Late defensive mix-up sees Blues slip to third away defeat
FA Premier League
Sunday 27 October 2013, 16.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Garcia (Kolarov 80), Fernandinho, Nasri (Navas 70), Y Toure (c), Silva, Aguero (Negredo 86)
Unused: Pantilimon, Milner, Richards, Dzeko
Goals: Aguero (49)
Booked: Zabaleta, Nastasic, Garcia
Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the Match: David Silva
It was a nervy start from the visitors. Debutant Demichelis cleared behind needlessly when there was no communication between him, Nastasic and Hart, and, from the resulting corner, Cahill was left unmarked and onside from the second ball in. The centre-back, though, volleyed over.
Torres should have put the hosts into the lead as he beat City’s offside trap to find himself one-on-one with Hart – the volley, with time and space, found the fans behind the goal.
But the Spaniard made amends two minutes later: He walked the ball past Clichy and crossed low into the six-yard box. Schurrle nipped in between Demichelis and Nastasic to tap in past the despairing dive of Hart. It was an awful goal for City to concede, having settled into the game.
Suddenly, it had all changed and the visitors couldn’t get a kick. A poor clearance from Clichy almost gifted Torres another chance, before the striker cut inside Zabaleta to crash a shot against the crossbar. The visitors were being run ragged.
Aguero managed City’s first shot on target three minutes before the break, as he picked up a loose ball in the Chelsea box to turn and fire at Cech’s goal. The goalkeeper parried and Fernandinho blazed the rebound over from 30 yards.
The visitors came out in the second half with a point to prove. A free-kick was charged down from Silva, before Zabaleta skied an effort from the edge of the box. But it was Aguero who dragged City back into the game, continuing his spree of goals: He delayed his run to stay onside and powered a left-footed effort past Cech at the near post to equalise.
Three minutes later, City should have been ahead. Silva decided to pull the ball back towards Aguero when he was one-on-one with Cech, before Garcia peeled off his man to find space for a free header from a free kick. He nodded it straight at the goalkeeper when he should have found the net.
Silva forced Cech into a good stop with a left footed drive across goal, before Hazard wanted a penalty for a foul by Zabaleta in the box – but the referee was having none of it; the Chelsea man dived. Torres was felled on the edge of the box by Fernandinho, but Oscar skied the free kick.
All of City’s hard work was undone, though, in the final minute. An awful ball over the top was chased by Torres and Nastasic. The central defender tried to nod it back to his goalkeeper, but Hart had come flying off his line and it left an open goal for the Spanish forward. It was a terrible piece of defending to win the game for the home side.