Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Man City 0 - 1 Chelsea: Branislav Ivanovic strike ensures Premier League away win for Jose Mourinho's men

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea celebrates scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea celebrates scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Joe Hart of Manchester City fails to stop Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea (obstructed) scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Joe Hart of Manchester City fails to stop Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea (obstructed) scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea attends to Yaya Toure of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Chelsea have defeated Manchester City 1 - 0 during their Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea outlined their credentials as genuine title contenders by muscling their way past favourites Manchester City with typical power.

Manager Jose Mourinho had claimed he was preparing his side for a challenge next season but few believed him and, mind games or not, Branislav Ivanovic's solitary strike means his team are now well and truly in the hunt for Barclays Premier League honours, level with second-placed City and only two points behind Arsenal.

Mourinho's methods may come in for criticism but he does know how to set up a team to get a result and Chelsea's approach in the first half of this 1-0 win was spot-on.

Many predicted they would come and "park the bus" as they had done in a dour encounter the last time they were in Manchester across the city at United.

But that was not the tactic in which became the first side to end City's 61-game run of scoring at home in the league stretching back to November 2010, when a less-celebrated Birmingham team achieved the same feat.

Central defender David Luiz playing the holding role in midfield alongside Nemanja Matic gave the four players in front them freedom to press, harry and hurry their City opponents.

Eden Hazard led the attack but the relentless running of Willian and Ramires ensured Chelsea, while maybe not playing the best football, posed the greater threat.

City, without injured leading scorer Sergio Aguero, created a number of half-chances but the visitors looked the more likely to score and ultimately did.

 

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