Lampard the hero as Man City share spoils with Chelsea
MAN CITY 1
(Frank Lampard 85)
(Andre Schuerrle 71)
Once more, it was Frank Lampard to the rescue.
Except that, this time, there was nothing for Chelsea fans to cheer about.
With a brilliant volley, and in the nick of time, the former Chelsea man earned his new club Manchester City an important 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium this morning (Singapore time).
Out of respect, the 36-year-old midfielder refused to celebrate his goal, and the City fans probably won't begrudge his moment of restraint.
But there was no stopping their wild celebrations in the stands.
When City fullback Pablo Zabaleta had a rush of blood to get himself sent off in the 66th minute for a rash tackle on Diego Costa, a happy ending was the furthest thing on their minds.
Their worst fears were realised when Andre Schuerrle got on the end of Eden Hazard's brilliant cross to thump in the opening goal in the 71st minute.
The hosts were staring defeat in the face.
Chelsea were on the verge of a classic smash-and-grab.
A loss would have been disastrous for City even this early in the season.
Leaders Chelsea began the match five points ahead of the defending champions.
Unless City could conjure something spectacular, they would be eight points behind at the final whistle.
Then Lampard stepped to the fore, and did what he used to do so often during a 13-year career at Stamford Bridge.
Except that this time, it was in a lighter shade of blue.
James Milner struck the ball towards him with speed.
Lampard launched himself into the air, and almost nonchalantly stroked the ball into the back of the net.
This was yet another crucial intervention by a man used to the big moments.
With this result, City kept the gap between Chelsea and them to a much more manageable five points.
And they have Lampard to thank.
- MAN CITY: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov (Lampard 78), Mangala, Milner, Silva, Fernandinho (Navas 73), Toure, Dzeko (Sagna 70), Aguero
- CHELSEA: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Ramires (Schuerrle 63), Hazard, Matic, Willian (Mikel 63), Costa (Drogba 86)
YESTERDAY'S OTHER GAMES
- Leicester 5 Man United 3
- Tottenham 0 West Brom 1
- Everton 2 Crystal Palace 3