Manchester City v Chelsea: Premier League - As it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Manchester City v Chelsea: Premier League - As it happened



BY
JACK DE MENEZES
by Jack de Menezes
Welcome to The Independent's live commentary of tonight's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

Follow all the latest news an updates below...
  • Welcome to The Independent's live commentary of tonight's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
    2/3/2014 6:46:02 PM
  • 2/3/2014 6:47:12 PM
  • 2/3/2014 6:49:16 PM
  • Hello and thanks for joining me this evening for what is all built up to be a cracker of a match, between the unstoppable force that is Manchester City and the immovable object of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.The team news will be in any second, so lets not waste any time.
    2/3/2014 7:01:16 PM
  • Can Jose Mourinho maintain his incredible record in the biggest Premier League games?
    Against the traditional big four - which during his previous spell in England consisted of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, Mourinho lost just two games. A three year spell that spanned 19 games saw defeats only against Liverpool in 2007 just before Mourinho left Stamford Bridge and against Manchester United in 2005 at Old Trafford.
    To read more on how Manchester City have changed that record, CLICK HERE.
    2/3/2014 7:05:46 PM
  • Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasic, Kolarov; Navas, Demichelis, Toure, Silva; Dzeko, Negredo
    Subs: Pantilimon, Boyata, Clichy, Rodwell, Milner, Lopes, Jovetic.
    Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Luiz; Hazard, Matic, Willian; Eto'o
    Subs: Schwarzwer, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Oscar, Salah, Ba.
    2/3/2014 7:09:21 PM
  • Team news:
    The big talking point will be the absence of Fernandinho in the Cit midfield, after the Brazilian was ruled out due to an injury he picked up in training on Sunday. In comes centre-back Martin Demichelis, and his selection will certainly have Chelsea's attack smiling given his questionable form of late.
    Jose Mourinho hands Nemanja Matic his first Premier League start since returning to the club in January, and he replaces Oscar to partner Willian and Hazard in the Blues' attacking midfield, while Samuel Eto'o once again spearheads their attack. New signing Mohamed Salah is named among the substitutes.
    2/3/2014 7:15:33 PM
  • Manchester City facing new threat of Champions League expulsion:

    City's confidence that their balance sheet will pass Uefa's FFP test is openly questioned in some quarters, with sceptics claiming they have used creative accounting to meet the guidelines, though the club categorically deny this.

    Now a new problem has emerged in the obscure though highly significant small print of the new FFP rulebook. If City fail to meet FFP, a "directly affected party" has 10 days to appeal against any attempt by the club to then cut a deal with Uefa to reduce their sanction of a likely Champions League ban. City would then be exposed to a Uefa tribunal.

    To read more on the possibility of City falling foul of Uefa's FFP restrictions, CLICK HERE.
    2/3/2014 7:26:56 PM
  • The Etihad Stadium lit up on a brisk winter's night - will the action on the field be as illuminating?


    2/3/2014 7:28:40 PM
  • The last time the two sides met, Fernando Torres was the difference with this late winner...

    2/3/2014 7:30:38 PM
  • The Independent's Ian Herbert sat down with the absent Fernandinho to discuss how life has been since his move to Manchester last summer...

    2/3/2014 7:33:43 PM
  • Here's some stats to get your head around:
    • Chelsea will be looking to be the first team to stop City scoring in 61 Premier League matches
    • The last time City didn't score in the league was November 13 2010 v Birmingham City
    • Since then, City have a record of : P61 W53 D5 L3
    • The Premier league record for games scored in a row stands at 66, held by Manchester United
    • Chelsea are on a run of 12 matches unbeaten (inside 90 minutes)
    • The last defeat for the Blues came on their travels at Stoke back at the beginning of December
    2/3/2014 7:42:22 PM
  • Has Manuel Pellegrini's decision to drop Joe Hart earlier in the season been a masterstroke?


