Chelsea came into this game after 4 straight wins in all competitions as Roberto Di Matteo and John Terry took over from Andre Villas Boas. Terry was absent from the touchline last night though but I don't think he could have helped the final outcome.
City rather dominated the game as they have always done at home this season. With 61% possession and 21 shots on goal compared to Chelsea's 7 it has certainly renewed some fans depleted hopes of a first Premier League title for the club come the end of May.
What is still a little annoying though is how wasteful City have become in front of goal. Only 5 of the 21 shots were on target, 4 if you take away Balotelli's shot in the first half that was 'saved' by Petr Cech.
It didn't matter in this game, but it has in previous games and could do again in the next 9.
It's fair to say that on the whole it was a good defensive display from City. Both full-backs provided great cover, making 7 tackles and 6 interceptions between them.
Micah and Kolo were also solid in the centre with Toure making a number of clearances with only Cahill (10) and Luiz (9) making more, which is to be expected given how busy the were.
The number of players who made interceptions is a good sign of how hard they all worked to keep Chelsea from getting much of a foothold in the game. It's only surprising that Barry isn't one of the players who made one, but as City pressed Chelsea more and more in the 2nd half he was able to get further forward limiting the opportunity to cut out long passes which he is usually quite effective in doing.
Tckl = tackles won, Int = interceptions, Clr = total clearances, Eclr = effective clearances, Foul = fouls committed, BS = blocked shots, AD = aerial duels
At one point it looked as though Nasri was destined to have another game where he didn't find the back of the net despite hitting the woodwork. His overall contribution deserved a goal, and he eventually go it with a skillful chip over the falling Cech.
It was possibly Nasri's best game in a City shirt and one that will hopefully be the start of a more consistent run of form.
Although Aguero can be happy with his contribution, he did lose the ball more than usual. However, I don't think this is anything to worry about though despite being the worst on the pitch for it in this game. Torres came 2nd after losing possession 8 times for Chelsea.
What is a little worrying though is the continued dip in form of David Silva. I don't think he actually had a bad game, but his contribution in the final third has dropped dramatically recently.
He has played more games than any other outfield player for City, and looks as though he could do with being rested for a week. His ongoing problem with his ankle could be what is affecting his game with a little fatigue.
Shot = total shots, SoT = shots on target, Drb = successful dribbles, Foul = times player was fouled, Dis = times player was dispossessed, Trn = turnovers committed, Tch = total touches of the ball
City's passing was clicking once again, and although it was a little laboured at times you can't argue with an 88% success rate.
As usual, Yaya comes out on the top of the pile with attempted, completed and pass %. He is also joint top of the list for key passes (4), with Zabaleta (3) the next in line out of all the players on the pitch.
Tevez (4) is the other player alongside Yaya with the number of key passes as he made his first appearance for the first team in over 6 months. He was by no means 100% match fit and still looks to be carrying quite a bit of weight compared to his peak form last season. But he did put in a good team performance and provided the assist for Nasri's goal with a perfectly times reverse pass, which incidentally was City's only successful through ball of the game.
Dzeko is the only player in the team to drop below 80% pass success, and only Petr Cech had a worse record during the 90 minutes. He continues to work hard though but appears to be the player who least fits into the system City utilise and rumours continue to circle about his future at the club.
After having a very impressive couple of months, Mario Balotelli seems to have taken a step backwards again despite the increasing faith shown in him of late. Mancini was not impressed with his contribution against Chelsea and was subbed at half time.
Ass. = assists, Pass = total completed passes, KP = key passes, P% = pass success rate, C = crosses attempted, AC = accurate crosses, LB = long balls attempted, ALB = accurate long balls, TB = through balls attempted, ATB = accurate through balls
The title is still within reach, and such a performance should serve as motivation for the players and fans. It should also remind United and several pundits who felt a capitulation was inevitable that City are not going to go away quite so easy.
It was the first time City had gone behind at the Etihadand seen again last night.
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