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Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: Horrific defending mistake by City leaves points with Chelsea (video)

Oct 27, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

An absolutely disastrous bit of miscommunication left Fernando Torres with an open net, and he finished the deal to give Chelsea a 90th minute winner at Stamford Bridge for a 2-1 win over fellow title hopefuls Manchester City.

Torres put away some early struggles to drive a stake into the early title hopes of City with an assist on the opener and the finish late.

The goal, however, will haunt Manuel Pellegrini’s defensive unit for weeks, as Matija Nastasic didn’t realize Joe Hart had come out to help on a break, and he gifted Torres the winner.

Manchester City sat back with Pellegrini’s conservative lineup and let Chelsea press early, but the visitors confidently dealt with any early problems and began to play themselves into the game.

Samir Nasri proved dangerous on the left-hand side, and the defenders and defensive midfielders which many thought would sit back actually provided some attacking presence.

It forced Chelsea midfielders Frank Lampard and Andre Schurrle to play extra physical in an attempt to peg back the City midfielders, which earned Lampard a 22nd minute yellow card from referee Howard Webb.

Ramires nearly played in Fernando Torres with a wonderful cross from well out, but the ball just evaded Torres’ chest as he went to ground to get his body on the ball.

Torres then missed an absolute sitter in the 29th minute. Another fantastic ball from Ramires this time found Torres all alone with just Hart to beat, but his one-time volley sailed high and clear.

The physicality in the midfield was working, however, and they began to seriously pressure Hart’s goal. Finally Chelsea had their opening goal in the 33rd minute. Torres broke down the right-hand side of the penalty area and found Schurrle for the tap-in, the ball narrowly avoiding a sliding Martin Demichelis.

source: Reuters

Andre Schurrle scored Chelsea’s opener, on a tap-in thanks to Fernando Torres’ hard work.

Chelsea were sparked by the goal, and immediately searched for a follow-up. Torres came oh-so-close to a second, but his turnaround strike minutes after scoring clanged off the corner of the crossbar.

City searched hard for an equalizer before halftime with Yaya Toure firing twice at goal, but they went into the break down a goal.

Sergio Aguero quickly changed that though, as the visitors came out firing on all cylinders after the break. The City striker made a perfectly timed run in the 49th minute, got a great feed from Samir Nasri, and rifled home a laser beam past Petr Cech for the equalizer.

Chelsea responded, and both teams began to take warning shots but nothing more for much of the second half. The home side continued to body check and play physical to keep the City attackers from getting space and making runs.

As the second half dragged on, it seemed the prospect of not losing was much more important to both sides than actually going for the win, and the chances diminished.

Then the dagger.

Willian sprung Torres on a break and Joe Hart came out to claim the ball.  But young Manchester City defender Nastasic was too busy covering Torres and didn’t see Hart come out, and before the goalkeeper could collect, Nastasic headed the ball to where he believed Hart to be – right in front of the mouth of the goal.

This gave Torres an open net, and despite the best efforts of Gael Clichy to close him down, Torres finished for the score.

The defeat is Manchester City’s second 1-goal loss on the road, following their 3-2 loss at Aston Villa.  The Citizens remain in 7th place in the table, just above cross-town rivals Manchester United.

Chelsea climb to second place with 20 points, just behind red-hot Arsenal.

GOALS:

Chelsea – Schurrle 33′, Torres 90′
Manchester City – Aguero 49′

LINEUPS:

Chelsea – Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard (Mikel, 66′); Hazard (Eto’o, 84′), Oscar, Schurrle (Willian, 66′); Torres.

Manchester City – Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy; Garcia (Kolarov, 80′), Toure; Fernandinho, Nasri (Navas, 70′), Silva; Aguero (Negredo, 87′).

  1. billobrienschindimple - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    In my opinion, the blame for Torres’ goal lies squarely with Joe Hart.

    Nastasic had goal side position, as well as ball side position on Torres. He was concentrating on a bouncing ball. Torres was lurking, but watch the replay he made no effort to go around Nastasic until the header. There was no need for Hart to come try and claim or kick the ball. If it were the last defender we would be talking about how they would have needed to drop off 5 yards and provide an option for Nastasic. It should be no different for Hart, especially as the play was outside the box when he first starts froward.

  2. footballer4ever - Oct 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Isn’t football a game of not only who pays great offense and/or defense? By the same token, errors are part of the game and it takes execution on those errors that sometimes make the difference.

  3. doug325 - Oct 27, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    It does look like Joe Hart made a mistake. Torres wasn’t coming in free and clear, there were two City defenders approaching. He didn’t need to charge the ball. This was definitely Hart’s fault.

  4. tpblong - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Well it was Joe’s mistake and even the commentator Tim Howard said so. I watched the game and as a city supporter I know Milner did not play and Navas went in not Milner.

    • tpblong - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      and they fixed it!

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