Roberto Di Matteo sent out an unusual Chelsea lineup, but it was relatively easy to work out who was in what position. Raul Meireles would play centrally in the attacking band of three, a rare position, but one he excelled in in the last part of the match against Leicester. Fernando Torres was the greatest beneficiary of this, so he was granted the start over Didier Drogba. Juan Mata returned to the left wing, and Lampard and Mikel made up the double pivot. All in all, a relatively pleasing Chelsea side.
The momentum of the match suddenly during the second-half shifted when Chelsea won a corner, where Torres and David Luiz both battled to keep the ball in the area, allowing Gary Cahill to strike the ball hitting Toure in the process, going easily past Hart due to deflection. But Chelsea didn’t care! They were in an extremely rare position of being ahead on Manchester City’s own turf. Having ended their unbeaten run back in December, were Chelsea about to end their unbeaten run at home too? The backline was doing it’s best to achieve that. Cahill and Luiz were key, as well as bringing about the lead, were also doing a good job of maintaining it, against strong City attackers. The potency of the City attack was about to be increased, when Carlos Tevez would return from exile. The forward would replace Nigel De Jong, and immediately looked to play between the gap opening up on Chelsea’s right hand side, near Jose Bosingwa. Any Chelsea fan who didn’t feel a pang of fear at the sight of last season’s top scorer looking to attack Chelsea’s flimsy Portugese defender is a liar. And sure enough. It took the arrival of another forward in Edin Dzeko to break through a deep Chelsea defence, and assisted by Michael Essien’s complete brain fart, City got back in the game through a cheap penalty. The tide had shifted, and the introduction of Didier Drogba for Fernando Torres did little to stem the flow. City pressured, and piled attackers forward, and were rewarded for their endeavor with brilliant build up play from Tevez and a superb finish from Nasri. 2-1, and it remained that way till the final whistle.
“I don’t know if this is a championship winning performance,” said Mancini after the match, “but it is a good performance in a very difficult game.”
This is Chelsea’s first defeat under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo and it left the Blues five points behind Tottenham in the race for 4th place. Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo saw his 100 per cent win record come to an end and declared himself disappointed with the result.
“I think we did well,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tough and I felt we defended very well.”
5 Things We Learned:
1.Manchester United Haven’t Won It Yet!
2.Fernando Torres is not ‘back’ and looks more frustrated than ever
Two goals against a Championship side is not a vindication of a player’s ability to reproduce the same at the top level. Ask Michael Owen after his brace against Leeds earlier this year. Torres looked like he had an extra spring in his step early on, but that enthusiasm quickly evaporated as the game went on. His body language as he was taken off showed complete frustration, and he was quite disrespectful to Roberto di Matteo.
3.Tevez Is Set to Play a Key Role..
4.Chelsea Can Still Make the Champions League..
5.City Have Been over-reliant on David Silva
Well it had to happen some time. Silva has been magnificent this season, a player of the year contender no doubt. Yet right now he is off the boil. In fact City only seemed to come back into this one when Silva was taken off the pitch by his manager. City should consider resting him for this weekend’s trip to Stoke. They need him right for the rest of the run-in, and may be a few days off may do him good.
1.Chelsea will look to lure Newcastle United striker Demba Ba
to Stamford Bridge this summer in an effort to give themselves more options up front (Caught offside)
2.New manager Roman Abramovich has come to the conclusion that his team needs a new striker, midfield player, and right-back, and to this end wants Porto’s Hulk, Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Newcastle United’s Demba Ba and Cheik Tioté, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian.
3.Borussia Dortmund had told Chelsea to stop sniffing around their manager Jürgen Klopp and do one. “Chelsea do not bother me one bit, because we have a contract with Jürgen Klopp until the end of 2016, and he will not be going anywhere,” said the chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke to the Daily Mail . “It’s quite simple. There is no way he will be going to Chelsea,” he said. (guardian)