hero!

  • 61'

    It was another poor corner which City dealt with badly. It fell for Cahill who hit the shot, and it was deflected off the heel of Yaya and past a helpless Hart.

  • 60'


  • 60'

    Corner to Chelsea now, Clichy blocking a cross.

  • 60'

    Yaya hits it with his right but it curls well over.

  • 59'

    Yaya and Silva stand over the free-kick.

  • 58'

    Raul Meireles is replaced by Michael Essien.

  • 58'

    Lampard catches Yaya from behind as he looked to break forward. Free-kick just over 20 yards out. Dangerous.

  • 57'

    The corner comes in from the left, it drops to Yaya at the far post, his acrobatic effort goes well over - he should maybe have done better.

  • 56'

    It then comes to Zabaleta at the far side, he tries to play a short ball in to Silva - it comes off a defender and goes inches wide. Some of the crowd think it's in, but the celebrations are shortlived.

  • 55'

    Nasri turns one way and then the other, and manages to dink in a cross - it goes towards goal and bounces off the bar!

  • 54'

    Ooooooooh! Nasri hits the bar!

  • 53'

    Barry gives the ball away to Torres. Torres gives the ball away to Kolo.

  • 52'

    Man City playing better in the second half.

  • 51'

    Yaya finds Nasri just inside the box, he leans back and fires 20 yards over the bar.

  • 50'

    Lampard does well to hook a ball into the centre from the byline but there's no-one attacking the six-yard box and it's cleared.

  • 49'

    Cech knocks the ball behind for a corner as Aguero chased. He needs treatment while the corner is taken, which comes to nothing.

  • 48'

    That suggests Mancini is concerned City are not doing enough in the centre of the park, but it also means they are going to lose some of their attacking bite.

  • 47'

    A strange change at the break for City as Balotelli is replaced by ... Gareth Barry!

  • 46'

    City get the second half underway.


    I'll be back in 15 minutes, during which you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    It's been a decent game, but the passing has been below-par and the shooting wayward. We expect better in the second half.

  • 45'

    And that's it, half-time.

  • 45'

    Nasri tries to feed in Zabaleta in the box but the pass is just too strong.

  • 45'

    Ramires breaks down the right, it's clear he doesn't have a clue what to do and runs into a City player.

  • 45'

    One minute to be added on.

  • 44'

    Mata goes into the book for a pull-back on Yaya.

  • 43'

    Zabaleta crosses in from the right, it's slightly behind Aguero so he goes for the over-head kick - way over.

  • 42'

    Only one shot on target in the game so far, from Balotelli.

  • 41'

    I don't think we'll see a goal before the break.

  • 40'

    Torres is penalised this time for a foul on Richards.

  • 39'

    Great play from Zabaleta to chase back with Cole and make the tackle.

  • 38'

    Bosingwa gets a talking to from Mike Dean for a foul on De Jong.

  • 37'

    Now Balotelli is penalised for handball.

  • 36'

    Clichy with the cross, Luiz beats Balotelli to the header.

  • 35'

    It's been a good game, it's just that some of the passing and the final execution has been poor.

  • 34'

    Ramires does well to get into the box, but then the ball bounces off his shin and out for a goal-kick.

  • 33'

    Now Mata plays a woeful cross in from the right which trickles into the hands of Hart. Come on, lads!

  • 32'

    Now Balotelli gives the ball away to Luiz with a poor touch.

  • 31'

    Silva plays another poor corner in from the right, no further from the near post and Chelsea clear unchallenged.

  • 30'

    Cole played a short free-kick to Lampard, who turned and played a near-perfect through-ball to Balotelli! He raced through on goal, took it early from the edge of the box and dragged it two yards wide. That should have been a goal.

  • 30'

    Oooooooh! Balotelli wastes a golden opportunity!

  • 29'

    Cole, to Meireles who has the simple lay-off to Mata ... he underhits it and it is lost.

