In the most anticipated English Premier League (EPL) game of the weekend, Chelsea went to Manchester and drew with City 1-1. The Premier League leaders had not dropped any points up until this point in the season, and the home team needed to get points as they currently sit at sixth in the league. Former Chelsea star Frank Lampard got the goal that leveled the score for City.
Both sides had chances in the first half, but were unable to breakthrough. Both Chelsea and City had opportunities to break the deadlock, but were unable to before the half. Sergio Aguero was all over the field for the home side, creating chances for both himself and his fellow attackers. Diego Costa was a doubt to start, but his reported hamstring injury did not keep him out of the lineup. He had a few chances in the first half, including making Joe Hart work for one that the goaltender was barely able to deal with.
Chelsea took more of a defensive approach to this match, as manager Jose Mourinho often does in big matches, especially away from home. Manchester City manager Manuel Peillegrini said as much after the match, claiming the Blues took the approach of a mid table team playing an EPL favorite. City was definitely the more aggressive team and that was shown even more in the second half.
City came out of the halftime break firing on all cylinders, forcing Chelsea into playing even more defensively. The home side tested Thibault Courtois a few times before they lost Zabaleta to a red card after a challenge on Costa. The red card came as a result of him earning his second yellow card and it was deserved since the challenge was very reckless. Not long after City went to 10 men, the Blues were able to capitalize. Andre Schurrle scored the opening goal off after a great cross from Eden Hazard freed him up right in front of net.
After scoring the opening goal, Chelsea sat back and tried to defend their lead playing against 10 men. City recognized this and moved quickly to pick up their attack. Chelsea was able to get one last good chance from Costa, as he struck the post just before City was able to equalize. In an ironic turn, former Blues legend and record goal scorer Frank Lampard scored the equalizer. He converted a very well taken volleyed cross from James Millner and predictably did not celebrate against his former team. Lampard even had one more chance after the equalizer to try to get his new team the winner, but was unable to convert.
A draw is actually a much better result for Manchester City at this point in the season. One point is not the worst result for Chelsea, but in big games against fellow contenders, they needed to make more of an effort to go for the win, especially playing the last half hour with a man advantage.
Chelsea drew with Manchester City 1-1 in an early season matchup of two of the favorites to win the Premier League. It was the first dropped points of the season for the Blues, who still sit at first in the league. This draw is part of City’s slow start to this season. In order to defend their title, they will need to start winning matches like this one.
Commentary by Max Petkevicius