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March 20, 2011
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 41741
David Luiz 79'
Shots on Target
Our man at Stamford Bridge, Wayne Veysey: Chants of 'Luiz, Luiz' followed the Chelsea players down the tunnel after they kept their faint title hopes alive with a deserved victory against a City unit that was very tough to crack. The second goal, brilliantly taken by Ramires, was the cherry on top of the icing but the key to breaking City down was the energy brought to the home side by the three substitutes, particularly Drogba. Luiz's header a superb demonstration of finishing, which would not have been lost on the watching Abramovich as he wonders whether his £50million outlay on Torres was money well spent.
The final whistle is blown by Chris Foy and Chelsea have come out on top and deservedly so. Late goals from Luiz and Ramires punished City's lack of ambition and it keeps their faint title hopes just about alive.
90' + 2'
Yellow CardDavid Luiz
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Absolutely superb from Ramires. He picks the ball up just outside the area and takes the ball passed Lescott before shimmying passed Kolarov and then lifting the ball into the top corner. Chelsea are home and dry.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time here. City will throw everything at the Chelsea back line but Luiz and co. have looked comfortable all afternoon.
Yellow CardAleksandar Kolarov
City trying to show a bit more adventure but it's too late really. They didn't come here to try and win the game.
It's all Chelsea here as they look to go for the kill. City can't get out of their half at the moment.
Yellow CardGareth Barry
Our reporter from Stamford Bridge, Wayne Veysey: Odes at the Bridge to Chelsea and the one Abramvich January signing who is proving value for money, David Luiz. Excellent penalty box movement and header to put his team up. Penny for Fernando's thoughts?
Finally Mancini shows some adventure, shame he waited until Chelsea have scored. Balotelli and Johnson come on for Yaya and Milner. Have they got enough time?
GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Luiz tries his tricks in the corner and wins a free kick on the left hand side. Drogba swings it in beautifully and the Brazilian back headers the ball expertly into the far corner.
Kalou's afternoon is done as he is replaced by Zhirkov. The surprising selection hasn't played too badly, his general play has been good without much end product. The story of Chelsea's afternoon for the most part.
City just camped inside their own half now and don't look like they want anything from the game other than a 0-0 draw. Balotelli warms up on the sidelines but whether Mancini feels bold enough to bring him on remains to be seen.
Our man at Stamford Bridge, Wayne Veysey: A standing ovation for Torres as he is part of a double substitution with Malouda that prompts the introduction of Drogba and Anelka. But that is perhaps more due to the Spaniard's effort today than actual output. Although Torres' movement was good, he struggled to get any change out of City's excellent centre-backs and he is yet to rediscover that turbo-charged turn of speed.
Yellow CardEdin Dzeko
It is Torres who is taken off for Drogba while Malouda comes off for Anelka. This will probably bring about a change in shape for Chelsea as Kalou will complete a front three for the Blues.
Drogba and Anelka being readied to come on. Ancelotti is showing his hand.
Chelsea just looking to turn the screw on their opponents here as City look to keep the hosts at bay. Still no way passed them as of yet.
Pretty lucky moment for City. Luiz lays the ball off for Lampard to cross. His ball into the area is a perfect one for Ivanovic to attack, his header is powerfully struck but hits Kompany - who knew nothing about it - square on the head and goes away from goal. The ball was destined for the back of the net had Kompany's head not inadvertently been in the way.
Wayne Veysey at Stamford Bridge: It's livened up a little bit here but attention is focusing on the health of John Terry, who looks to be really struggling after having treatment on a knee injury following a clash with Toure. His ability to play through the pain barrier is well known but the last thing Fabio Capello, present here today, would want is an injury to his newly appointed permanent captain.
David Luiz just showing exactly why Chelsea paid so much money for him. Dzeko has the ball on the left hand side and tries to trick his way passed the Brazilian but Luiz is having none of it and robs the striker before taking the ball passed Kolarov and then giving a simple pass. He oozes class.
Yellow CardNigel De Jong
Chelsea looking much more dangerous in this second half as they win the ball a bit higher up. Torres in particular has started the half quite brightly.
A troubling site for watching England coach Fabio Capello and his 'new' skipper lays flat on the deck after a challenge with Yaya. He is moving around quite gingerly.
Big, big chance. Essien wins the ball on the halfway line and Torres drives towards the City goal before laying off for Malouda. He plays a neat exchange with Kalou and the return comes to the Frenchman 10 yards out but his strike at goal is weak and straight at Hart.
As expected not a hugely exciting beginning to the half, very similar to the way the first half went for the most part. How long until Drogba is introduced?
The game gets back underway and there has been no changes from either side. I wonder if both managers would be happy with just a point.
Our reporter from Stamford Bridge, Wayne Veysey: Real frustration in the stands at the Bridge, although the home team finished the first half marginally the livelier of the two sides. There were ripples of applause but we're talking from dozens rather than tens of thousands of fans. The game has been slow, ponderous and played between the penalty areas. And that is about it. It can't get any worse after the break.
The whistle goes for half time and the response from the fans is fairly similar to the whole game - quiet. The game needs a goal and for moment is bereft of much quality in the final third.
