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27 October 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 41495
A. Schürrle 33'
Fernando Torres 90'
S. Agüero 49'
In the end, Chelsea will consider themselves worthy winners - but Manchester City will feel they were one costly error away from a deserved point. It's funny how it goes sometimes, though that's the game we love. That wraps up our live-text commentary for this afternoon. We hope you've enjoyed the game. Take care!
But Torres was on hand once again to capitalise on a defensive mix-up between Matija Nastasic and his partners in crime - and the rest was history. Jose Mourinho gets the three points and Chelsea move up to second in the Premier League!
What drama at the death as Fernando Torres grabs the late winner that his fantastic performance has deserved all along. After Andre Schurrle had put the Blues 1-0 up after more great work form Torres, Sergio Aguero hit back straight after the break.
They think it's all over - and it is now! FULL-TIME! Chelsea win 2-1.
90' + 3'
Zabaleta is nudged on the edge of the penalty area but Howard Webb does not blow his whistle. He does moments later, though, as Chelsea win a free kick soon after. This is looking like another costly defeat on the road for Pellegrini and his men.
90' + 2'
How badly are the away side missing Vincent Kompany? Chelsea continue to press even after scoring their second!
90' + 1'
But there's FOUR minutes of added time here!
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL! TORRES! Surely the winner! Poor defending from Nastasic sees the Spaniard win the ball out of nowhere and squeeze the ball in from a tight angle. What a mistake! What a moment! And if anyone deserves it, it's Torres.
We're into the dying embers here! Both sides seem more and more content to settle for a point each, though there is plenty of life still in them.
That free kick is whipped in dangerously - but just wide of Hart's post. In the meantime, Aguero has been replaced by Alvaro Negredo and the Chelsea fans have booed him off, presumably for staying down so long after that tussle with Terry.
Zabaleta now takes a free kick for the visitors, which is headed on by Silva. On the receiving end, Aguero is pushed by Terry, however, and stays down. Unmoved, the home side move straight up the other end and win themselves a free kick in an attacking position.
Samuel Eto'o is coming on for Mourinho's side! But he replaces Hazard - not Torres. Two up front for the Blues: they want all three points.
It's been an even affair, on balance - but a late winner could change things yet.
CHANCE! Oscar drives the ball into Ivanovic but Hart just about intervenes to clear! It's anyone's game at the minute.
Hazard is dispossessed cheaply and Navas starts a key move for the visitors! Gary Cahill eventually clears - but not before a mix-up between the centre-back and his goalkeeper.
Roberto Soldado has scored a penalty against Hull City, however, which would put Tottenham above these two sides as things stand.
LONG SHOT! Ramires attempts to land a winner with a strike from range. The Brazilian's effort does not hit the target but he is heavily applauded by the home fans for his ambition.
As things stand, the result would leave Manchester City in sixth place, although the Blues would move third on goal difference.
Would both sides take a draw here? It does present a certain form of damage limitation...
Chelsea win another free kick now and Oscar looks to whip it into the City danger area. He does so but, in the end, the hosts are caught out as a loose ball fails to find Hazard and rolls out for a goal kick.
At the culmination of the move, Silva attempts a delicate chip but fails to trouble Cech. Will we see a late winner here?
After some City pressure, however, Ivanovic launches a quick break for the hosts. Fernandinho stops the defender with a firm challenge, though, and the away side begin a counterattack of their own!
Willian is being urged forward by his manager - and his fans. The Brazilian is playing down the right-hand side for Chelsea, though it is Jesus Navas who has made an instant impact off the bench for the visitors.
Jesús Navas González
Matija Nastasic now exchanges passes with his fellow City defenders as the game slows down for a brief moment. It is a rare pause in play.
There is considerable delay as the set-piece is taken and, ultimately, there is disappointment. Oscar sends it straight over the bar and out for a goal kick.
John Obi Mikel duly gets his first touch of the ball and Chelsea have a free kick at the end of the move. There are no surprises as Torres is the one to win it after another direct run at the City defence.
John Obi Mikel
Some changes from Mourinho - at arguably the best time to inject some fresh impetus into his side.
City duly counter and Silva unleashes a shot at goal! This time, Cech won't be beaten, however, and makes a save with his legs.
Oscar wins the ball from Garcia and plays Branislav Ivanovic in down the right-hand side. The Blues defender then skips past Clichy skilfully but cannot deliver a cross.
Yellow Card Javi García
What a game we've had so far. Chelsea dominance is followed by City dominance and the pattern then repeats over and over.
