Barclay’s Premier League
Saturday 25 September 2010, 12.45 KO
City: Hart, Boyata (Boateng 89), Kompany, K Touré, Zabaleta, de Jong, Barry, Y Touré, Silva (A Johnson 79), Milner, Tevez (c) (Adebayor 87)
Unused: Given, Lescott, Vieira, Jo
Goals: Tevez (59)
Booked: Zabaleta, Boyata
Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
With boos ringing around the City of Manchester Stadium to greet every touch of the ball with John Terry, the fans set a hostile atmosphere for the visitors’ first real test of the season. And it was the home side who had the first chance, after de Jong released Tevez into the Chelsea half, but his shot flashed wide of Cech’s post.
Cech then had to be alert to pluck a David Silva cross out of the air after the Spaniard had beaten the offside trap, before he was called into action to stop a James Milner free kick from the left wing, dropping just under his bar.
De Jong began to make an impact on the game, first letting Ramires know he wouldn’t be getting much time in midfield, before introducing himself to Malouda as he swiped the ball and protected the City back four.
Boyata was then on hand to dispossess the former City striker Anelka, stepping across him to allow the ball to run behind, before Zabaleta swooped in to take the ball from Drogba. Essien then had Chelsea’s first effort on goal from 25 yards, but it was well wide of the goal.
Kolo Touré could have given City the lead with a header from a James Milner corner, before the former skipper was on defensive duties on the Chelsea breakaway, sliding in expertly to deny Drogba a run at goal.
Just before the half hour, Chelsea should have taken the lead. From a left wing corner, Ivanovic headed against Joe Hart’s crossbar and the rebound fell to a Chelsea shirt. Hart, however, was able to react and hold on, to keep City level.
Tevez was then fouled by Mikkel as City tried to break, but Milner hit the wall with the free kick, as City tried to get themselves back on top of the game. A minute later, the best move of the game ended with Zabaleta trying to find Silva in the box, but his pass was just behind the World Cup winner and Chelsea were off the hook.
Zabaleta was then booked for a late challenge on Ivanovic, before John Terry was alert to block a Milner low cross aimed at Tevez and the Chelsea centre-back got lucky with his clearance, as it bounced off Milner for a goal kick. The game couldn’t have been more even at half time.
It was Chelsea who came out of the blocks quickest for the second half. After some early pressure from the visitors, an Anelka shot from range needed Joe Hart’s fingertips to put it around the post, before de Jong tried his luck from range. His shooting is getting better, though – this was on target until it hit the Chelsea defender.
City began to work their way back into the game as Tevez ran at the Chelsea defence, before Cech had to be alert to block a David Silva shot from the wing.
Chelsea won themselves a corner just before the hour, but it was City who took full advantage. Tevez latched onto the clearance and ran at the visitors’ back four. Silva opened the space for him, he took it to his right and fired a shot between Cole’s legs, past Cech, off the post and into the back of the net.
Ivanovic wasn’t happy with the referee as he let play go on after he had collided with Barry – though Barry had gone in just as strongly as the Chelsea defender, before de Jong weighed in with some tough tackles, as City looked to hold on to their lead. Mikkel then reciprocated the tough challenges, but unfairly, as he went into the book for a foul on Tevez.
Yaya Touré could then have doubled City’s lead after the ball fell to him on the edge of the box. He stepped inside, beat three defenders before losing control of the ball and it ran through to Cech before he could get a shot away.
With 20 minutes to go, Essien tried to pull the visitors level with a drive from range that had Hart scrambling across his goal, but it was just wide of the post, before, two minutes later, he tried again, but it was well over the bar.
Alex should have done better from a Chelsea corner as he nodded wide with 15 minutes to go, before Ramires did Yaya Touré a favour by bringing him down as he ran at Chelsea defence with no support.
Tevez had the opportunity to put the game beyond Chelsea’s reach with a free kick in exactly the spot where he scored the winner in the corresponding fixture last season, but his effort was just wide of Cech’s post.
As the game entered stoppage time, Chelsea began to pile on the pressure for an equaliser, but City were able to slam the door in their faces with some excellent defensive work from Kolo Touré and Vincent Kompany. Adebayor looked for a penalty in the final stages, but the referee rightly turned the appeals down.
Chelsea tried one more attack, but de Jong was in the way once again and the points went City’s way for the third time in three games against last season’s Premier League champions.