Feb 24, 2013 at 1.30pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
Touré (63'), Tevez (85')
Rodwell (29'), Touré (40'), Zabaleta (43')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Ramires (37')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea - as it happened

Live Commentary: Man City 2-0 Chelsea - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of Manchester City's clash with Chelsea in the Premier League.

Chelsea travelled to the Etihad Stadium this afternoon looking to cut the gap on Manchester City to just one point.

The Blues sat third in the Premier League before today but have ambitions of finishing ahead of today's opponents come May.

Second-half goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez saw the Citizens run out deserved 2-0 winners, meaning that they are now seven points ahead of Rafael Benitez's men.

You can read how all the action unfolded with us below.

12.30pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of today's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

12.31pmNo visiting team has accrued more points on City's home turf than Chelsea, but the hosts have triumphed on the last three meetings between these two teams at the Etihad Stadium.

13.34pmIt's safe to say that Roberto Mancini's men can forget about retaining their Premier League crown - that ship has sailed. The pressing matter is that Chelsea are now breathing down their necks for second spot. Four points is all that separates these teams before todays match.

12.35pmRight, team news just in. Let's start with the hosts...

12.36pmMAN CITY: Hart; Zabaleta, K Toure, Nastasic, Clichy; Garcia, Rodwell, Y Toure, Milner, Silva; Aguero

12.40pmJavi Garcia and Jack Rodwell start in midfield for City. James Milner, Yaya Toure and David Silva will begin in the advanced roles to support lone striker Sergio Aguero. In defence, Matija Nastasic partners Kolo Toure in the centre of defence, while Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy will operate as the full-backs.

12.42pmWe're still waiting for the Chelsea team news, but you'll know as soon we we have it...

12.43pmCHELSEA: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Ba

12.46pmThere's no place for misfiring striker Fernando Torres, as Demba Ba is preferred in attack. John Obi Mikel starts in midfield, as does Frank Lampard. Juan Mata and Eden Hazard will be Chelsea's main sourced of creativity within the team. Gary Cahill and David Luiz are the centre-defensive duo, with Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole completing the back four.

12.50pmLet's have a look at the recent history of this fixture. Chelsea have won 10 of their 15 Premier League visits to Manchester City, but as already stated they have lost the last three. In fact, City have won five of their last eight games in all competitions against the Blues.

12.53pmThe hosts are on a run of three games without a win in the Premier League. Draws with QPR (away) and Liverpool (home) were followed by a 3-1 humbling to Southampton at St Mary's.

12.55pmThe last time they went four matches without a win was between September and November 2009, when they drew seven matches in a row.

12.58pmChelsea beat Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge in their last outing and are looking for back-to-back victories for the first time in 2013.

1.01pmToday also marks Frank Lampard's 550th league appearance for the Blues. He has scored in his last four Premier League games, which has taken his tally for the season to 11 goals. But even that seemingly has not been enough to earn him a new contract at Stamford Bridge.

1.03pmChelsea have the same amount of points as they did at this time last year. However, elimination from the Champions League means that they must finish in the top four this year if they are to return to Europe's elite club competition. Of course, last year they broke Tottenham Hotspur hearts by relegating them to the Europa League following their triumph in Munich.



1.09pmThe Blues' last Premier League trip ended in a 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United at St James' Park. They were also in Europa League action in midweek, drawing 1-1 with Sparta Prague to seal their progression to the last 16.

1.13pmCity have the best defence in the league this season, conceding just 24 goals and keeping 11 clean sheets. However, it hasn't been their defence in question this season. The striking quartet of Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli (before he left for AC Milan) have just not lived up to last season's standards.

1.17pmChelsea actually have the second best defence in the league. They have shipped 28 goals and kept nine clean sheets, but their attack has been more potent. The period between the end of October and early December been their major downfall this campaign, which started with a run of eight games unbeaten.

1.20pmDemba Ba is Chelsea's top scorer this season, although most of his goals were scored for Newcastle United. He moved to Stamford Bridge in January and scored three goals in all competitions.

