Chelsea FC secured an invaluable road victory today against Manchester City. With the victory, the Blues are level on points with City (53), and find themselves just two points behind league leaders Arsenal. The result only makes the premier league title race that more interesting from this point on.
Unlike many had predicted, Chelsea did not run out and “park the bus” from the get go. They actually started the game fluid, which almost played to their demise. Early on City looked lively, and threatened the Chelsea defense. This was highlighted when City defender Pablo Zabaleta sent in a dangerous grounded cross 15 minutes in. Yaya Toure was able to get a touch, but sent his shot wide of the mark.
The home side still looked to be in control of the game, dominating possession and still looking good in attack. This would all change in the 26th minute when Ramires forced goalkeeper Joe Hart into a diving save. Not much later, the unlikeliest of scorers would send in what was the match winner. Fullback Branislav Ivanovic took advantage of a rebounded shot and sent a screamers into the back of the net. Chelsea were up 1-0 after 31 minutes.
Before the half ended Eden Hazard attempted to double the Chelsea lead, but Hart stepped up once again to deny the Belgian. City went into the half dominating possession, and having more shots, but nevertheless looked vulnerable in defense and it showed in the 1-0 scoreline.
The second half began with both teams creating chances, but Manchester City still showed some confusion in defense. This showed 52 minutes in after Nemanja Matic was allowed too much space and fired a shot off the post from about 30 yards out. Later in the half Gary Cahill saw a Chelsea player hit the post for the third time, after his header from a corner just missed the back of the net.
By time the game was winding down, the Blues were just trying to hang on to the victory. We saw Oscar, John Obi Mikel, and Demba Ba introduced late in the proceedings. City piled on countless pressure, and made Patr Cech work, but when the final whistle came Chelsea emerged victorious. With Newcastle at home and West Brom away, Chelsea very well may see themselves in an even better position in a couple weeks time. But for now, they can enjoy a very important road win.
Man of the Match Nemanja Matic- Matic put in a terrific shift, dropping deep to break up City attacks, supporting Chelsea attacks if needed, and neutralized Yaya Toure en route to a spectacular performance.