Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 5 December 2009

Manchester City End Draw Sequence with Impressive Victory

Manchester City ended their 7 straight Premier League draws with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea this evening.

Mark Hughes' side had to do it the hard way after Shay Given's save deflected back in off of teammate Emmanuel Adebayor to give the visitors the lead after 8 minutes. Chelsea failed to build on that as Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott in the centre of the City defence held Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka's chances down to a minimum.

Emmanuel Adebayor fired home an equaliser before half time, and for the remainding 10 minutes of the first half and early in the second half they started to take control as their confidence was clearly flowing. And it paid off, in controversial circumstances after Howard Webb awarded the home side a free kick and a yellow card to Ricardo Carvalho after seemingly do nothing but connect with Carlos Tevez after clearing the ball. Tevez drove the ball low and into the net after Petr Cech moved the wrong way on instinct, seeing the ball late.

City created few chances after taking the lead, although Carlos Tevez had a chance on the counter attack and a better pass could have gifted either Shaun Wright-Phillips or Emmanuel Adebayor a one-on-one close to the end, but for playing it straight to the defender.

Chelsea pressed late, and were awarded a penalty when Nedum Onuoha's clumbsy tackle brought down Didier Drogba in the area. Frank Lampard stepped up to take it with less than 10 minutes remaining but a poorly placed penalty was saved by Shay Given. Aruna Dindane and Cesc Fabregas had penalties saved in earlier Premier League games today. 6 goalkeepers kept clean sheets in the Premier League today, not including Peter Kurucz who kept out Manchester United in the final 20 minutes after replacing the ill Rob Green who'd conceded 4.

A vital win for Manchester City that moves them up into 6th, 1 point behind 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur. Expect to hear complaints about referee Howard Webb today who booked all 5 Chelsea defenders in this game and who's strange decision to give Manchester City a free kick for the winner. Importantly for Chelsea, John Terry limped off injured late in the second half.

Manchester United's 4-0 victory at West Ham closes the gap to 2 points on leaders Chelsea. They kept a clean sheet with a patched up defence that saw Michael Carrick drop into central defence alongside Wes Brown after Gary Neville went off injured in the first half, and Darren Fletcher at right back.

Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Stoke City brings them to within 8 points of Chelsea with a game in hand to keep their chances alive, while Liverpool were held 0-0 at Blackburn with big summer signing Alberto Aquilani sitting on the bench for the whole match.

In the early kickoff, Portsmouth's vital 2-0 victory at home to Burnley brings them to 10 points and within 4 points of safety. Another team who picked up a crucial victory was Wolves; 2-1 winners over Bolton as they swap positions in the relegation zone.

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