  • 28'

    Torres gives the ball away to Kolo with a poor touch.

  • 27'

    Nasri shoots from over 25 yards, it's a decent effort but goes a yard or so over the bar.

  • 26'

    Now a corner to Chelsea, headed away unchallenged. Set-pieces have been poor so far.

  • 25'

    Opta Stat: Chelsea have won 71% of their away games v Man City in Premier League history, only Leicester (100%) have a better win rate.

  • 24'

    Another corner to City, headed away at the near post.

  • 23'

    Mata's corner was poor, but it came back to him in space on the right. He could pick Torres out in the middle but only finds Hart.

  • 22'

    Meireles puts a cross in from the right, Zabaleta gets his header wrong and it's a corner.

  • 21'

    City enjoying the lion's share of the possession.

  • 20'

    Bosingwa comes on for Ivanovic as expected.

  • 19'

    It looks like the end for Ivanovic.

  • 18'

    Yaya leaves Lampard for dead and bursts in the area, Lampard gives him a little shove and the City man goes down - but it's never enough to warrant a spot-kick.

  • 17'

    Ivanovic actually gets forward and puts a cross in from the right which is way over-hit and goes out for a goal-kick.

  • 16'

    Jose Boswinga of course would be the obvious replacement.

  • 15'

    Ivanovic is struggling with a muscle injury. He could be taken off.

  • 14'

    Meireles strikes from distance, but his effort is well blocked.

  • 13'

    City pressure is building.

  • 12'

    Nasri with the corner, headed away by Mikel. The ball comes back in and Cech fists away.

  • 11'

    Another good move from City, Yaya Toure with the chance to get the cross in and Luiz is forced to put it behind.

  • 10'

    What a great couple of minutes that was!

  • 9'

    Long ball over the top to Nasri in the D, he chests it down and hits it early giving Cech no chance - it smashes back off the bar and Chelsea escape.

  • 9'

    Ooooooooh! City hit the bar!

  • 8'

    Good turn and movement by Torres, who plays a good short ball for Mata just inside the area. It opens up for him put he slices it well wide. Chance.

  • 8'

    Ooooooooooh! What a chance for Chelsea!

  • 7'

    Mata is caught late by Zabaleta. Free-kick on the half-way line.

  • 6'

    Ivanovic does well to shield the ball out as Nasri tried to chase a ball over the top.

  • 5'

    Zabaleta leaves Cole on the deck in the area, he has too options but rather than pick out Aguero on the edge of the six yard box he opts for Silva on the egde of the area and he hits it way over.

  • 4'

    Poor clearance from Hart, he didn't get it off the ground but it falls to a City player. Lucky.

  • 3'

    Silva takes from the right, it falls to Zabaleta on the edge of the box who sees his strike deflected behind. The next corner is cleared easily at the front post.

  • 2'

    Balotelli wins a corner up against David Luiz.

  • 1'

    It's Chelsea who kick-off with Mata and Torres.


    Out come the teams, kick-off moments away. AND IT'S LIVE!


    Of course, City are boosted by the news that Stefan Savic is not playing centre-back. Torres might even have got a Premier League goal.


    Chelsea go with just Fernando Torres up front, while Gary Cahill comes in for the injured John Terry. Daniel Sturridge is dropped to the bench along with Didier Drogba as Chelsea pack the midfield.


    So Carlos Tevez returns on the bench for City but the big news is that Vincent Kompany has not made the game. And with no Joleon Lescott either it means Kolo Toure and Micah Richards are centre-backs.


    Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Drogba, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou, Sturridge.


    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Toure, Clichy, Silva, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Nasri, Aguero, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Milner, Dzeko, Kolarov, Savic, Barry, Tevez.


    Frank Lampard scored the winning goal earlier this season as Chelsea won 2-1 at home to City.


    It's a huge match at Eastlands as City and Chelsea face a match which could shape the rest of their seasons. Join @dalejohnsonESPN for live commentary.