Lampard delivers the enusing free kick straight onto the head of Terry once again! The Chelsea captain's header can't find the target, though.
The visitors hit back as Zabaleta plays Aguero in, though Chelsea break straight up the pitch! And who else but Torres to get involved once again? The Spaniard sprints forward yet is bodychecked by Javi Garcia, who duly receives a booking.
HEADER! It's Torres once again - from a Lampard free kick - that heads powerfully at goal. Yet again, however, it's straight at Hart.
The hosts are perking up once again here and it's a truly end-to-end encounter.
NO PENALTY! Hazard breaks into the penalty area and is brought down by Zabaleta, though the Argentine also caught the ball. The referee gives no penalty - but nor does he book the Belgian for diving.
Ramires pushes forward in response but all his momentum leads to is a counterattack from the away side. Fernandinho leads the way once again and, the odd mishit shot aside, the Brazilian has been very lively for City thus far.
Toure seems to smell blood - he is now almost playing as a second striker, pushing forward to support Aguero wherever he can.
Yellow Card Ramires
What a second half we have in store now. The visitors have not only got right back into this one but more or less claimed the upper hand.
Fernandinho now surges forward and combines with Aguero to then win a corner. There has been a complete momentum shift here. Where did that come from?
Assist Samir Nasri
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! Aguero! Out of nothing, the Argentine runs cleverly in behind Terry and smashes a powerful strike past Cech at his near post. The Chelsea goalkeeper could hardly move!
The action begins with a foul on Nasri - Mourinho's men will no doubt be keen to close City's attacking midfielders down at every opportunity.
We're underway for the second half!
We'll be up and running once again very shortly. Stay with us for the second half!
As the half progressed, however, Chelsea grew back into the ascendancy - and Fernando Torres stole the show. The Spaniard could have netted a double himself, though his most notable contribution was teeing up Andre Schurrle, whose goal separates the two sides at half-time. It's a well deserved lead for the hosts at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, an impressive back line has been a prominent feature for the Blues so far today. Jose Mourinho's side faced early pressure from Manchester City as David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero threatened to take control of the encounter.
STAT ATTACK: Chelsea have not conceded more than one second-half goal so far this season. City need to think this one through...
HALF-TIME! Chelsea go into the break with the lead.
45' + 1'
Toure again! The Ivorian sends a right-footed strike in from the edge of the area but it skims the crossbar.
HEADER! Toure gets on the end of the resultant cross but it is off target. Some food for thought for Pellegrini at the break - his side just can't force a breakthrough.
Could there be one last chance for the visitors? Nasri sees off some Chelsea pressure and wins himself a corner, though he may have preferred a free kick.
OVER! Lampard whips the ensuing set-piece onto the head of John Terry - a famous old combination - but the skipper's header sails over the bar. Incessant pressure from the Blues.
TAKE A BOW, FERNANDO! Torres is at it again, beating two players and then winning a corner for the home side.
SAVE! The visitors make their presence known, however, as Aguero tests Cech before Lampard hurriedly clears the danger. Fernandinho attempts to follow that up - but his long-distance strike is desperately wayward.
Ramires now plays Schurrle in on the edge of the area, though the move eventually breaks down after some overly fancy play from playmaker Oscar.
Can the away side get back into this one before the break? Or will Mourinho's side double their lead?
The visitors now look shellshocked as Toure and Nasri try to spark things up in midfield. All of their strong early link-up play has somewhat been undone by a period of unstoppable brilliance from Torres.
CROSSBAR! Torres once again!! This really is the Torres of old as he hits a sweet strike that crashes against the bar. The hosts really could be 3-0 up by now. But will they rue these missed chances?
CHANCE! Torres and Schurrle combine yet again and Chelsea almost lead 2-0! Mourinho really is getting the best out of the Spanaird, isn't he? Could this be another way to one-up Rafa Benitez?
Assist Fernando Torres
Goal Andre Schürrle
GOAL! Schurrle puts the Blues ahead! Superb work from man of the moment Torres once again but it is the German who finishes off after being teed up. Suddenly, the hosts look the stronger - and their resilience is rewarded with the lead!
Yellow Card Matija Nastasic
The momentum has well and truly swung in Chelsea's favour here.
Threatening signs from Torres, who now tumbles to the ground without being awarded a free kick. He should have converted that earlier chance, though...