    2/3/2014 7:45:22 PM
  • You have to credit James Milner, he may not be selected in the starting XI but he keeps on ticking
    (This isn't actually James Milner, although we'd love him to tweet from the bench during the match)
    2/3/2014 7:47:49 PM
  • Can Chelsea pull off a real momentum shift tonight with victory, or is there no stopping City at home this season? Just ten minutes to go until kick-off...
    2/3/2014 7:50:08 PM
  • Sergio Aguero is here in the tunnel, fist pumping his team-mates (and pretty much anyone else) that walks by. He is off course ruled out with a hamstring injury, but how much will they miss the talented striker tonight? Get your thoughts in before kick-off, and don't forget to vote in our poll, which we'll keep going until the first goal is scored.
    2/3/2014 7:53:01 PM
  • Here's the Chelsea team emerging from the tunnel earlier on for their warm-up

    2/3/2014 7:54:02 PM
  • Here's Chelsea's new boy Mohamed Salah. Can we call him Mo yet? A Mo assist for Eto'o could be a right tongue twister


    2/3/2014 7:56:50 PM
  • Here come the players, we're moments away from kick-off...
    2/3/2014 7:57:13 PM
  • Personally, watching David Luiz in midfield is always a joy to watch, whether it's a 30-yard thunderbolt of the sight of him running around like a headless chicken. However, I'm unconvinced Demichelis can have the same effect - bar the headless chicken part.
    2/3/2014 7:59:36 PM
  • A final rendition of Blue Moon, while Eto'o prays to the sky.It must mean one thing, we're underway!
    2/3/2014 8:00:18 PM
  • 1 mins: Cech takes the early headless chicken plaudits, as he comes rushing out towards Cahill in a similar fashion to Hart the last time these two met (see video below). The goalkeeper just clears the danger though.
    2/3/2014 8:01:42 PM
  • 3 mins: An early shot on goal for the 'Beast' Negredo, as he brushes off Cahill before unleashing a fierce left-footed shot, albeit off-target.
    2/3/2014 8:03:26 PM
  • 4 mins: City are playing some slicking passes early on, and a good combination between Silva and Kolarov sees the Spaniard win a free-kick. The delivery reaches Demichelis, who heads it out for a goal kick.
    2/3/2014 8:04:44 PM
  • 6 mins: The Blues look a little nervy early on, but they look to break quickly and Kompany makes sure Eto'o can't go anywhere as he rushes through the back of him. A stern telling off from Mike Dean, who resists the need to book the City captain.
    2/3/2014 8:06:35 PM
  • 8 mins: The first chance for Chelsea, as Willian looks to break behind the City back four. Kompany looks to have it covered, until his centre-back partner Nastasic comes sliding in and takes ball, company but crucially not Willian. The Brazilian can't take advantage as Konpany recovers, and the resulting corner is cleared. Kompany doesn't hold back in letting Nastasic know how he feels. Ohh errr misses.
    2/3/2014 8:10:04 PM
  • 10 mins: Chance...so close! Toure spreads the ball out left to Kolarov, and the Serb delivers a brilliant low cross in front of Cech that Toure just misses connecting with as he slides in. Any touch and that would've been 1-0.
    2/3/2014 8:11:11 PM
  • What's Jose so happy about? No Aguero or Fernandinho? Oh, ok then...