1.23pmKickoff is nearly upon us. We're around about six minutes away, so it's about time for a prediction...

1.24pmPREDICTION: Manchester City 2-2 Chelsea

1.25pmI was right (for the first time ever) when commentating on Spurs' trip to face Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday, so I'm looking for a deuce now. Surely not?

1.28pmThe teams are now making their way out onto the pitch. City are in their usual strip, Chelsea in all black.

0 minCity get the game underway at the Etihad...

1 minYaya Toure has an early effort but Cech saves comfortably down low. Hazard played a loose pass back to Cole from a throw in that gave City possession.

3 minIvanovic gets his head to the ball and prevents it from reaching Aguero, but it goes behind for a corner. Milner whips it into the near post but Ba clears the danger.

1.35pmGOAL UPDATE! Newcastle 0-1 Southampton (Schneiderlin)

4 minAguero tries to weave his way into the Chelsea area but Mikel manages to get a toe to the ball, knocking it out of the Argentine's path. City are doing all of the early running at the Etihad.

6 minChelsea break and Ba wins a corner. Mata's out-swinger is a poor one and can't even beat the first man. City push out of defence.

8 minMilner does brilliantly down the right to get a cross into the box. He went past Lampard and Luiz, but Aguero couldn't quite get on the end of his delivery.

10 minChelsea enjoy a spell of possession in City's final third, resulting in Lampard delivering a dangerous ball in from the right. With Ba the only option in the area, City are able to clear.

13 minLovely footwork by Mata on the edge of the box nearly creates an opening for Chelsea. Ramires had released Ivanovic down the right with a great pass, but the Serb's cross was too deep. Hazard retrieved the ball and played it back to the Spaniard, but City crowded him out. They then break down field and win a corner.

14 minSAVE! The corner comes in and Nastasic heads at goal, but the Czech number one beats the ball away. The referee blows up for a free kick to Chelsea.

17 minCity come forward with Zabalets down the right, but his cross into the box is headed away. The hosts regain possession and Yaya Toure wins a corner.

18 minCHANCE! The ball falls for Rodwell to hit on the turn, but Cahill flings himself in the way. Chelsea concede possession once more though and Aguero is played through with only Cech to beat, but runs out of pitch after taking the ball around the keeper.

20 minYaya Toure plays a great ball through for Clichy to run onto, but his cross is put out for a throw by Cahill. The hosts have been the better team in the opening 20 minutes.

21 minGreat play by Clichy on the left byline as he somehow wriggles his way through a couple of Chelsea players, but his cut back can't find a City shirt.

23 minHazard has looked bright for Chelsea so far. He wins a free kick after outfoxing Zabaleta with a smart turn. Chelsea are able to get men forward, but still can't fashion a chance for themselves. City's defence has looked well organised so far today.

25 minHazard wins another free kick after megging Zabaleta. This time it's in a more advanced position, but once again Mata's delivery is poor.

27 minLampard tries to test Hart with a free kick from all of 35 yards, but it sails well over the bar to ironic cheers from the home crowd. That was ambitious, to say the least.

28 minAll of a sudden City are giving away foul after foul. The latest one was Rodwell on Ivanovic, but replays showed no actual contact. The referee is a bit too eager to blow his whistle at the moment.

30 minClichy's cross into the box finds the head of Rodwell after he climbs above Luiz, but he can't direct the ball on target and Cech watches it safely over.

31 minHazard is asking a few questions of Zabaleta. The Belgian did well to stay on his feet and retain possession in the midst of heavy pressure from the Argentine full-back.

33 minYaya Toure wins a corner from Cole. Milner's delivery nearly finds the advancing Rodwell but he is just inches from making contact. Chelsea clear the danger once more.

2.05pmGOAL UPDATE! Newcastle 1-1 Southampton (Sissoko)

36 minHazard and Mata combine down the left and the Belgian tries to feed his teammate inside the area, but it's just a pass too far. City's break down field is ended with Ramires felling Yaya Toure. The Brazilian receives a booking for his troubles.

