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Premier League

  • 12 December 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 41730

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: Lampard comes off bench to strike winning penalty after Clichy red card as visitors lose unbeaten record

Defender was sent off just before the hour mark with after a second bookable offence and the experienced substitute scored from the spot to end the visitors' run

Chelsea beat 10-man Manchester City 2-1 as Frank Lampard’s late penalty completed a brilliant comeback for Andre-Villas Boas men after Raul Meireles cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s second-minute opener in a fiery and wet encounter at Stamford Bridge.

The visitors were looking to extend their lead at the top of the table but two yellow cards in 12 second half minutes for Gael Clichy made it hard for Roberto Mancini’s men.

Chelsea piled on the pressure and eventually the extra man made the difference to ensure the visitors' unbeaten Premier League record came to an end.

The visitors opened the scoring inside the first two minutes after a fine through ball from Argentine striker Sergio Aguero sliced through the Chelsea defence and found Balotelli. The Italian quickly found his stride, rounded the onrushing Petr Cech and calmly slotted into an empty net despite the attempts of Branislav Ivanovic to get back at him.

Portuguese midfielder Meireles let fly from 25 yards out moments later as the home side looked for a quick reply but his effort sailed wide of Joe Hart’s goal. The ex-Liverpool man again tried his luck shortly after but his shot was deflected over the bar.

From the resulting corner, the Blues failed to test Hart and instead the ball went down the other end and Aguero should have put his side two goals in front. He held off Jose Bosingwa before dancing his way past Ashley Cole and Romeu after a ball over the top from Balotelli but his left foot shot fell the wrong side of the post.

David Silva went down in the box after 14 minutes after Bosingwa stuck a leg out but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away any protests, leaving manager Roberto Mancini frustrated on the sidelines in what turned out to be a crucial moment.

Didier Drogba brought Hart into action as he shifted the ball from one foot to the other before making the England international tip the ball around the post before Meireles finally got his reward for his determination to get his side the equaliser by netting on 34 minutes.

Captain John Terry’s delightful ball on his wrong foot found Daniel Sturridge. The striker took on Gael Clichy down the right-hand side, biding his time, before nicking the ball past him with a quick change of pace. He looked up and crossed the ball into the box, and to the delight of the home fans, Meireles was on the end of it with a clever side-foot volley from inside the six-yard box which left Hart with no chance.

Turning point | City felt Silva should have had a penalty in the first half

The goalscorer could have gone from hero to villain moments later after he lost control of the ball and when trying to reclaim it went studs first into Pablo Zabaleta, catching him on the shins. Referee Clattenburg decided it only warranted a yellow card when it so easily could have been red.

Sturridge had a chance to put the hosts in front for the first time in the match after a free-kick from Mata dropped at his feet minutes into the second half. He got the ball out of his feet but his snapshot was always rising.

Clichy collected a second yellow after a clumsy challenge illegally ended a Ramires charge just before the hour mark, leaving Mancini’s men with 10 men. Chelsea tried to make their advantage count and had numerous of chances through striker Sturridge before finally making a breakthrough with nine minutes remaining.

Joleon Lescott put his arms up in the air to block Sturridge’s curling effort and Clattenburg immediately pointed to the spot. Substitute Lampard, making his 350th Premier League appearance, made no mistake from the spot minutes after coming on for Meireles and thundered the penalty straight down the middle of Hart’s goal.

That proved to be a killer blow, with the home side looking more likely to add a third instead of the numerically disadvantaged visitors getting an equaliser as the Blues secured a famous victory.

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