Citizens fall short at Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini renewed acquaintances in England for the first time following Mourinho succeeding Pellegrini in the Real Madrid hot seat during 2010 but the Super Sunday clash three years later at Stamford Bridge saw Mourinho’s Chelsea looking to end a record of not winning any of the past five matches against the Citizens in all competitions so the stage was set for a tough battle towards the end of October. On two minutes, Gary Cahill cannoned a volley over the top, after a perfectly measured cross by Oscar, to set the Chelsea defender free. Ten minutes later, City broke down the Blues backline, after a sublime pass from Sergio Aguero and an aggressive strike by Samir Nasri, which flew wide of the far post. In the twenty ninth minute, a glaring miss by Fernando Torres, let the Citizens off the hook as the unmarked Blues striker blazed over with just Joe Hart to beat, after Ramires had produced the telling ball over the top of City’s defence. But Torres made amends in the thirty third minute, as he darted down the right side of the area, cutting inside Gael Clichy and then providing a cross past Matija Nastasic, that left Andre Schurrle with the simple task of rolling the ball past Hart into the back of the net, to register his first goal for the Blues. Then another piece of magic by Torres, nearly produced a second, as he cut inside the left wing and with an exquisite strike smashed his shot against the right hand side of the upright. Cech was called into action for the first time in the fortieth minute with a double handed close range block to keep out Aguero’s close range effort. Although four minutes into the second half, Aguero was on the score sheet, as with precision and pace, Aguero bent the ball over Cech’s reach, to send his effort crashing into the roof of the net, as he latched onto Nasri’s through ball. The Blues then gathered momentum and when Javi Garcia body checked Torres, a well delivered free kick by Frank Lampard was steered over the bar by Chelsea captain John Terry. On sixty four minutes, an important stop with Cech’s outstretched foot, prevented David Silva’s low strike from going in as the Citizens made a positive response. It was time for a Chelsea change as Willian replaced Schurrle and John Obi Mikel took over from Lampard. Then City made a switch by taking off Nasri for Jesus Navas. On seventy eight minutes, Ramires went for the spectacular with a strike from inside the middle of the park which rose over the crossbar. The Citizens then added Aleksandar Kolarov in favour of Garcia. In the last throw of the dice, the Blues brought on Samuel Eto’o for Eden Hazard before City made a late addition of Alvaro Negredo for Aguero. But the drama was saved for stoppage time, as Chelsea claimed an improbable victory, when Willian punted the ball forward and as Hart advanced from his goal line, in a mix up with his own keeper, Nastasic headed the ball back into the path of the onward Torres, who toe poked the ball home to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the Blues bench and players as Mourinho raced into the crowd to celebrate with the home supporters as the City players laid crest fallen on the pitch.