Groans of disapproval from the home fans as they look to break quickly but their progress is checked and allows City enough time to get back and defend.
The game desperately needs a goal, Chelsea still looking the more likely to score but their build up play is a bit laboured.
Just a couple of signs that Kalou and Torres might be a decent partnership. The two linked up well moments ago as Kalou's wonderful first touch gives him some space to run into and he plays the ball through to his striker partner to shoot but just before he could the tenacious De Jong got across to challenge well.
Our man at Stamford Bridge Wayne Veysey: It's deathly quiet here, so quiet that if my missus rang me on my mobile (she is under orders not to), I might get a few dirty looks from the players. Not much to report in terms of the action, apart from Vincent Kompany is a very, very, good defender. If I say it has all the hallmarks of a classic 0-0, that is bound to prompt a goal. Right?
It is clear the two teams' big money strikers are still finding it hard to adjust to their new surroundings. Dzeko is a bit of bystander on his own up front while Torres can't get on the ball too much either. Bit of a lull in proceedings as the teams cancel each other out.
The game is built upon fairly sound defences here as both team's struggle to break down their opponents' stubborn back lines.
Yellow CardJames Milner
The Blues still looking good in possession but they can't carve anything like a goalscoring opportunity. Mancini's sitting in and defending resolutely.
Very intriguing game here. City looking to catch Chelsea on the break whenever they can while Chelsea look to patiently build up play.
I have seen them given. Kalou tries to cross the ball into the area and Lescott has his arms outstretched. The ball hits the underside of the defender's arm and squirms away. Shouts galore from the fans but nothing doing according to the referee.
The hosts much the better side now but the pace of the game slows significantly as Chelsea approach City's half as Mancini's men get behind the ball and make it extremely difficult to break down.
Chelsea getting into the game more and more now as they are making light of their man disadvantage in midfield. Torres fairly absent so far though.
Chelsea should be 1-0 up. Kalou drives towards the area and lays it off to Ramires he storms through a tackle and falls over, the loose ball is picked up Kalou but he can't get a shot away as Ramires is still on the ground and accidentally trips his team-mate up.
Wayne Veysey from Stamford Bridge: Some early sparring here, not just on the pitch but on the touchline too. Following one of the many tackles flying in early on that was not deemed worthy of a foul, Chelsea assistant Michael Emenalo screamed something in the direction of fourth official Mike Dean, who gave him his best Clint Eastwood you-talking-to-me stare.
Mancini will be looking for Yaya and Silva to give plenty of support to Dzeko today as the rest of the midfielder's sit in and try and keep it tight. Chelsea not really sustained periods on the ball just yet.
City have seen quite a lot of the ball early on as they have made a bright start to the game. They look to be reveling in the extra space in the middle of midfield.
Not an electrifying start by any stretch as both teams just sizing each other up at the moment. It will interesting to see how Chelsea's midfield cope with having a man less than City.
The game gets underway with Chelsea setting up with a 4-4-2 formation while Dzeko will be leading the line for City with the support of Yaya.
Our man at Stamford Bridge today is Wayne Veysey: Good afternoon from a dry and mild Stamford Bridge, where the sun is doing its best to pop out from behind the clouds and bathe us in sunny Spring-ness. Quite unusual this, so close to kick-off, but Mancini is having a long chat with one of Man City's medical staff by the touchline just in front of the press box. Discussing Carlos Tevez's injury which keeps him out today, perhaps? Managers usually stay in the dressing room while the players are being put through their warm-ups by the coaching staff. Maybe he is just enjoying the weather. Whatever, the team news from both sides is interesting. Five changes for Chelsea, four expected (Luiz, Malouda, Essien and Torres) but not the inclusion of Kalou. We expected one of Anelka or Drogba to be on the bench, but not both. Strange decision given Kalou's general headlessness in front of goal. For City, Dzeko starts up front in place of the injured Tevez, where he will be supported by Silva, Toure and Milner. Another wierd week in the wacky world of Mario Balotelli has ended not with him sent to Coventry, but the City bench. Interesting that Mancini is reported to have hurled a suitcase at the wayward Italian in midweek for his needless red card. Was that a subtle dig at his inability to put on a bib? Or just a cutting gesture that he isn't fit to wear the shirt?
The game represents the most expensive game of football ever in terms of transfer money spent. The cost of the squads combined is £501million. Chelsea name their big money man Fernando Torres in the starting line-up while Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka wait on the bench. It's a surprising move and has Salomon Kalou supporting Torres in attack while Ivanovic comes back in the team in place of Bosingwa.
Hart Richards Kompany Kolarov Lescott Milner Barry Silva De Jong Y Toure Dzeko Subs: Taylor, Boateng, Boyata, Wright-Phillips, Johnson, Vieira, Balotelli
Cech Ivanovic Luiz Terry Cole Ramires Essien Lampard Malouda Torres Kalou Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Mikel, Zhirkov, Drogba, Anelka
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Manchester City's visit to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. The first game between the two this season saw City prevail with a wonderful defensive display but with both aiming for Champions League spots next season we should expect an excellent game.
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