Premier League

December 12, 2011

Full-time

Chelsea

2 - 1

Manchester City

Premier League

20:00 +00:00, December 12, 2011

Stamford Bridge, England

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

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    Thank you for your company this evening. Stay with us for post-match reaction. I've been James Dall. Cheerio.

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    Manchester City lose for the first time in the Premier League this season. It is a huge result for Chelsea, and their manager Andre Villas-Boas. Balotelli had given City the lead in the second minute before Meireles levelled following fine work from Sturridge. Then Clichy received a second yellow in the second period to make it an uphill task for the visitors, and Chelsea duly struck, with Lampard coming off the bench to fire in a penalty.

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    FULL-TIME: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

  • 90'

    Mario fouls, and that, as they say, should be that.

  • 90'

    Mancini cutting a frustrated figure...

  • 90'

    Chelsea keeping it nicely...

  • 90'

    Drogba rolls two men with wonderful skill and then tries an audacious strike from miles out. Goal kick.

  • 90'

    Yaya Toure commits a foul. Still no yellow for him, somehow.

  • 90'

    Four minutes of added time to be played.

  • 90'

    Chelsea win a corner, and then another. They are playing this well.

  • 90'

    Chelsea holding the ball up well now. Winning free-kicks to ebb away the time.

  • 89'

    Sturridge, the assister of the leveller, is replaced by Mikel.

  • 88'

    Milner hangs over a free-kick but Balotelli can't get there, seemingly ducking. Goal kick.

  • 87'

    Brilliant skill from Balotelli in the corner to win a free-kick. Half-chance here...

  • 86'

    Dzeko is on for Lescott.

  • 85'

    Need to see more of the 'handball'. Lescott's hand looked raised, but whether there was any intent is the subject of conjecture.

  • 84'

    Mata is off for Malouda.

  • 83'

    Lampard smashes it. Absolutely tonks it. Hart dove, but the ball was sent into the centre. Frank wheels away, jubilant. 2-1 to Chelsea against 10-man City. Is the unbeaten run over?

  • 83'

    GOAL!!! Lampard scores for Chelsea!

  • 82'

    Sturridge came inside on his left and banged one. Lescott had his hand raised and the ball struck it. Penalty.

  • 82'

    PENALTY TO CHELSEA!!!

  • 81'

    A shot! But it is a tame one. Drogba plays it back to Ramires, who toes a shot goalwards. It is weak. Hart is there. Easy.

  • 80'

    It's not the best in terms of quality out there. Many stoppages. 'Bitty' comes to mind.

  • 79'

    Drogba booked. He went in rashly on this skiddy surface and was rightly carded.

  • 78'

    AVB is urging for tempo. He knows this is there for the winning, but Chelsea have not created much of note in this half.

  • 77'

    Villas-Boas is as animated as ever on the touchline, stretching those quads as he squats furiously.

  • 76'

    De Jong is coming on, replacing Silva. That's City settling for a draw then.

  • 75'

    Ramires is next to be booked after swinging through on Balotelli.

  • 74'

    Ashley Cole has a chance to feed in a dangerous cross, but the execution is heavy and escapes his team-mates.

  • 73'

    Commentator's curse: here comes Lampard. The midfielder comes on for Meireles.

  • 72'

    Lampard and Torres undoubtedly itching to come on. No movement from AVB on that front yet.

  • 71'

    Balotelli buys a free-kick to relieve some of the pressure mounting on City.

  • 70'

    Some sustained possession for City almost sees them work an angle, but the ball is squeezed away. Chelsea look to counter but City are back swiftly.

  • 69'

    Yaya Toure passes to Kolo Toure. You heard it here first.

  • 68'

    City break clear for the first time in a while. Silva picks out Balotelli, who tries his luck from distance. It is rather tame and Cech is there to smother.

  • 67'

    Wicked cross by Bosingwa from the right. But the delivery evades everyone.

  • 66'

    Dreadful free-kick in by Mata sees a chance to test this new-look back four go to waste.

  • 65'

    I was wrong. Zabaleta is left back, Kolo Toure right back.

  • 64'

    Aguero is forced off following Clichy's red and Kolo Toure comes on. Presumably Lescott will go left back.

  • 63'

    Romeu is in the book. He went in a little boldly on Balotelli.

  • 62'

    Romeu is bullish. He wins the ball well and keeps it neat. Better than Mikel.

  • 61'

    City still enjoying more of the ball, in spite of their numerical disadvantage. This is surely there for the winning now for Chelsea, which would be a huge fillip for AVB.

  • 60'

    Clichy will miss the Arsenal game, then?

