Chelsea end City’s unbeaten run
Written By: Robert Halter
Manchester City were unbeaten prior to the match at Chelsea as the league leaders made the journey to Stamford Bridge, as the Blues were desperate for a victory to keep in touching distance of the table toppers. The game gave Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge the opportunity of facing his former Citizens for a key Monday night fixture in December. It was the worst possible start for Chelsea as in the opening minute and a half, Sergio Aguero threaded the ball through from the middle of the park, and Mario Balotelli went past Branislav Ivanovic before rounding Petr Cech and sliding the ball into the middle of the net to put City one nil up. Aguero had a chance to increase the Citizens lead on ten minutes, after first Ashley Cole and then Oriol Romeu lost the ball and with both defenders checking back, Aguero put his shot into the side netting. The Blues created a chance midway through the first half, when Sturridge supplied a pass to Didier Drogba but the ball was turned behind by the hand of Joe Hart at his near post. But the Blues found a way back into the match in the thirty third minute, when a measured cross by Sturridge from the right side was met on the volley with a ferocious strike off the foot of Raul Meireles as he hammered the ball into the centre of the net. However, Meireles’s scenes of joy were followed with a swift booking by referee Mark Clattenburg for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta. The Blues were the quickest out of the blocks for the second half, and after Gael Clichy pulled down Sturridge, a well taken free kick by Juan Mata was met by a rifling shot from Sturridge which flew over the crossbar. A second bookable offence for Clichy proved costly for City in the fifty seventh minute, as the Citizens were reduced to ten men, following Clichy’s reckless challenge on Ramires. The game swung in Chelsea’s favour on eighty one minutes when the Blues were awarded a penalty after Sturridge’s shot hit Joleon Lescott on the hand in the penalty area. The responsibility fell to Frank Lampard, a second half substitute for Meireles, and Lampard made no mistake by smashing his penalty kick past Hart into the centre of the goal. It was a priceless win for Chelsea as the title race was swept open in the pouring rain.