CHELSEA 2-0 MAN CITY
Ok, I’m going to eat humble pie today, just the one slice but I’m prepared to sit up at the table with my napkin firmly in place and admit I wasn’t expecting that result yesterday.
Yes I know that out of the two sides it’s us that have the experience when it comes to battling for required points this stage of the season but given our three previous meetings, not to mention Carlo’s history with Mancini, my confidence went completely awol.
A minor boost at the start was the absence of the Argie midget’s name from City’s teamsheet because given his 4 goals in our previous 3 meetings, our best hope was David Luiz flattening him. Still, he weren’t there and Balotelli was relegated to the bench, no doubt given a 45 minute head start to sort his bib out. For us, we had David Luiz, Essien and Malouda return, with Kalou and Torres the starting pair up front for this one.
City had the better start with an early test for Cech from Yaya Toure but it’s fair to say that whilst we grew into the game, our opponents were happy to demonstrate what a lovely bus you can buy for your money these days. But whilst the first half felt increasingly like pulling teeth, with the odd comedy moment thrown in by Ramires and Kalou’s best impression of a Billy Smart’s act in the area, the second half for us at least saw a return of the sort of dogged determination that always had you feeling a goal was on its way.
That eventually came in the 79th minute courtesy of the man most definitely of the moment, David Luiz. Our Brazilian central defender has looked an absolute snip at £21m from the minute he arrived at Stamford Bridge and yesterday he put in yet another performance worth its weight in gold, capping it off with a headed goal from Drogba’s free-kick.
City never really looked like doing anything about our lead whilst we, on the other hand, looked as if we might have another goal in us and indeed, our other Brazilian duly obliged in stoppage time, skipping through City’s defence to dispatch a lovely little shot past Joe Hart and sealing a well deserved 2-0 victory.
So overall then, still no goals for Fernando Torres who made way in the second half for Didier Drogba – much to Roman’s displeasure judging by the look on his face – but he had a decent game and his first goal for Chelsea looks to get ever closer. Capello’s untimely announcement didn’t seem to do the Chelsea and England captain any harm after all and the performances of his other England men in Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard must have been a pleasure to watch, particularly given Lampard’s previous this season.
On the day though, it was all about Brazil, or at least two specific Brazilians for us who turned what could have been a bit of a damp squib into a cracking 3 points.
CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda (Anelka,70), Torres (Drogba,70), Kalou (Zhirkov,78).
Unused Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Mikel.
MAN CITY: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner (Johnson,81) de Jong, Barry, Y Toure (Balotelli,81), Silva, Dzeko.
Unused Subs: Taylor, Wright-Phillips, Boateng, Vieira, Boyata.
CHELSEA: David Luiz 78, Ramires 90