  • 59'

    Ooof. Ramries bombs on, as he has done so well this match, and Clichy hangs out a leg. He fells the Brazilian and Clattenburg has no choice but to dish out the second yellow.

  • 58'

    Clichy is off!

  • 57'

    Still a long while to go, but a draw enough for Chelsea? Fine by City, you would think, but not enough for Chelsea considering their plight.

  • 56'

    Think Ramires is winded. Should be all right in a moment.

  • 55'

    Ramries is down in a heap. Meanwhile, Mata's influence is growing.

  • 54'

    Drogba has a face like thunder. Not sure why. The weather, maybe?

  • 53'

    Sumptuous skill from Mata gets the home fans on their feet, but Kompany brings the move to an end with a foul. Chelsea want a second yellow, but it doesn't come.

  • 52'

    Worth noting, and it is a point that keeps being revisited, that Ivanovic made a last-gasp attempt to deny Balotelli for the opener. Had the Italian gone down, it surely would have been a red card.

  • 51'

    Toure is being rather naughty in this game. Replays show he attempted to rake down the back of Ramires' calf. The ref didn't see it.

  • 50'

    City are indeed struggling now Chelsea are dropping off more.

  • 49'

    Sturridge is the man at the moment. With Clichy on a booking, expect plenty more direct running from the England international.

  • 48'

    Ah! Horrific marking from City as a free-kick finds Sturridge free. He cracks one but the ball is always rising and flashes just over.

  • 47'

    Clichy is booked for pulling back Sturridge, who demonstrated a fine burst, not for the first time in this game.

  • 46'

    KICK-OFF: Chelsea get the second half started.

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    Did you know you can get in contact with me with your thoughts on this match via JamesDallESPN? You do now.

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    Replays being shown of the Bosingwa challenge on Silva in the box. Looks a stick-on penalty having seen a new angle of it now. Chelsea got away with one there. Still waiting to see some more on the Toure hand flick at Mata. Looked a red card offence on first viewing.

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    An absorbing half played in testing conditions. Balotelli broke the deadlock after two minutes, as City tore Chelsea apart on numerous occasions. Chelsea rallied, though, and ex-City boy Sturridge's good work fed Meireles to restore parity. Since then, Chelsea have defended well and City's passing has been sloppy.

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    HALF-TIME: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City

  • 45'

    Balotelli teases in a cross, and Aguero gets a toe on the ball. Terry had flung himself at the effort and I think that did enough to put off the Argentine, as the shot was tepid.

  • 45'

    Meireles goes in lazily on Toure. Needs to be careful.

  • 45'

    Two minutes of added time will be played.

  • 45'

    City's passing has gone to pot. Mancini will look forward to half-time.

  • 44'

    Chelsea's shape has vastly improved. City have probed for space of the past ten minutes, but cannot find it. AVB will be a happier bunny.

  • 43'

    Ramires gives Chelsea that Essien-esque surge, you know? His running with the ball can be very troublesome for the opposition.

  • 42'

    Kompany is booked after a clumsy challenge on Drogba, which saw him wipe out the Ivorian as they clattered together.

  • 40'

    Chelsea crowd are furious about something, think it was perhaps due to a Milner handball and then the midfielder kicking the ball away. No card for the England man.

  • 39'

    They've played some really lovely stuff tonight, have City. The passing, at times, has been crisp and efficient. There are goals in this team, but they do concede.

  • 38'

    Silva dinks in a high ball but Lescott is well marked and the pass drops out of play for a goal kick.

  • 37'

    Chelsea now operating deeper and more compact, maybe how they should have been in the opening stages.

  • 36'

    Meireles is the first into the referee's notebook after he raked his studs into the shin of Zabaleta.

  • 35'

    Well played Sturridge. The forward beats Clichy with some fleeting footwork and then hammers in a cross. Meireles is there to meet it, thundering into the net from close range.

  • 35'

    GOAL!!! Meireles scores for Chelsea!

  • 34'

    Ramires shows off his pace and power with a surging run, but he can't complement the bombing on with a pass, as his ball to Drogba is a little loose.

  • 32'

    Couple of wasteful long balls from City just now. Kompany the latest to hit one aimlessly.

  • 31'

    Silva now receiving treatment after Meireles caught the Spaniard. Villas-Boas, looking wind-swept, is giving Mata some instructions.

  • 30'

    Drogba is back on, but hobbling about. He should be ok, my intuition tells me.

  • 29'

    Drogba appears to have twanged something when shooting just then. Torres, anyone?

  • 28'

    Drogba is found following a cheeky backheel from Meireles, but the Ivorian opts to shoot from some distance and the effort bobbles out harmlessly.

  • 27'

    Meireles searches out Sturridge, who looks to turn, but Clichy is swiftly in on him to tackle and dispossess.

