Carlos Tevez scored the only goal in the so called ‘Battle of the Cash’ as City ended Chelsea’s 100% start to the season.
City were defending an unbeaten home record against the current Premier League Champions, who had scored nine goals and conceded just one in just two away games so far this season and had to do so without several key players.
Micah Richards was ruled out before the game and he joined Wayne Bridge, Aleksander Kolarov and Joleon Lescott on the sidelines. With such defensive problems, City were forced to field youngster Dedryck Boyata in defence until he was substituted with just a couple of minutes of normal time remaining, to be replaced by debutant Jerome Boateng.
Chelsea, missing Frank Lampard in the middle, didn’t offer too much to threaten City with, although Branislav Ivanovic hit the post in the first half. The blues stifled their main threat, Didier Drogba as the game reached half time at stalemate.
Usually in such a high profile game, the longer the match wears on the likelihood City would concede and they would have done if Joe Hart hadn’t been on hand to tip former blue Nicolas Anelka’s shot away. Spanish World Cup winner David Silva then forced his way into the penalty area and saw his low shot turned behind by keeper Petr Cech.
But then the moment the blues had been waiting for arrived. Under pressure from James Milner, Ramires lost the ball and Yaya Toure fed it to Tevez. The Argentine ran unchallenged from the halfway line and, with John Terry and Ashley Cole backing off him, Tevez hit a shot that went in off the post to give City the lead.
That should have opened the door for Chelsea to flood the City half but the expected surge didn’t materialise and it was City who could have added to their lead. Silva almost reaching Tevez’s cross but for a touch by Alex.
The ineffective Drogba was replaced by Daniel Sturridge to a chorus of boos from the home fans but he was about as effective as his predecessor.
With normal time up, the fourth official added on four additional minutes, but the blues weathered anything Chelsea could throw at them and, for the third successive game, inflicted defeat on the Londoners.
So City pass their latest test and now look forward to Thursday’s Europa League game with Juventus.
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