Manchester City vs. Chelsea: The 1971 meetings

Ahead of their match tonight, Sports Mole reviews the five meetings between Manchester City and Chelsea from back in 1971.

Manchester City play host to Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium this evening in what many believe is one of the most important matches of the current Premier League campaign.

Hosting City will leapfrog Arsenal into top spot with a win, while the Londoners would find themselves five points off the pace if they were to be beaten.

Of course, this is not the first time that these two sides have played out important encounters. Back in 1971, they met on five occasions over an eight-month period, three of which were cup ties.

So, ahead of tonight's fixture, Sports Mole has looked back on their quintet of meetings from 43 years ago.

1. Chelsea 0-3 Man City - January 23, 1971
Many expected FA Cup holders Chelsea to advance beyond City in the fourth round of the competition, particularly because the visitors had been decimated by injuries. However, after a first half without goals, Colin Bell scored twice for the Citizens, while teenager Ian Bowyer made sure of the outcome.

It was Bell's performance that claimed the headlines, with Chelsea midfielder John Hollins later quoted as saying: "Everyone will think it was me supposed to be marking Colin that day as I usually did, but he'd gone up front. He was a riot to play against. You had to have the energy of three men even to try to outwork him. You would be playing against him and all of a sudden you would be looking over your shoulder, thinking: 'Where did he go?' He was a phenomenon."

2. Chelsea 1-0 Man City - April 14, 1971
As well as waxing lyrical about Bell, Chelsea midfielder Hollins went on to say that "the Cup Winners' Cup seemed a bigger goal for us that season." By chance, having defeated Club Brugge in the quarter-finals, it was City that stood in Chelsea's way of the final. The first leg was played at Stamford Bridge, which the hosts won courtesy of a goal from South African frontman Derek Smethurst.

3. Man City 1-1 Chelsea - April 17, 1971
Just three days after that European clash, the teams lined up for a league match. While the previous two encounters had ended with a clear winner, this time the spoils were shared. Francis Lee found the net for the home team, while Keith Weller secured a point for Dave Sexton's men.

4. Man City 0-1 Chelsea - April 28, 1971
Smethurst's goal during the first leg meant that only a victory would do if City were to reach the Cup Winners' Cup final at Chelsea's expense. Almost 44,000 fans packed inside Maine Road, but the majority of them returned home disappointed as an own goal from City goalkeeper Ron Healey booked the away side's spot in May's showpiece event, in which they would defeat Real Madrid in a replay to lift the trophy.

5. Chelsea 2-2 Man City - August 21, 1971
Just three games into the new term, Chelsea and City took to the same pitch again. What's more, like the previous league encounter, this one also ended all square. The Blues raced into a two-goal advantage thanks to strikes from Weller and former Arsenal centre-forward Tommy Baldwin, but Lee responded with a brace of goals to restore parity come the final whistle.

Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager walks off the pitch following his team's 3-2 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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