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The Ped Report Chelsea 2-3 City

Twelve months and one day ago, the Community Shield was a tin pot pre-season friendly with a meaning of nothing. Twelve months ago, it progressed into becoming a "trophy," largely because it was the only piece of silverware that found its way to Stretford. No doubt this year it will return to the sanctity of a meaningless friendly relegated from Wembley to Villa Park. Indeed did not winning scorer Nani last year refer to the Community Shield as "the first title of the season"?

The Pedmachine set off early in a minibus to savour the delights on offer in the West Midlands. Sunshine was abundant as we left the Etihad, to be replaced by heavy rain as kick-off approached.

As expected, Mancini continued the experiment of three at the back with wing backs detailed to press Chelsea higher up the field and in the early exchanges this proved to be quite a success for City's tactician-in-chief. Savic, Kompany and the evergreen Zabaleta were given the task of protecting Costel Pantilimon's goal, with de Jong sitting just in front.

Milner and Kolarov provided the width, Yaya played in the centre of midfield with Nasri, leaving the Argentino Attack of Tevez and Aguero up top. At times Nasri also pushed forward to create a three-pronged attack as Mancini varied from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3 at times.

And with that City looked quite devastating as they pulled Chelsea all over the field with possession stats exceeding 60%.. Indeed Edin Hazard looked totally lost in the midfield whirlwind stirred up by Yaya and Nasri, the energy of a remodelled Milner and the direct running and challenging of Kolarov.

However, as often happens it was somewhat against the run of play when a weak cross from Cole was headed out by Kompany, but only straight to Ramires, with the cover slow to react. His neat pass into the extra space caused by three at the back found Torres who neatly clipped the ball past Pantilimon and into the net.

This seemed to shake City up as for all of their possession they hadn't really threatened the Chelsea posts. Kolarov was getting some space down the left and Ivanovic clearly didn't like that and a scything two-footed uncontrolled assassination attempt saw the Chelsea man correctly admonished with a red card. Terry and his pack as usual surrounded the referee, but as you would expect there was no joy and once again, Chelsea were short-handed.

They got themselves to half-time still in front, but the post half-time period is not a place to be against City when you only have ten men. I recall a team from Stretford discovering that last season.

The second half saw Clichy introduced for Savic and the back line had an altogether more sound structure to it as City set off in search of a leveller. It duly arrived in what I lovingly call "City time", seven minutes into the second half, from what is in important matches a regular source.

A scorching move down the right saw Milner get into space behind Cole. His dangerous cross was fielded by Terry who slipped in the process, the ball then finding Yaya, with most of the Chelsea team guarding their goal. There looked nothing on for Yaya except a postage stamp in the bottom right hand corner and with pinpoint accuracy he duly found the spot beyond the despairing efforts of Cech to put City level.

This lit the blue touch paper and for seven minutes we were treated to the delight of the day from a resurgent slimmed-down Tevez. And what a goal this was! Again City attacked down the left with Kolarov slipping a neat short pass to Tevez. He sank his shoulder to try to open up the Chelsea defence at the corner of the penalty area but the channel was closed down. Tevez continued his run, but the next channel also closed. Not to be outdone, he shook off the attention of Luiz, found space head on to the goal and from the edge of the box sent a howitzer into the top corner leaving Cech rooted.

Villa Park went mental and rose to this extraordinary goal as Tevez displayed his "Fuerte Apache" undershirt to the world.

Chelsea didn't like this and they also didn't like the fact that five minutes later they were once again on the receiving end of another neat move down the left. Once again Kolarov made the telling pass right into Nasri who cleverly used the pace of the ball to guide it beyond Cech with ease.

This was the signal for Chelsea to revert to the Chopper Harris days and with Ivanovic already in the showers, they could have found themselves reduced to eight if Mr Friend hadn't been their friend as the match drew to a close. Lampard could easily have walked the walk for two sad challenges, Terry could have joined him for his poor demeanour, constantly badgering the referee. Cole seemed to be getting away with murder as he time and again offered lean tackles and quite how Ramires who deliberately blocked off David Silva who would have been clean through on goal with Cech stranded upfield didn't find his way to the dressing room remains a mystery.

With ten minutes to go the game looked in the bag for City. Chelsea's threat looked to have evaporated and there looked to be no real danger as Sturridge was forced away from the penalty area into no-man's land. However, his smart turn and one-two saw him unleash a dipping shot which caught Pantilimon by surprise. He made the save but like Given and Hart at times before him couldn't get the ball to safety and it was ca plane pour City as Plastic Bertrand slotted home for Chelsea to make it 3-2. Ramires and Bertrand wanted the ball back but the giant that is Pantilimon decided it was his and it was almost comical watching Bertrand who clearly thinks he is now famous after his work in the Olympics, try to retrieve the ball. He did push Costel right in front of the referee and was lucky also not to see a red card, with Mr Friend settling for a yellow each.