39 minSilva crosses for Rodwell, who makes another surging run into the box, but one again Chelsea clear. City come forward once more and another cross is only half-cleared. The ball falls kindly for Zabaleta to strike on the volley and the Argentine's shot is on target, but Cahill is positioned to head clear.

41 minSHOT! Aguero is like a small bull as he bustles his way through a couple of challenges. The ball finds its way to Rodwell, who had a dip from distance but Cech turns it over the bar.

42 minSAVE! The corner comes in and Rodwell climbs above Mikel, but Cech is equal to his header. He's been involved quite heavily, has Rodwell. Plenty of Lampard-esque late runs into the box.

43 minZabaleta commits another foul and this time he goes into Andre Marriner's book. Chelsea have a free kick wide left of the box. Hazard and Mata are plotting...

43 minThis time the Belgian takes it, but the result is the same. If anything, it was worse than Mata's previous attempts.

2.15pmGOAL UPDATE! Newcastle 2-1 Southampton (Cisse)

45 minThere's going to be two minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

45+1 minRamires tries to barge his way into the area but cannot find a way through. His touch has been quite heavy so far this afternoon.

2.18pmHALF TIME: Manchester City 0-0 Chelsea

2.20pmWell there you have it, we're goalless at half time at the Etihad. It's not actually been too bad a game. City have been the better team, but Chelsea have shown just enough to suggest that they could score a goal in the second half.

2.21pmHazard has been a particular bright spark for the visitors, otherwise they have been struggling to get out of second gear. A few sloppy touches and poor delivery from set-pieces has been to their detriment.

2.23pmThe hosts have had the better openings. Nastasic had a good opportunity from a corner, while Aguero bore down on Cech but chose to go round the keeper instead of trying to finish. Rodwell has got his head to a few crosses, but so far his has been unable to effectively test Cech.

2.24pmYou can read the Half-Time Report from the Etihad Stadium by clicking here.

2.26pmWe've also been keeping you updated with events at St James' Park, where Newcastle are leading Southampton 2-1. You can read the Half-Time Report from that game by clicking here. Alternately, if you want to follow the live updates you can go here.

2.27pmMost of City's attacking play has come in the form of crosses into the box. You can't help but feel that they'd be profiting more if Edin Dzeko was on the pitch.

2.29pmLet's have a look at the benches this afternoon. Plenty of attacking options for both teams. Dzeko, Nasri and Tevez are at Roberto Mancini's disposal, as is former Chelsea trainee Scott Sinclair. Rafael Benitez may call upon Torres, Moses or Oscar. John Terry is also a sub for the visitors.

2.32pmPossession was even at 50% each at the end of the first half, although City have shied at goal eight times, with four of them being on target. Neither of Chelsea's two attempts have troubled Joe Hart.

2.33pmThe players are making their way back out for the second half.

45 minChelsea resume play...

47 minThe hosts have picked up the mantle once again in the second half. They're putting Chelsea's defence under some early pressure. Silva crosses the ball in for Aguero, but he can't direct his acrobatic effort on target.

49 minSHOT! Hazard drifts inside from the left and stings the palms of Hart with a shot from around 25 yards out. The England number one got down well, but it looked to be heading just off target. Still, he didn't know.


50 minBa raced through and was brought down by Joe Hart! The referee does not caution the keeper, but Lampard has the chance to put Chelsea ahead here...

51 minSAVE! Hart goes to his right and gets a big hand to Lampard's drilled penalty! Great stop!

52 minHart has redeemed himself for giving away the penalty. Ba was chasing a long through ball and there was little need for Hart to come off his line. He guesses right to prevent Lampard from breaking the deadlock.

2.43pmGOAL UPDATE! Newcastle 2-2 Southampton (Lambert)

54 minBLOCK! Aguero takes the ball down with his head beautifully and creates an opening for himself, but Cahill gets himself in the way of the Argentine's shot. Corner for City, but it's cleared by Chelsea.

