Chelsea still five points clear after draw with Man City
If there is anything we learned from this match, it is that Frank Lampard is still adored at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder’s substitute appearance on the 75th minute prompted a standing ovation, chants and a flourish of banners sporting the former Chelsea player’s image.
However, compared to the match at the Etihad earlier in the season, when the 36-year-old struck a late equaliser for Manchester City, his involvement here was less dramatic.
The match started brightly, and in a matter of seconds, the visitors had passed their way through Chelsea straight from kick-off. It seemed a sign of things to come. At one point in the first half, it was literally end-to-end football.
Sergio Aguero went the closest to scoring, as the ball looped over to the Argentine who took it on the break and dragged his shot agonisingly wide of Thibaut Courtois’ far post. Moments earlier, Chelsea were appealing for a Martin Demichelis handball on the edge of the area.
Jose Mourinho’s side broke the deadlock though. Branislav Ivanovic arced a delicious ball over the top, to find Eden Hazard in the left channel of the area, whose cushion volley back across goal was met gratefully by Loic Remy.
It was no doubt a move that came straight off the training ground, though minutes later City were level. Literally the worst moment in the game to concede, straight before half time, David Silva fired in from just inside the area, after Jesus Navas crafted an exquisite cross, tempting Courtois out of his goal, and the Belgian’s fumble handed the initiative to the Spaniard.
After the break both teams pressed for an advantage, and Fernandinho nearly caught Courtois out after heading into the ground, with the ball bouncing back up and narrowly going over the crossbar.
City more or less dominated possession in the second period, and had Chelsea boxed in on more than one occasion, however, typical of a Mourinho-marshalled team, dug in. With five points still separating the two clubs at the top, the Blues will take this.