Chelsea and City in Stalemate
Written By: Robert Halter
The dismissal of Blues first team manager, Roberto Di Matteo following Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at Juventus in the UEFA Champions League resulted in the appointment of Rafael Benitez as interim boss with his first game in charge a Sunday showdown against reigning Premiership champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, the back end of November. Having taken only two points from their last four league games, Chelsea looked to bounce back against a Citizens side unbeaten in the top flight division this season going seventeen games without loss. On twenty minutes an in swinging cross by Pablo Zabaleta was headed over the bar from David Silva as City pressed for the first time in the match. In the thirty sixth minute, Edin Dzeko’s through ball found Zabaleta but his low drive was deflected away from a double footed block by Petr Cech. Although the clearest cut chance of the first half fell to Sergio Aguero but he headed the ball into the arms of Cech after the ball over by Dzeko had opened up the Blues defence. In the fifty second minute, Ramires fired over from long range after a neat lay off by Eden Hazard had given Chelsea the chance to threaten. Cech then failed to hold onto a strike by Yaya Toure from outside the penalty area as the Citizens pressed again six minutes later. But on sixty one minutes, Fernando Torres wasted a good opportunity for Chelsea as he thrashed the ball wide in the box, after a touch on by Hazard from a Juan Mata cross. Cech was called into further action in the eightieth minutes as he blocked with his legs a deflected low cross by James Milner. The Blues fans reacted angrily when a fierce strike by Ashely Cole was pushed over the bar by the palms of Joe Hart but Chelsea were not awarded a corner in the eighty fourth minute. City were close to a late winner when Matija Nastasic rose to a David Silva corner but Cech saved the day for Chelsea as both the Blues and the Citizens saw out a goalless draw to share the spoils on a wet and windy night.