League Leaders Fall To Stunning City
City Of Manchester Stadium
Saturday 5th December 2009, 5.30pm
Manchester City got back to winning ways with a stunning victory over league leaders Chelsea.
After falling behind early on to an Adebayor own-goal, the Togo international redeemed himself to bring the game level with a late first-half goal, before Carlos Tevez's second-half free kick put City deservedly in the lead.
Chelsea had a golden opportunity to get back into the game after Nedum Onuoha brought down Drogba in the box, but Frank Lampard's penalty was saved by the supreme Shay Given, and City held on for the win.
After a run of seven successive draws, the convincing win against Arsenal spurred on the home side as they took the game to Chelsea. The inclusion of Robinho signalled the intent, as Mark Hughes` side went for all out attack against the strongest team in the premier league.
City looked to be in the ascension as they dominated the possession, so it would not come as a surprise to any City fan that Chelsea was to open the scoring first.
Shay Given saved brilliantly to keep out Didier Drogba`s effort, minutes before making another string of saves and conceding a disastrous goal.
The City keeper made a point-blank save from Ivanovic`s header, the ball falling to Anelka who`s effort is parried away again. Unfortunately, the ball hit Adebayor and went in for an own goal, awful positioning from the striker and Given had every right to feel aggrieved after his efforts.
Credit to the home side as they stuck at it, fighting for every ball and showing the desire to get the points.
Mark Hughes' side were beginning to dominate Chelsea now and it was only a matter of time before they got the goal that they deserved.
Shaun Wright-Phillips was producing some of the dazzling runs shown in the Arsenal game, while Nigel De Jong controlled the midfield admirably.
In the 36th minute, all of City's hard work paid dividends as they drew level with the visitors.
Petr Cech punched clear a Citizens corner which fell to Wright-Phillips. The diminutive winger smashed an effort back into the box, the ball deflecting off of Micah Richards before finding Adebayor. The striker made no mistake as he rolled the ball in from a couple of yards out to make a menze for his early own goal.
Terry and Co. appealed for a Richards handball but the decision would have been harsh, especially considering that the corner leading to Chelsea's first goal should have been a goal-kick.
Eastlands was rocking as the home side continued to push Chelsea for every ball, the hunger for success driving Manchester City forward through the sheets of rain descending on the City of Manchester Stadium.
But for a close Drogba free kick at the end of the half, the Citizens saw the half out comfortably, Chelsea's midfield coming off second best.
Half-time: Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1
If the crowd wasn't inspiring enough, Mark Hughes must have had a thing or two to say to his troops. Chelsea were there for the taking and three points was the mission.
After a lengthy spell of possession, Ricardo Carvalho went in the book for a high foot in Carlos Tevez's lower back. The Argentine international made him pay, converting the resulting free kick in the 56th minute to deservedly take the lead. Awful goalkeeping from the experienced Cech.
A few minutes later, Carlo Ancelotti decided to shake things up a bit, John Obi Mikel and Juliano Belletti coming on for Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack. With Joe Cole and Florent Malouda on the bench, one might question the Chelsea boss' ambition to win the game.
Regardless of the Italians lack of attacking intent in his choice of substitutions, Chelsea seemed to improve, responding well after the set-back and looking dangerous on the attack.
Mark Hughes' side looked shaky at times, but held firm for the most part as they looked to get forward on the break.
In the 74th minute Wayne Bridge was taken out of the game after a dangerous challenge from Belletti who was let off with a yellow card.
With Gareth Barry shifting to left-back and Vincent Kompany holding the fort in midfield, the London based opposition began to dominate the proceedings.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, a poor tackle from Nedum Onuoha on Drogba almost undid all of his sides hard work.
Referee Howard Webb had no choice but to point to the spot, and with Lampard stepping up to the job of converting the opportunity, the outcome seemed inevitable.
Fortunately for City, Shay Given was equal to the England internationals effort, heroically saving the day and handing City their first win in eight games.
The home side were subject to a torrent of attacks, but rode them out to end the game as worthy winners. A truly memorable victory and a fantastic team performance.
Full-time: Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1
Goals: Emmanuel Adebayor 37` Carlos Tevez 56` (Manchester City) Emmanuel Adebayor O.G. 8` (Chelsea)
Referee: Howard Webb
The Dutch international gave a spirited and determined performance, providing the steel in City's formiddable onslaught.
Fans have been crying out for a player like Nigel for years, his qualities have shone through this season and Mark Hughes should be commended for this vital aquisition to the team.