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Man City 0 - 1 Chelsea


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Manchester City versus ChelseaFA Premier League - 14/March/07, 20:00 kick-off - The City of Manchester Stadium

pagina-8-manchester.jpgPremiership Champions Chelsea continued their pursuit of league leaders Manchester United with a 1-0 victory away to Manchester City.Frank Lampard fired home from the penalty spot just before the half hour to earn Chelsea all three points, taking them now just six behind United in the race for the league championship.The game was one of very few chances, but the home side were subject to a typical Chelsea away victory, with the visitors grinding out a result - albeit without working too hard for the victory.With their chronic lack of goalscoring form, and just 20 goals in 27 league games, Manchester City handed a full debut for young striker Emile Mpenza, who replaced the lacklustre Bernardi Corradi up front, alongside Darrius Vassell.Chelsea welcomed back Captain John Terry following two successive injuries, and Salomon Kalou was drafted into the team after netting the equaliser in the weekend's 3-3 draw with Tottenham. Gérémi replaced Diarra at right-back, and Claude Makelele replaced the injured Michael Essien. Shaun Wright-Phillips was on the bench.Chelsea's hoodoo of conceding early goals in four of their last five games looked unlikely, with the Champions looking for a fifth successive Premiership clean sheet. Manchester City had failed to score in eight games at home prior to this fixture - and they looked incapable of ending their goalscoring jinx against a Chelsea side who were always in control.The opening stages were extremely cagey, with both teams looking to find their feet. Chelsea started the better side, with an early header from John Terry sailing over the bar.The only shot-on-target of the first half came when Micah Richards gave tricky winger Salomon Kalou half a yard. The young Ivorian burst into the penalty area, and as he looked to square the ball to an unmarked Didier Drogba, Richards tripped him. Referee Alan Wiley made no hesitation in pointing to the spot. City did not make many complaints.Stand-in goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson stood in the way of Frank Lampard, but it was no contest, as Lampard tucked the ball neatly into the bottom corner and averaging 20 goals scored in a season for three consecutive campaigns. _42682723_lamps_pa.jpgDespite effort from City, who were ever urged on by the near-capacity crowd, the best they could conjure from their pressure towards the end of the first period was a shot from 18 yards by Joey Barton, which squirmed wide.After the interval, Chelsea boss José Mourinho suffered what he described as a "nervous moment" as John Terry limped out of a challenge with an ankle injury. However, Terry ran off the injury and continued. An opportunity to wrap up the three points fell to Lampard, who burst through the City defence following brilliant one-touch play by Robben and Ballack, but his chip over 'keeper Isaksson was blocked by recovering defender Micah Richards. Robben shot wastefully wide as Ballack and Drogba orchestrated an excellent move, finding Richards out of position, but Robben skied his effort.Kalou looked certain to break through a second time, but Richard Dunne made an excellent tackle to keep the score 1-0.Joey Barton shot wide with players unmarked with just nine minutes remaining, and many Manchester City fans retired for the evening.Shaun-Wright Phillips came on to replace the selfish Arjen Robben, and he nearly scored against his old club with a thunderbolt-of-a-strike crashing off the crossbar.Drogba was blocked by Isaksson, and in stoppage time, a wonderful dipping freekick from Michael Ballack was superbly saved by Isaksson.The final whistle to a poor but nervy game for Chelsea came with the Blues in a familiar position – returning to Stamford Bridge with three points in the bag._42682625_john_getty.jpgSquads and Line-UpsManchester City (4-4-2) Isaksson; Richards, Dunne ©, Distin, Ball; Sun (Miller 62), Hamann (Dabo 79), Barton, Ireland; Mpenza, Vassell (Samaras 72).Booked Hamann (59), Dunne (67), Richards (81). Chelsea (4-3-3) Cech; Gérémi, Carvalho, Terry ©, A Cole; Ballack, Makelele (Diarra 90+2), Lampard; Robben (Wright-Phillips 77), Drogba, Kalou.Scorers Lampard (pen) (26).Booked Drogba (81), Ballack (88).The Ratings - How they ScoredKey:1: Woeful, 2: Inexistant Contribution, 3: Poor, 4: Quiet, 5: Tried, 6: Average, 7: Good, 8: Involved, 9: Excellent, 10: FantasticPetr Cech - 6 - Average. Nothing to do.Gérémi - 5 - Tried. Failed to settle. Struggled against Mills.Carvalho - 7 - Good. Looked assured. Kept Mpenza at bay.Terry - 6 - Average. Quiet game for skipper who's form is returning.Cole - 7 - Good. Strong performance.Ballack - 7 - Good. Getting more involved recently.Robben - 4 - Quiet. Greedy and wasted scoring opportunities.Makelele - 8 - Involved. Made sure Barton did not have rule of the park and stopped Ireland.Lampard - 8 - Involved. Excellent performance from the midfield dynamo.Drogba - 6 - Quiet. Quiet by his standards but still carrying knock.Kalou - 7 - Unlucky. Had Richards in his pocket all game.Wright-Phillips - 6 - Average. Replaced Ferreira. Excellent shot against crossbar.Diarra - 6 - No time. Replaced Makelele. Came on to waste time.Overall team rating - 7 - a typical Chelsea away performance, but the result needed to challenge for the title.Manchester City - 5 - they tried, but their poor form continued and had no chance of breaking down Chelsea's defence.Referee - 9 - Alan Wiley had a brilliant game and allowed the game to flow.StatsMan City - Chelsea1 - Shots on Target - 4 7 - Shots off Target - 2 0 - Blocked Shots - 1 5 - Corners - 4 10 - Fouls - 15 3 - Offsides - 2 3 - Yellow Cards - 2 0 - Red Cards - 0 18 - Tackles - 22 49 - Possession - 51Star Manmakelele-at-fulham373.jpgClaude MakeleleThe GoalsClick the links to view the goalsLampard Penalty 0-1

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