There was still time for Silva and Aguero to go close with Sergio missing a chance I think he would have taken had it been next week. There was still also time for more controversy as Cech appeared in City's box for a corner. The ball was cleared to Silva on half-way one-on-one against Ramires, the only Chelsea player in sight. The Magician slipped the ball past him into the space and if he had managed to get past the Chelsea player his next touch would have seen him shoot for goal unattended. Needless to say the Ramires took the law into his own hands, bundled Silva over and got away with it.

City looked neat and tidy all over the field. And this was without Balotelli, Richards, Hart, Lescott and Barry. Milner looks to be heading for his renaissance, Tevez and Aguero look like razors and Yaya looks commanding. The back line has been a bit mix and match in pre-season as Mancini looks for solutions caused the lack of purchase power, but there are some signs that they are emerging. Pantilimon, until his howler has looked good.

So once again we can look forward to an interesting season, which has started where last season finished..with a trophy in the cabinet!

One disappointment was that Kolo saw fit to toss his medal into the North Stand Lower, probably in protest to not getting selected. Maybe that's a signal that he might not be around soon.

But to top it all, the early season lyrical offering goes something like this:

"You thought it was yours, you thought it was yours,
We heard you stop singing, when Ser-g-io scored!"

In the meantime, fed up of the bitterness rife on sites like the MUEN?
Click Here To Visit The VMC Forum And Get Weaving

all times East Manchester

Su 19 Aug 15h00 Southampton, The Etihad, PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield, PL
Sa 01 Sep 17h30 QPR, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15 Sep 15h00 Stoke, The Britannia Stadium, PL
Su 23 Sep 16h00 Arsenal, The Etihad, PL
Sa 29 Sep 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL


The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Tranmere Loyal Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 13 2012

Time: 11:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good report Ped. That was previously cautioned Ramires who checked Silva btw, how he didn't receive his marching orders is beyond me, especially considering Kompany was booked for the exact same against Torres earlier in the half.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 11:15:00

An excellent account of yet another good day at the office. City look razor sharp in some key areas.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 11:24:00

Bertrand thinks he is famous because of his work at the Olympics? Erm, what about a Champions League's winner medal? Something three quarters of your plastic squad have never tasted and never will they.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 11:49:00

Obviously our squad is made of a higher quality plastic than yours FrLamp. ;-) "And never will they" you know this how exactly?
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 12:05:00

Look at it this way Chelsea only won it playing sad football and penalties. When City win it it will be by playing scintillating football. Plastic Bertrand wouldn't be good enough for city but at least he's quickly got into the mould of being a bad tempered half wit that seems to be attracted to royal blue shirts in the West End of London
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 12:44:00

Ped always a good read, experimental back three to I think this will be the norm for this season. Still can't believe that Townsend thought a red was harsh, but he is an ex Chelsea boy.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 13:10:00

@FrLamp, Come on! geez! No need to put a dent on our image and be a sore loser. We lost to a better team (with 10 men) at 3-2. Congrats City for your win and enjoy it!... See you guys later in the season with 11 men.
Blue in Colorado
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 14:36:00

Colorado - shut up and stick to your NFL you arse. You've been destroying Vital Chelsea on your own with your silly articles so don't tell me to avoid denting our image or whatever.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 16:40:00

Now now ladies, put the handbags away.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 16:47:00

Good grief.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 18:03:00

Nice fella this FrLamp, isn't he?
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 18:16:00

Thanks for being a good sport Blue in Colorado, I'd ignore FRLamp if I were you (we do), she's obviously a bit hormonal this month.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 19:51:00

Wait a munit, this just community shield, wait and see the real title challengers.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 22:06:00

Will some body could give of the statistics of the match before the red
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 22:12:00

Will some body gives the statistics of the before the red?
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 22:15:00

We are winning 1:0 and looking dangerous, you equalised after we reduced to 10.
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 22:18:00

I didn't rate you as favorite to retain the title as RDM said
Report Abuse
13/08/2012 22:21:00

Perhaps you should give Roman Abramovitch a call mikacfc - seeing as you know SO much about football, and Chelsea will be looking for a new manager before too long (based on that midfield performance) I reckon you could be in with a shout.
Report Abuse
14/08/2012 21:28:00

city were the better team on the day no doubt they bossed the midfield congrats on the win but the writer of this article doesn have to be so insulting when refaring to chelsea players bertrand had every right to get annoyed when costel would not give him the ball it wasnt very sporting of him
Report Abuse
14/08/2012 22:19:00

Agreed heart_of_blue, quite unsporting of Pantie. Mikacfc, "wait and see the real title challengers"... the same "title challengers" that finished 25 points behind us last season and are only in the Champions League this season by default? Not sure RdM is the man to close that gap either btw.
Report Abuse
15/08/2012 13:55:00

Panty was unsporting but still no call for Bertrand to shove him into the chest.
Report Abuse
15/08/2012 14:55:00

Of course Bluedub...
Report Abuse
15/08/2012 15:59:00


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