Citizens take care of the Pensioners
Written By: Robert Halter
Manchester City were aiming to turn the tide on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge mid April by gaining their first win at the Blues since February 2010 as six years later, the Citizens looked to over turn a poor record of three draws and two defeats on their last five visits to London’s SW6. On three minutes, City broke forward through Jesus Navas, who spread the ball out to Kevin De Bruyne, whose low cross towards Sergio Aguero, was snuffed out by Cesar Azpilicueta. But on six minutes, the Blues threatened when a ball over the top from Cesc Fabregas was laid off by Diego Costa, and as Pedro drove the ball in, it was cleared off the line by Nicholas Otamendi. But at the same time, City responded with a through ball from Aguero, and it took a near post block from Thibaut Courtois, to keep out a close range strike from De Bruyne. On nineteen minutes, from a pass by Pedro, a quick turn from Ruben Loftus-Cheek left Otamendi in his shadows, as he whipped the ball past Eliaquim Mangala and despite Joe Hart turning the ball behind for a corner, the decision went against Chelsea and a goal kick was given. From a Willian corner in the twenty second minute, a poor clearance from De Bruyne, was connected to from Gary Cahill, as his strike was deflected over the cross bar. Although the Citizens responded a minute later, when club captain, Yaya Toure sent the ball through to De Bruyne, but Courtois used his quick feet to turn away a strike by De Bruyne. However in the twenty seventh minute, Aguero carved an opening for Samir Nasri and it took another stop from Courtois to defuse the situation. The deadlock was broken in the thirty third minute, with a breakaway move involving De Bruyne and Aguero from inside their own half, before on the right flank De Bruyne’s killer pass was despatched with a deadly finish by Aguero, that cannoned off Cahill, into the bottom right corner. Before half time, Willian bent a free kick high over the bar, after a foul on Costa by Otamendi. After Ruben-Loftus Cheek struck an effort over the upright from a Pedro assist in the forty ninth minute, City struck again within five minutes with De Bruyne the instigator near to the centre circle as he ran through before Nasri slipped a pass into the path of Aguero, who executed the finish past Courtois, into the left corner with a right footed curling shot. Ten minutes later, De Bruyne found Aguero again and as the ball made its way to Nasri, a timely intervention from Courtois averted the danger. After Pablo Zabaleta escaped another booking for a foul on Pedro, he was replaced by Bacary Sagna, after the free kick by Fabregas, went too far past Hart’s safely guarded goal mouth, and soon the Blues took off Pedro for Kenedy and replaced Willian with Betrand Traore. Then after picking up a knock, City removed Nasri for Fabian Delph. It got even worse for Chelsea, as Courtois was sent off with a straight red by referee Mike Dean, after hacking down Fernandinho in the area, and as substitute goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was brought on for John Obi Mikel from the resulting penalty, Aguero completed his hat trick by sending Begovic the wrong way with his spot kick in the eightieth minute. The Blues huffed and puffed in the eighty second minute, first as Hart made a save from Traore’s left footed effort from outside the box through an Azpilicueta pass and then a low strike from Fabregas failed to trouble Hart, after inter play with Costa to Traore. After De Bruyne skied the ball from a Fernandinho assist, the man of the hour, Aguero left the field for Kelechi Iheanacho. As Hart sprawled away a strike from Costa, after he had been played on by Fabregas, it ended a disappointing early evening encounter for the Blues, who were convincingly beaten 3-0 by the Citizens to restore the hopes of a top four finish for Manchester City and leave Chelsea languishing in mid table.