Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Chelsea 2 Man City 1

Fernando Torres exploited a horrendous late mix-up between Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic to give Chelsea victory here.

Torres was man of the match for a strong, hungry display, responding to a miss to create an assist for Andre Schurrle. Sergio Aguero, again outstanding for Manchester City, equalised early in the second half but City left London kicking themselves for that poor late defending.

When Willian drilled a long pass through, it should have been easier for Nastasic to address but Hart came flying off his line. Nastasic headed it back, over Hart, and there was Torres, who had gambled on a mistake, pouncing.

Hart indicated that he had signalled it was his ball, shouting “keeper”, but there will inevitably be a post-mortem during the post-match debriefing at Carrington. Vincent Kompany cannot return from injury soon enough.

Once again, Jose Mourinho ended the game in the crowd, but this time he was celebrating with the Chelsea fans, hugging them after Torres’ goal. It was a huge result for Chelsea, who are deemed the favourites for the title with City. After all the questions about Chelsea’s shortage of strikers, Mourinho seems to have inspired Torres, although it took a while in the first half for the Spaniard to get going.

Space was at a premium. Javi Garcia and Fernandinho were anchoring for City, with Yaya Toure pushed on in the hole behind Aguero. City had Martin Demichelis making his debut at centre-half alongside Nastasic. Chelsea immediately looked for any vulnerability in the heart of the City defence, something they were to enjoy particularly at the death.

Ramires lifted a long ball over City’s backline for Torres, who did well to reach it and test Hart with a flicked header. Ramires was alongside Frank Lampard in Chelsea’s central midfield, although the Brazilian was pushing on more, particularly after Mourinho instructed Lampard to hold, keeping one eye on Toure, who had one of his quieter games. Ramires went hunting the busy David Silva, knocking over the Spaniard, who looked at Howard Webb wondering where the protection was coming from.

Webb was trying to play advantage as much as possible. It was not until the 21st minute that the referee made his first booking, cautioning Lampard for bringing down Fernandinho.

For half-an-hour, City were having more of the ball, more of the chances. Samir Nasri shot wide. Aguero’s effort was blocked by Gary Cahill. Another attempt by the Argentine was saved by Petr Cech.

Before the Torres fireworks, the first half contained a few moments of technical merit. A neat turn by Toure spirited the ball behind Ramires after 20 minutes. Branislav Ivanovic nutmegged Silva. Then came the Torres show, the ridiculous miss and then a sublime passage of play when he absolutely terrorised City’s defence, and their full-backs in particular.

The miss before the assist was staggering. Ramires again released Torres, who chested the ball down and then fired it way over Hart and the keeper’s crossbar. Mourinho leaned back in his seat, his eyes ablaze with frustration at Torres’ profligacy.

Torres could have hidden but he responded superbly. He ran again into the box, looking to make amends. He then crumpled under a foul from Nastasic but got up and carried on. Then, collecting possession from Schurrle, Torres deceived Gael Clichy, looking inside, wrongfooting the left-back, and then accelerating past him. Schurrle, meanwhile, was sprinting into the box, leaving Demichelis out of position.

Torres was running on, cutting into the area, making light of Clichy’s attempt to recover. He crossed low and hard, picking out the unmarked Schurrle, who enjoyed the easiest of tap-ins.

Torres was now invigorated, cutting in from the left, eluding Pablo Zabaleta and then sending a curling strike against the post. The Matthew Harding Upper and Lower were now chanting Torres’ name, but were seething with annoyance four minutes after the restart when Chelsea’s defence was exposed by the brilliance of Aguero.

Silva and then Nasri shaped the move to City’s equaliser, the Frenchman sweeping the ball down the inside-left channel. Aguero had darted between John Terry and Gary Cahill, who responded too slowly to the forward’s movement. Cech was then caught out by Aguero’s ferocious left-footed strike. It was a magnificent shot, so straight and true, but a keeper of Cech’s quality and perfectionism will doubtless review his positioning and response. His defenders hardly helped him.

City were rampant for a while. Cech denied Aguero and then held a Garcia header. Chelsea responded with Eden Hazard appealing for a penalty when challenged by Zabaleta. City fans were convinced Hazard had dived. Webb ignored all their appeals.

The Torres show resumed. He had a header held by Hart and was then cynically baulked by Garcia as he sped through City’s half. The game was evenly poised, both sides going closer. Cech repelled Silva’s shot with his feet. Ramires fired over.

Mourinho’s substitutions were John Obi Mikel, Willian and Samuel Eto’o with no opportunity for Juan Mata. Mourinho’s decisions were vindicated when Willian’s long ball resulted in that terrible mix-up between Nastasic and Hart. Torres pounced and Mourinho leapt into the crowd, celebrating wildly going second in the Premier League table.

Source: Telegraph

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