54 minCITY SUBSTITUTION: Jack Rodwell makes way for Carlos Tevez.

58 minClichy knocks the ball into Tevez, who holds off Cahill with his back to goal. The Argentine tries to return the ball for the French full-back, but Chelsea put the ball out for a throw. Silva then has a go at goal, but his shot is high and wide.

60 minA Chelsea corner turns very quickly into a City breakaway. Tevez, not quite up to speed yet, loses the ball inside Chelsea's box after trying to dazzle with some footwork.

61 minAll of a sudden Chelsea break and Ivanovic is racing down the right with a two-on-one situation. He plays in Ramires, but the Brazilian is muscled off the ball by Kolo Toure.

62 minGOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea (Yaya Toure)

62 minAfter surviving a scare at one end, City break down the other and take the lead! Brilliant work by Silva on the byline, as he cut the ball back for Toure. The Ivorian steadied himself before curling a lovely right-footed shot beyond Cech and into the far corner. City lead and you'd have to say it's deserved!

64 minIt's been end-to-end football in the 20 minutes after the break. It's blossomed into a really good match at the Etihad!

67 minCHELSEA SUBSTITUTION: Frank Lampard is coming off and will be replaced by Victor Moses.

68 minCHELSEA SUBSTITUTION: Oscar is making his way onto the pitch in place of Eden Hazard.

69 minAnother poor delivery from a set piece and City are able to break once more. The move breaks down, but it has to be sad that the Blues have been shocking from attacking set pieces today.

3pmGOAL UPDATE! Newcastle 3-2 Southampton (Cabaye)

72 minMilner tries to set Silva racing clear by Cahill gets a vital foot to the ball and intercepts. The hosts look far more likely to get the next goal. What impact can Chelsea's subs have on the game as the final 15 minutes approaches?

75 minHalf a chance for Chelsea as Mata tees up Ivanovic, but ideally the Blues would have wanted the combination to be the other way round as the Serb can't quite get the ball from under his feet. City get plenty of bodies in the box and eventually the danger is averted.

78 minCity's intensity has dropped slightly. They need to be careful not to let Chelsea back into this game. The visitors have seen a bit more of the ball in the last couple of minutes.

80 minCHELSEA SUBSTITUTION: Fernando Torres makes his way onto the pitch in place of John Obi Mikel.

84 minGOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea (Tevez)

84 minCity look out of sight now! Aguero makes a burst forward, but the ball is knocked from his control and into the path of Silva. He square the ball for Tevez on the edge of the area and he does the rest! It was a clean strike past Cech and into the top corner.

87 minChelsea have been well beaten here today. City have been better in every department and rightly lead 2-0. Roberto Mancini still has not gone four games without a win during his tenure at the Etihad... if they see this out, of course. Stranger things have happened.

3.19pmIt's now 4-2 to Newcastle courtesy of an own goal by Jos Hooiveld. The Magpies also look home and dry in that one.

90 minWe're going to have a minimum of four minutes of time added on at the end of this game.

90+1 minDOUBLE MAN CITY SUBSTITUTION: Samir Nasri is coming on for Sergio Aguero, while David Silva makes way for Joleon Lescott.

90+2 minCahill nearly gifts Tevez a chance as he tries to play a cross-field pass at the back. The Argentine got his foot the the ball but could not get it under control.

3.24pmFULL TIME: Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea

3.25pmThe referee blows his whistle at the Etihad and it's the hosts who prevail - deservedly so. City have now won the last four meetings between these two on their home patch.

3.27pmThat's all from us at Sports Mole. Coming up we have coverage of the League Cup final between Swansea City and Bradford City. You can follow that by clicking here. But from me it's goodbye for now...

Chelsea's Oscar and Brentford's Jonathan Douglas battle for the ball in their FA Cup 4th round replay on February 17, 2013
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