In a pulsating premature title decider, Chelsea managed “against all odds” a phrase AVB is repeatedly associated with to inflict city’s first defeat of the season. This vital win allows Chelsea to narrow the gap on the leaders to 7 points and also cut the gap between city’s fiercest rivals United to 2 points. This subsequently leads the title race being wide open, but few, if anyone would have foreseen or predicted a Chelsea victory, after witnessing City going 1-0 in the first minute when a superb flowing moving which was expertly finished by the quite malevolent and enigmatic character that is Balotelli. After that goal city took control and started to boss the next minutes and had looked likely to double their lead when David Silva sold a clever dummy to the quite erratic Bosingwa and the referee who was station about a few metres away from the incident failed to see Bosingwa make contact with Silva’s leg. And quite often in football as Mancini rightfully pointed out that “big decisions change games”. After that Chelsea dropped deeper and abandoned the ridiculous high line they played, and this allowed them to become more compact, and also allowed the influential and gifted Mata to get into the game. When he started to get on the ball and run at city, they couldn’t cope. Yaya Toure should have been sent off several times but due to the honesty of Mata and the incompetence of the referee he managed to get away.
And on the half hour mark another player who impressed throughout the night and took Clichy to the cleaner, Sturridge who showed him a couple of step overs and smartly pulled it back to the on rushing Meireles who’s smartly improvised finish, pulled Chelsea back in the game. Stamford bridge rose. Chelsea confidence began to ooze back and the Chelsea of old where beginning to appear. Suddenly Romeu was getting the better of Silva, Sturridge continuously molesting Clichy and most importantly the gaps city were playing through quickly evaporated. Mancini had to figure out another master plan for the second half because by the half time whistle blew Chelsea had already got a foothold in the game.
The second half, Chelsea took over. Mancini started to revert back to his old defensive ways, while the young exuberating AVB summoned his team to pick of where they left off. This allowed the likes of Sturridge and Mata to go and support Drogba and you can bet your back dollar Cole and Bosingwa were there as back up. Romeu, who I felt impressed me, really came of age and started to pick up balls up from the defence and spray diagonals across, he even manage to win the ball back and start transitions which showed real maturity from the 20 year old blessed with the ‘Barca style’ of football with tremendous physique. However credit must be given to Ramires and Meireles there partnership has certainly flourished in the last few games as their leg power proved to be invaluable especially against Barry and Yaya Toure. City were under the cosh. And so was Clichy, booked in the first half for a tug of Sturridge and in the second half Ramires strong running again lead to mistimed tackle by Clichy and he was off. What was Mancini’s course of action? To revert back to his old ‘Italian ways’ when he summand de Jong to come on. For who? David Silva. This gave AVB the chance to use up his trump card, Frank Lampard. Fully pumped up with a point to prove City were up against the wrong Lampard. He thrives under this pressure. And he delivered. A vital penalty won by Ramires shot which hit Lescott’s hand gave Lampsy a chance to smash his troubles away. And he didn’t need a second invitation. His goal which turned out to be the winner should strengthen Frank’s case for a starting place in the game. Chelsea then used all there experience to see out the game and even gave a substitute appearance to Torres who seems to have more highlights in his head then his whole Chelsea career for the outstanding Sturridge and judging by Mario’s reaction he certainly has one Italian admirer. Maybe not the right one. But at least it show maturity, respect and admiration for an opponent who has done well. This epitomises the Jack’ll and Hyde character of Balotelli; he can be a great player one day and the let off fireworks in house. Overall Chelsea and AVB have silence the critics and breathed new life the title race. While city have to bounce back to winning ways against a rampant arsenal and RVP.
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