Chelsea 2:4 Manchester City: Team Bridge Puts on a Counter Atatcking Clinic

February 27, 2010 by
Filed under: Match Summaries 

Manchester City’s roller coaster week ended on high with a shocking victory at Stamford Bridge. After a frustrating home draw versus Liverpool and a disappointing FA Cup exit in midweek, City appeared to be on the back foot for the first forty minutes. The Citizens record at Stamford Bridge is one of those statistics you constantly hear from opposing supporters and wish would go away, and initially it appeared the record of futility would continue.

The last City manager to win at Stamford Bridge was Peter Reid, and that was in the first year of the Premier League era. But today, with Fleet Street focused on pre match handshakes and scandal, City hung in the match without conceding but a lone first half goal, and then took control.

Possession stats tend to lie in football. While I have not seen a final number on today, Chelsea certainly controlled possession. But after Lampard’s initial strike, Cheslea’s ball movement was less crisp and the possession ultimately less valuable. Having been handed a blueprint on how to expose Chelsea’s frailties at midweek by Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini deployed Adam Johnson and Craig Bellamy in wide positions to put pressure on Chelsea’s replacement fullbacks. When Adam Johnson fell down on the job (literally in some cases), SWP was inserted to force Flourent Malouda to play deeper than he would have liked, opening up more midfield space for City. Malouda is replacing the injured Ashley Cole at Left Back.

Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy were titanic forces today as they have so often been when City is successful. Bellamy’s pace gave Ivanovic, replacing Jose Bosingwa fits all afternoon, and Tevez had his way with Chelsea’s sloppy center back tandem. Also poor for Chelsea was Obi John Mikel, a replacement for Michael Essien, who is also out injured.

Wayne Bridge acted professionally today, while his opposite number in the tabloids John Terry continued to play the victim. Despite the classless taunts from many (but not all) Chelsea supporters, Bridge had a workmanlike outing which contributed mightily to the Citizens victory. John Terry on the other hand played poorly and continued his history of complaining to the officials every time Chelsea was on the wrong end of a decision.

It should also be noted that Roberto Mancini had tremendous success at Inter in exposing Carlo Ancelloti’s preferred diamond midfield. Today simply continued that pattern, though the venue and sides were different.

(more later)

Comments

4 Comments on Chelsea 2:4 Manchester City: Team Bridge Puts on a Counter Atatcking Clinic

  1. Martin on Sun, 28th Feb 2010 1:53 am
  2. What a classy performance. While Mancini has largely been negative and slow tactically, he really outdid Ancelotti today. When was the last time City even got a goal at Stamford Bridge? It’s been a LONG LONG time.

  3. MIHA on Mon, 1st Mar 2010 5:12 pm
  4. Good performance. Too bad Spurs won. We needed them to lose.

    Mancini still does not convince me. He is better than Hughes, but we need a Mourinho or a Hidiink to really crack the top four.

  5. Les on Mon, 1st Mar 2010 10:02 pm
  6. What I don’t understand is why Adam Johnson continues to start ahead of SWP. Mancini is partial to his players the same way Hughes was. Johnson is not ready to be playing at this level game in and game out, just yet. Because he’s English and young, he’s been over hyped by a desperate tabloid press.

  7. Harvey on Tue, 2nd Mar 2010 7:18 pm
  8. The most important aspect of this game was the failure of the Chelsea side to keep its shape after the second City goal. Chelsea threw men forward in mass without any real formation or purpose. The performance was disturbing and ugly from a Blues standpoint, but was also mildly disappointing for City until Tevez’s first goal. While we defended valiantly, going forward we could not hold the ball or control the tempo. The Tevez goal changed all and we benefited for Chelsea’s failures.

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