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Monday December 12, 2011Chelsea 2 - 1 Manchester City

By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games

Manchester City’s unbeaten run in the Premier League was brought to an abrupt halt as they were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and ended the game with 10-men.

Micah was missing again due to a calf injury, with Pablo Zabaleta filling in at right back, whilst Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli occupied the frontline for Roberto Mancini’s men.

The fans had barely taken their seat when Balotelli handed the visitors the lead, his striker partner bursting beyond two Chelsea midfielders and picking out the Italian’s run with a crisp pass with the outside of his foot. A fine touch by Balotelli took him beyond John Terry and he rounded Petr Cech before slotting home to make it 1-0.

Aguero was at it again minutes later, collecting the ball on the edge of the box and going beyond Ashley Cole only to fail to find the target, whilst Silva went down in the box after another mazy run only for the referee to wave away his protests.

At the other end, Didier Drogba advanced into the City penalty area and fired in a shot early doors, though Joe Hart got down well to divert it behind, but the England stopper was to be beaten moments later.

Former City man Daniel Sturridge got the better of Gael Clichy before whipping the ball in, and Raul Meireles timed his run to perfection and duly volleyed home to make it 1-1 with 10 minutes of the first-half remaining.

There was an even opening 12 minutes immediately after the interval, but the balance was suddenly displaced as Clichy was handed his marching orders for a second bookable offence, and Chelsea increasingly gained a hold on possession.

They struggled, however, to create any clear cut chances until Sturridge collected the ball on the edge of City’s box, curling in a shot only for Joleon Lescott to block it with his arms. Substitute Frank Lampard stepped up to slot the resulting spot-kick home, handing Andre Villas-Boas’ side the lead with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Mancini introduced Edin Dzeko as a final throw of the dice, but Chelsea closed the game out to bring them back into the title race and to consign City to their first league defeat of the season.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Ivanovic, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Meireles, Mata, Drogba, Sturridge

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, YToure, Barry, Milner, Silva, Balotelli, Aguero