Chelsea came from behind to beat 10-man Manchester City 2-1 this evening with a late Frank Lampard penalty, handing Roberto Mancini’s side their first defeat of the season in the process.
The visitors, who entered this game having dropped just 2 points from their opening 14 Premier League games this season were in front in less than 2 minutes. A nice turn away from would-be tacklers and a through ball from Sergio Aguero was latched onto by Mario Balotelli whom avoided Branislav Ivanovic before taking it past Petr Cech and rolling the ball into the empty net before giving is trademark celebration in front of some Chelsea supporters.
Manchester City were dominant for the opening 25 minutes but will be mift as to how they didn’t capitolise on their possession and convert it into a second goal. First, Sergio Aguero cut inside the penalty area but fired wide from 10 yards.
David Silva, who was largely anonymous throughout this match before he was substituted in the 75th minute, was tripped inside the penalty area by Jose Bosingwa but any penalty claims were waived away by referee Mark Clattenburg.
Chelsea were chasing shadows for the opening 30 minutes. Then in the 34th minute, Daniel Sturridge brought down a long ball out on the right wing, dribbled around Gael Clichy before delivering a right-footed cross for which Raul Meireles volleyed home from close range. 1-1.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side then finished the first half on top and started the second brightly. The first half equaliser had seemingly stunned the visitors. And within 13 minutes of the second half, Gael Clichy received two yellow cards as Manchester City played just over half an hour with a man less. The former Arsenal left back tripped Sturridge for his first and Ramires before receiving his marching orders.
Roberto Mancini then reverted back to the tactical approach his side were very experienced in from last season… defensive. And who could blame him. First, Kolo Toure came on for Sergio Aguero. And then, when still tied at 1-1 with quarter of an hour remaining, Nigel de Jong was introduced for David Silva.
For all of Chelsea’s possession and there man advantage they did not test Joe Hart at all in the second half. Not until Daniel Sturridge’s effort struck the hands of Joleon Lescott inside the box and Chelsea were awarded an 83rd minute penalty. Frank Lampard who had only been introduced 10 minutes earlier as a replacement for Meireles stepped up and smashed it home. And finally there was some noise around Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Mancini did not blame Clichy or the referee’s decision to send him off, but referred back to the first half at 1-0 when Manchester City were denied a penalty. And the opportunity for a 2-0 lead from the penalty spot at that stage would have all but kept City’s unbeaten start to the season in tact.
This defeat leaves Manchester City 2 points atop of their local rivals United ahead of their home game with Arsenal next Sunday. Manchester United can go back on top of the Premier League next Sunday when they kick off at lunchtime at Loftus Road by beating Queens Park Rangers. Manchester City kick off at 4.10.
This evening’s result leaves Chelsea 7 points behind Manchester City.
Manchester City remain odds-on favourites to win the Premier League this season, but their odds have risen to 5/6 after their Monday night defeat. Manchester United’s odds have dropped to 2/1 whilst Chelsea are now 8/1.