WHAT A MISS! Torres is in once again but fluffs his lines! The Spaniard is completely unmarked yet seems to hesitate that he's offside. He can't miss - but does, probably due to his unawareness that he was completely onside and free of any opposition defenders.
Yellow Card P. Zabaleta
Chelsea win a free kick in a reasonably dangerous position now, with Lampard driving it forward and Torres flicking it on. The visitors make a clearance but it falls back to the Spaniard, though he cannot make the most of the chance.
Schurrle and Ivanovic now combine, until Fernandinho slides in unconventionally and breaks the Chelsea move down.
Boos from the home crowd as Zabaleta rashly challenges Hazard but no free kick is given.
Poor play from Torres now as the home side look to get back into their rhythm. The Spaniard receives the ball and tries to play one of his team-mates in but overhits his pass. A good idea - but badly executed.
Yellow Card Frank Lampard
FOUL! Lampard dives in from behind for the second time today, giving away a free kick in the Chelsea half.
The visitors undeniably have the upper hand here, though...
More superb movement from Aguero forces another corner for the away side. It escapes the attentions of everyone initially, though City regain possession and try to play Aguero in. The pass is underwhelming, however, and rolls off for a goal kick.
Can City make their early energy count? Silva, Nasri, Toure and Aguero have been finding space in between the lines at a rate that will no doubt alarm Mourinho and his back line.
We're almost 20 minutes in at Stamford Bridge and it's still goalless - but the tactical battles on show are nothing short of fascinating.
Yet another corner is whipped in but Hazard clears. However, Gael Clichy pushes forward on the rebound, though he is dispossessed and Chelsea finally regain the ball in their own half.
Andre Schurrle clears but Mourinho is clearly perturbed as he enters the technical area to bark some instructions to his side.
The hosts are now struggling to get possession as the away side press and press. After initially winning a corner (but failing to capitalise) pressure from Silva, Nasri and Sergio Aguero has won them another set-piece.
OFFSIDE! Nasri is played in and unleashes a shot at goal. The effort is wide, though, and the offside flag is raised anyway.
Chelsea's early progress should not be discounted, however - they started the brighter of the two.
Silva, in particular, looks as though he could provide the difference between the two sides here. His link-up play has been nothing short of magnificent so far - and that's just ten minutes in.
Samir Nasri and Toure now combine as City start to settle into the game. Their five-man midfield looks to be giving them an extra edge in the middle of the park, something they were desperately missing in the away defeats to Cardiff City and Aston Villa.
Cue Chelsea losing possession and Yaya Toure capitalising. The Ivorian looks to latch onto the loose ball and forces a foul out of Frank Lampard.
City hit straight back through a long run from David Silva, with the Spaniard eventually spraying the ball out to Fernandinho. The Brazilian cannot return the favour, however, and out the ball goes once again. Put a foot wrong and it will be costly here.
Ramires and Hazard now exchange passes in the centre of the pitch and the Brazilian is able to find Torres in the area. The Spaniard leaps and gets his head to the ball, though his header is straight at Joe Hart.
It's been an end-to-end start already, something that will no doubt please both managers. Chelsea are now caught unaware by a quick free kick and Zabaleta is once again the target. But this time, Ashley Cole is there to shepherd the ball out of play.
City bring themselves into the action now, however, as Pablo Zabaleta advances forward and sends a searching cross into the area. Petr Cech is on hand to collect, though.
Chelsea have already enjoyed half-chances through the brilliant movement of Eden Hazard. Will the Belgian shine today?
We're off! And it's been a bright start from the hosts already.
Despite it being just eight games into the season, the magnitude of this one needs no emphasis as Jose Mourinho's Blues fight it out with Manuel Pellegrini's charges for a vital three points. Before the start of the season, many had tipped these two sides as their favourites for the title. Several weeks later, little has changed.
And the visitors will look like this: Hart; Zabaleta, Clichy, Demichelis, Nastasic; Fernandinho, Nasri, Javi Garca, Yaya Toure, Silva; Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Negredo, Dzeko, Kolarov, Navas.
Let's start with today's line-ups. Naturally, we'll go with the hosts first. Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cole, Cahill, Terry; Lampard, Hazard, Ramires, Oscar, Schurrle; Torres. Subs: Luiz, Mata, Mikel, Willian, Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Eto'o.
Good afternoon and welcome to live-text commentary of Chelsea against Manchester City - arguably the biggest Premier League clash of the season so far! I'm your host Tim Poole and I'll be guiding you through the action. We'll no doubt be in for a treat...
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