Chelsea derail Man City, set sights on Man United
Chelsea made their intentions very clear; they will not hand over their Barclays Premier League title without a fight. Man City with all of their 300million plus worth talent set out to stop Chelsea from having a sniff at goal and to their credit were successful for all of 80 minutes. But once David Luiz scored his second goal in the Premier League, second against a club from Manchester, they looked helpless, as if they had no other intention other than to hold on to 0-0 draw, possessing no plan B. From the point of view of football fans it was as if justice was served, Mancini had infused truckloads of negativity into the beautiful game and deserved to go empty handed.
City were pegged back having learnt their inspirational skipper and Chelsea nemesis, Carlos Tevez had failed a late fitness test. That meant Dzeko started as the lone striker with Balotelli on the bench while David Silva and James Milner had the responsibility of providing width to City. Chelsea welcomed back David Luiz into the heart of their defence, and this time it was Torres and Kalou who kept Drogba and Anelka on the bench.
The team from the Eastlands looked lively in the opening exchanges with Yaya Toure drawing a smart save from Petr Cech. As it would turn out, it was to be his most telling contribution on his way to his thirteenth clean sheet this season. For the rest of the half City defended with discipline as Chelsea tried to break them down. Kalou looked the brightest and came closest to scoring after volleying an Ashley Cole cross. The only other talking point was a hand ball appeal against Lescott which has rightly turned down by referee Chris Foy.
The second half saw much of the same as the first, with Lampard and Ivanovic coming close but not doing enough to hurt the team with the maximum number of clean sheets. By the 70th minute, Ancelotti had had enough and brought on Anelka and Drogba to replace Torres and Malouda.
Drogba was fired up, eager to prove a point to his manager and it was his free kick (won by David Luiz) which was headed in by Chelsea’s sensational winter signing David Luiz. It was as if a torpedo had struck Man City who hurriedly brought on Balotelli and Adam Johnson. But it had to be all too little to late and for a team set out with such a negative mindset it wasn’t the least bit surprising that the second goal too came from the Blue of Chelsea.
It was their other Brazilian, Ramires who took advantage of some tired City defenders, running through the centre going past Lescott, wrong footing Kolarov and slotting home from closer range to send Chelsea just 4 points behind Arsenal.
This game was a simple example of “Who dares wins”. Chelsea have hit a rich vein of form since their home defeat at the hands of Liverpool and save a tough trip to the Britannia stadium, have four pretty winnable matches coming up before they travel to Old Trafford. They look solid at the back with David Luiz slotting in perfectly and with United’s lackluster away performances, Chelsea might well be in with more than a shout for claiming their 4th Barclays Premier League title.