Vengeance or Mancini? That Is The Question
Manchester City never fail to surprise you one week losing to Stoke Rugby Football Club yet others frustratingly able to win against United, Arsenal and Chelsea at home.
So it should have come as no surprise that we pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Premier League history by defeating Chelsea four two at Stamford Bridge.
For no one before the game was thinking this is the time to play Chelsea, especially given the torrid start to 2010 that we've had.
Damage limitation was surely the best to hope for and then onto the business end of our season and the chase for that all important fourth place.
After all, Chelsea are quite simply unbeatable at the Bridge registering thirty seven from a possible thirty nine points before yesterdays game.
Yet it was our own 'Bridge' in Wayne that provided the catalyst we probably wouldn't have had to win this game.
If anyone ever tells you the media never do us a favour continually hounding our club at every turn then let this be a lesson to them. For on this occasion, the media circus that surrounded the Bridge-Terry saga more than served to pump up the victim and his team mates.
Prior to the match the usual suspects were at it leaking supposed stories of name calling by certain Chelsea players accusing Bridge of being a 'bottler' and 'coward' for not answering his mobile to the Chelsea captain.
Before Christmas Gareth Barry went to pieces on his return to Villa Park wilting under thousands of boos and cries of 'Judas'.
Bridge on the other hand is obviously made of sterner mental toughness as he brushed off a potentially calamitous occasion with all of the world watching and put in a performance to make Fabio Capello weep at the prospect of losing two top class left backs in the same month.
John Terry on the other hand had a nightmare afternoon being shunned by Bridge during the handshakes, called a 'hand pumper' by Bellamy and teased, battered and outwitted by Tevez all afternoon.
After the match Bellamy and Tevez, Bridge's staunchest of supporters, further teased the Ex-England captain live on Sky Sports by claiming that JT is a love rat and the whole of the Premier League know it.
The game showed doubters of manager Mancini that his tactics obviously work against the top sides, but probably nothing about his ability to motivate his players against lesser opposition.
A victory couldn't have been further from reality after the first half an hour of play with Chelsea completely dominating an ultra defensive City set up to counter attack and nick a one nil win.
As many a Blue has already stated though you can't sit back against a top quality side and not get punished. And punished City were after the superb Frank Lampard had put the hosts ahead linking up with the Chelsea forward line to shoot low past a helpless Given.
All suddenly looked bleak for Mancini's men as the game plan had gone right out of the window ...or so it looked.
Not that the players were wanting for endeavour with each one giving a hundred percent, but you need more than that to even score at Chelsea and the heroes we needed stepped up to the plate.
Bellamy, Bridge, Given, Lescott and Barry had all been criticised by fans for their performances in recent weeks, yet it was these five along with the magnificent Carlito Tevez who took the game personally it seemed.
Only Spartan like determination repelled the Chelsea attacks and blew Chelsea out of the water with some top quality counter attacking play.
First of all, Bridge sent a long ball to Tevez, after Mikel had helped it along, who had Terry and Carvalho doing the foxtrot together as he weaved past them and slotted the ball past hilarious Hilario.
Next Bellemy received the ball from Barry on the left before leaving Mikel for dead and firing the ball past Hilario in the bottom right hand corner (are you spotting the weak Chelsea links yet!).
City fans couldn't believe what was happening and before you could feel any apprehension about an equaliser Chelsea were down to ten men.
Barry, City's new Hamman, cleverly tricked Chelsea sub Belletti and the ref into giving a penalty and Carlito Tevez smashed the ball into the net to make it three one.
To make matters even worse for Chelsea and better for City the defender was red carded and Daniel Sturridge was having no luck in finding a opening and getting clearly frustrated.
Then after the German cheat Ballack had escaped a yellow for an intentional handball in the City box he saw red for a cowardly tackle on Tevez two footed and from behind after the ball had left the Argentinian's feet.
If Ballack doesn't receive at least a four match ban for his actions then the powers that be at FA headquarters should be lined up and shot like the bent so an so's they are.
Of course Bellamy's second after an unselfish pass from Shun Wright Phillips was enough to send even the most negative of Blues into raptures before being reminded that this is Manchester City we are talking about .
For the nine men of Chelsea hit back with a Lampard penalty after Barry had caught the excellent Anelka in much the same fashion that he'd won his penalty for the Blues.
Chelsea put in a sterling effort but the nine men could n't find the miracle needed and a fantastic game ended with three gob-smacking points and fourth place in the Prem for God's own club.
Suddenly, the game against the tops sides don't look as daunting as they had done before and once again the Blues faithful have began to believe the bumbling words of Mancini when he says that City can only throw away fourth position.
One things for sure if Tevez and Bellamy can keep fit City will surely be favourites to take that final Champion's League place.
One thing that isn't however is how much yesterday's win was down to the burning passion to put one over the Chav King of Chelsea and how much was actually down to the manager's tactics.
Tevez's celebration and both Bellamy and De Jong's comments after the match suggest that the players rallied around the grief-stricken England International and refused to be beaten.
If that's the case, its a shame that Bridge's ex-missus isn't Jordan as we'd have more vendettas than Charles Bronson and Mel Gibson together could muster and more points than Chelsea!
I suppose we'll all know the answer to that come the end of the season, but I certainly hope that it is the latter of the two as we'll have that claimed that vital Champion's League spot.
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