    2/3/2014 8:12:45 PM
  • 14 mins: Negredo can't control a Silva pass on the edge of the box, and Hazard is off, bursting up field as he drifts to the left. He attempt to play in Eto'o, but the Cameroonian is offside, and despite his square ball to Ramires ending up in the back of the net, he knows that's not going to count.
    2/3/2014 8:15:01 PM
  • 16 mins: Kolarov is doing well down the left in getting forward, but Ivanovic is up to the task that time and dispossesses him well. Chelsea break with Kolarov out of position, but the defence holds firm. Intriguing stuff so far.
    2/3/2014 8:16:10 PM
  • 16 mins: Chance...over the bar! Navas takes the ball deep on the right, and cuts it back to Silva who lets it run to Toure. The midfielder hits a side-footed effort first time from outside the box, and it's narrowly over the head of Cech and the crossbar.
    2/3/2014 8:17:11 PM
  • 18 mins: Chance...just wide! Toure is running things at the moment. He exchanges a nice one-two with Navas as he charges into the box, and he could go down as Azpilicueta clips from behind. He stays up though, and his pass across to Silva sees the Spaniard hit it just past the left post. A very good chance to open the scoring.
    2/3/2014 8:19:03 PM
  • 20 mins: Hazard exposes Demichelis for the first time as he quickly steps past him, and Nastasic body checks him to the ground to win a free-kick. Sideshow Bo...I mean David Luiz is eyeing this one up immediately...
    2/3/2014 8:21:07 PM
  • 21 mins: ...and that one landed in Old Trafford. High, wide, not at all handsome, and Mourinho doesn't look too impressed either.
    2/3/2014 8:22:15 PM
  • David Luiz fouls David Silva early on


    2/3/2014 8:23:48 PM
  • 24 mins: Demichelis works his side into trouble as he attempts to play it around the back, and it takes Kompant to boot the ball up-field before sending an ice-cold glare at his team-mate. Chelsea are beginning to find their feet, but City look like they could break away at any minute.
    2/3/2014 8:25:05 PM
  • 26 mins: Give Demichelis credit, he flies in on Ramires to stop the counter-attack and give his side possession, from which they win a corner. Silva delivers, and soon has the ball back from Cahill. His second delivery should be caught by Cech, but he nervously punches clear. It's on though! Chelsea are away and it's four against one... William gives it to Ramires who tries to casually tuck it past Hart, but England's Number One stands tall and parries clear, and Willian's acrobatic rebound attempt flies over the bar. That was a real chance for Chelsea and they have to take those chances when they arise.
    2/3/2014 8:28:24 PM
  • 31 mins: Chelsea are holding their shape well, and Navas has his first effort which is well blocked... GOAL FOR CHELSEA!!!
    2/3/2014 8:31:46 PM
  • 31 mins: Hazard exchanges passes with Ramires, and his second sets up the Brazilian for a good chance that is blocked by Kompany. The ball runs out to Ivanovic on the edge of the box, and the right-back lashes it home first time that flies past Hart and into the back of the net.
    2/3/2014 8:33:10 PM
  • 35 mins: That's certainly spiced things up, and City will now have to up their efforts to get back into the game. Eto'o's through, but his pass back to a free Willian is lazy and he gives possession away. Hazard wins the ball back on the edge of the box though, and his effort is saved well by Hart down to his left. Alarm bells ringing for City at the moment.
    2/3/2014 8:36:12 PM
  • 37 mins: Yellow card - Demichelis can't keep up with Hazard as he rolls away and he hacks him down to earn the first booking of the match.
    2/3/2014 8:37:10 PM
  • 38 mins: Good play from Toure, as he wins the ball to play in Negredo, who in turn tries to set Dzeko free with a dink over the top of the defence. It's cleared for a corner, which Dzeko then heads over.
    2/3/2014 8:38:43 PM
  • 40 mins: Matic brings down Toure as he beats his opposite man to the ball, and picks up a yellow card for his efforts. However, it allows Chelsea to get back and set-up defensively - one of those team yellow cards you feel.
    2/3/2014 8:40:37 PM
  • 41 mins: Hazard tracks back to block Navas's cross for a corner - apparently what he offers that Juan Mata doesn't. Navas takes the corner that falls to Dzeko, and after his initial dallying on the ball he sends his effort way off-target.
    2/3/2014 8:42:06 PM
  • 42 mins: Luiz breaks down the right, and he just gets the ball ahead of a sliding Kolarov who brings down the Brazilian and earns himself a yellow. that's three in quick succession. Oscar's free-kick is cleared, and Ramires thinks he's won a corner only to see Mike Dean give a goal kick.
    2/3/2014 8:43:27 PM
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