Manchester City are not an insurmountable force in this year’s Barclays Premier League after losing to Chelsea two goals to one at Stamford Bridge in London on Monday night.
Being a United supporter since starting out with the game, I make no apologies if I sound delighted with the result. I mean no disrespect to the Blue half of the city, but I am no less gratified that even if City win the league this season, they will not repeat what was a fantastic unbeaten run by the invincibles of Arsene Wenger in 2003/04.
As we saw on Monday night, Chelsea needed a helping hand from the Manchester City players as well as from the referee to win 2-1 at the Bridge.
City started the match in prolific fashion as Super Mario put them in front two minutes into the game. But the balance of the match changed as the Citizens wasted a golden opportunity to go 2-0 up in the game and the incident was followed by the penalty incident. Soon afterwards, David Silva landed flat on his face in the box after a challenge from Portuguese full back Jose Bosingwa, however, the Spaniard had no luck as referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the appeal, but chose not to book Silva for a dive.
This was arguably the turning point of the game as it would have been nearly impossible for Chelsea to claw back had they gone down 2-0 at the time. However, as luck would have it, Raul Meireles leveled the scores 1-1 in the 34th after some brilliant work from Ramires and Daniel Sturridge. Gael Clichy was sent off in the 57th for a second bookable offence as Joleon Lescott blatantly handled a Daniel Sturridge shot in the 81st. Frank Lampard stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty kick in the 82nd to earn all three points for the London club.
Their win in the match has given a new lease of life to the chasing pack in the Premier League which include Manchester United, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, who managed to end their frustrating run of draws at Anfield with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers in the weekend.
There is a saying in the Premier League that the League title is never won at Christmas and if that has any context this time around, we, the fans are in for a thrilling finish come May.