Blues legend Frank Lampard struck for Manchester City as Chelsea surrendered their 100% Premier League record at the Etihad. After an even first half, City went down to 10 men when Pablo Zabaleta had an angry clash with Diego Costa. Chelsea took advantage of that when Andre Schurrle put them ahead.
The Blues looked set to repeat their win at the Etihad from last season, but then Lampard came off the bench for City and struck an equaliser against his former club. The midfielder almost scored a second late on, but his shot was blocked by John Terry.
The Blues came in to this game at the top of the table and they knew they’d stay there regardless of the result. A win for Chelsea could have opened up an eight point gap over the champions, but it was City who started the brighter of the two. They dominated possession early on, and had a seemingly endless stream of corners. Both sides were set up not to lose, and they came in at half time at 0-0.
City did well after the break as they went looking for the first goal. Sergio Aguero forced a save from Thibaut Courtois, and then Ramires crucially beat Edin Dzeko to the rebound to keep the scores level. Costa didn’t have many chances in front of goal, but he was involved in the altercation which really changed the game.
Zabaleta, who was already booked, went in with a hard challenge on Costa, and when the Spaniard reacted the City player appeared to grab the Spaniard’s throat. Both players received a yellow card, which saw Zabaleta heading off early. Bacary Sagna came on to fill the right back berth, but he was caught cold just a minute after coming on. After a break from a corner Eden Hazard swung a ball in and Andre Scurrle got ahead of Sagna at the back post to slot in the opening goal.
That goal left City behind with a man less, and it looked like Chelsea would get their fifth successive win of the season. But, with just five minutes to go City found an equaliser. Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic undid their good work for the goal with some poor defending. Schurrle failed to track James Milner’s run, and he played the ball back to Frank Lampard, who Ivanovic had left unmarked, and he produced the kind of finish that made him a Chelsea legend.
After the game, Jose Mourinho wanted to avoid talking about Lampard’s goal. “He is a Man City player. Maybe I am too pragmatic in football but he decided to come to a competitor of Chelsea and love stories are obviously over,” he said. “He did his job as the super-professional he is and he scored.
He refused to be too harsh on Schurle, after his mistake, because of his work going forward. “I know the difference between Ramires and Schurrle. Schurrle scored a goal that Ramires would probably never have scored, coming in at the far post. But Ramires would never concede that goal.”
LCN man of the match: Eden Hazard