Frank Lampard penalty sinks ten-man Manchester City
It was by no means a classic encounter, although that will matter little to Andre Villas-Boas and his Chelsea side who beat Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
December 12th, 2011
Villas-Boas must have been crestfallen to see City take the lead inside two minutes, with Sergio Aguero putting Mario Balotelli in the clear before the Italian finished smartly to leave the home side with an uphill struggle.
Indeed, the Premier League leaders appeared to be in cruise control for much of the first half, although some smart work on the right wing from Daniel Sturridge saw Raul Meireles volley home and the scoreline was level going into the break.
Chelsea improved after the break and forced City into their own half, with Sturridge continuing to pose a threat while Ramires was also bursting forward at every opportunity. The Brazilian was felled by Gael Clichy on the hour mark and that led to the defender being sent off for two bookable offences.
Roberto Mancini’s side now appeared to be happy to come away from the Bridge with a point, although Mark Clattenburg rightly pointed to the spot when Joleon Lescott blatantly handled Sturridge’s shot.
Frank Lampard stepped up after previously coming off the substitute’s bench, with the midfielder blasting his spot kick into the middle of the goal and Chelsea were able to hold out for the three points.
It’s a result which sees Chelsea move to within seven points of City at the top of the Premier League and shows that the Citizens are not complete bankers to walk away with the title this season.