  • 26'

    The ball is swung in by Mata, but City are commanding and deal with the delivery.

  • 25'

    Corner to Chelsea as Drogba's shot at the near post is parried away by Hart.

  • 24'

    Still no replay of the Toure incident.

  • 23'

    It's not quite as open as it was ten minutes ago. As I type, Milner breaks through but the angle does not favour him and he is forced to dig out a cross, which comes to nothing.

  • 22'

    City now enjoying more of the ball, patient to wait for the chance to thread in a through ball.

  • 21'

    I need to see a replay, but it seems Toure just flung a hand at Mata's face.

  • 20'

    Clichy whips in a teasing cross and Balotelli looks to divert it home, but the Italian cannot quite get there as Cole does enough to shepherd the ball away.

  • 19'

    Just on the Silva penalty claim; it was one of those where there appeared to be no contact, yet there would have been had Silva not hurdled the challenge from Bosingwa.

  • 18'

    Chelsea have had 63% of the ball possession so far, but much of that has been between their back four.

  • 17'

    Now it is Chelsea's turn to attack. This is rather breathless.

  • 16'

    Mario Balotelli wants to take a free-kick. He is allowed to do so. It is about 35 yards out, but he shoots. It goes way over. Way, way over.

  • 15'

    That was a golden chance for Silva, who should arguably have shot rather than dummied.

  • 14'

    What a move. City are turning it on. The ball, after a succession of wonderful passes, is passed to Silva, who drops a shoulder. Bosingwa goes in clumsily and may have caught the Spaniard, who tumbles in the box. No penalty given.

  • 13'

    City are pressing ever so well, working very hard indeed when not in possession.

  • 12'

    Oooo. City almost go 2-0 up. Aguero latches onto some more sloppy play from Chelsea. He wriggles away from two challenges and then fires a low shot the wrong side of the near post.

  • 11'

    Corner to Chelsea after Meireles' strike is deflected over. The corner is played short, then clipped in, but City defend well.

  • 10'

    Mata has a chance to find a team-mate with a cross but his effort is nodded clear by Kompany.

  • 9'

    Mata has a chance to curl a pass into Drogba, but he chooses the wrong option, instead hitting long to Ramires, who fouls.

  • 8'

    Romeu is guilty of a very loose pass and City almost pounce, but Terry, who was suspect for the opening goal, shuts the door.

  • 7'

    I've said it already, but I will say it again, the rain is hammering down. Greasy.

  • 6'

    Home side looking to get a foothold on this game. City are hustling them well. Chelsea do appear to be playing that high line again, which is risky.

  • 5'

    City work it well down the left flank, but Clichy is flagged for offside. The home fans are stunned.

  • 4'

    Chelsea look to respond and Meireles leads the charge. He has Cole to his left but opts to shoot wildly, his pop flashing well wide.

  • 3'

    He has taken that so well. Aguero spins his man in Chelsea's half and picks out a classy pass that slices open the home side's defence. Balotelli controls and rounds Cech, before tapping in very calmly indeed.

  • 2'

    GOAL!!! Balotelli scores for City!

  • 2'

    High foot from Silva sees an early free-kick awarded. Cole almost went over the halfway line then, our editor John Brewin points out which he hasn't done of late.

  • 1'

    KICK-OFF: Manchester City get us started.

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    Teams are in the tunnel! Terry and Kompany the captains. Weather information: it is rotten. It's windy, blowing a a hooley in fact, while the rain is bucketing it down.

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    Big night for Romeu, one would think. The boy's shown quality, but against City's midfield, where Silva floats around like a very talented bee, the Spaniard needs to be disciplined.

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    David Luiz is suspended, which, if you ask me, is a crying shame. Balotelli does start though, so at least one 'character' is on display. Of course, there has been much licking of the lips over the prospect of Mata v Silva. Both are Spanish. Both are bloody good.

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    Team news is in, in fact I've already pasted in the starting XIs - see below. Torres and Lampard are on the bench, which is no longer a story, really, is it? City, meanwhile, go with the same side that gave United a rogering, sans Richards.

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    Good evening. How art thou? Big game, this one. It's all about the money. Remember this song? Rubbish, wasn't it. Anyway, here is a preview. Robin Hackett wrote it and it's very good. Read it, then return to this page.

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    Manchester City starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott Clichy; Toure Yaya, Barry; Milner, Silva, Balotelli; Aguero.

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    Chelsea starting XI: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Meireles; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.

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    ESPNsoccernet's James Dall will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of Chelsea's Premier League meeting with Manchester City, which kicks off at 20.00 GMT. Be there, or be square.