The Etihad Stadium
Sun 24 Feb 2013 13:30 (Attendance: 47,256)
The Premier League champions host the European champions this weekend. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton set the scene for a blue Sunday…
A win at the Etihad on Sunday would leave Chelsea just one point behind second-placed Manchester City who, having crashed out of the Champions League again, have played six fewer matches so far this year.
No visiting side has earned more Premier League points against City than Chelsea, who boast the second best away record in the land this season, although the home side has prevailed on the Blues' last three visits.
The Citizens have not won in three league matches and were rocked by a 1-3 defeat by Southampton last time out. Last week's 4-0 FA Cup win against Leeds United, though, indicated a return to form.
City's defence of their first title win in 44 years has been fitful, even though they have remained the closest challengers to their great rivals Man United for much of the campaign. They are 10 points down on the same stage last season with 12 matches remaining and the same number of points separating them and the leaders ahead of this weekend.
Chelsea's most recent domestic away trip ended in surrender at St James' Park but Rafael Benitez and his side will be buoyed by progress on all fronts since then.
Substitute Eden Hazard's late equaliser against Sparta in the Europa League (pictured below) keeps the European champions on course to play up to 71 matches his season - a club record. Our qualification for the Round of 16 means further Thursday/Sunday matches in the first half of March. (By the way, supporters planning their trip to Bucharest for the first leg on 7 March should note the game starts early at six o'clock UK time.)
Southampton away had already been scheduled for the 31st of the same month. Perhaps it is fitting that the first top-flight side to play on the Sabbath (along with our opponents back in January 1974, Stoke City) should habituate that day but it can mess with the social life outside football, should fans enjoy one.
Should the Blues overcome Steaua, the quarter-final games are set for 4 and 11 April, with the semis starting a fortnight later.
Total goals in all competitions
Chelsea: 106 in 46 games.
Manchester City: 68 goals in 37 games.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Fulham v Stoke 12.45pm - Sky Sports
Arsenal v Aston Villa 3pm
Norwich v Everton 3pm
QPR v Manchester United 3pm
Reading v Wigan 3pm
West Brom v Sunderland 3pm
Manchester City v Chelsea 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Newcastle v Southampton 1.30pm
West Ham v Tottenham 8pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League top six|
The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Robin van Persie (Manchester Utd) 19
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 18
Michu (Swansea) 15
Demba Ba (13 for Newcastle) 14
Gareth Bale (Tottenham) 13
Race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Joe Hart (Manchester City) 11
Petr Cech 9
Asmir Begovic (Stoke) 9
Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) 9
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Chelsea have had no joy on this particular hunting ground for five years. Former Blue Clive Walker considers where Sunday's game may be won or lost.
'Would a draw be a bad result, given the closeness of Tottenham and Arsenal in the race for top four places? In the grander scheme of things a point at the home of the champions would be perfectly acceptable. However if we want second spot a win should be firmly in our minds.
'Chelsea won it back to back titles in 2004-2006 and if you ask our players they might well say the second one was the more satisfying.
'City have found it tougher. They've not done well in Europe. They've had injuries - Vincent Kompany is such a crucial player and he's been missing during the bad little run they had. When big players are missing it's an indicator of strength in depth.
'But you saw a glimpse last week against Leeds, that ruthless streak they had last season. They still have that with the likes of Toure, Agüero, Tevez, Silva, Dzeko. Even with great players confidence is a massive factor and not having it can rock you.
'Chelsea showed again on Thursday that we can susceptible to the attacking midfielders, the second strikers. We will be looking to limit opportunities against City because they have clever and awkward individuals who ghost into dangerous areas or run from deep.
'Problems can come from a lot more players than with other sides, even Man United. So defensively we really have to have a good day or their quality players could punish us.
'A big area for Chelsea is defensive midfield, which has to work hard and stay concentrated. In defence, if John Terry is selected then it will be his biggest test since returning from injury. We need him to have the impact Frank Lampard did when was back to fitness. Terry can be a force at both ends of the pitch.
'Chelsea have threats City will worry about too. They have full-backs who are better going forward than defending, leaving gaps that the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses could exploit. That concern could help pin those City players back and reduce their attacking threat. Of course, Hazard will be cock-a-hoop after his terrific goal on Thursday. This game will be all about the attacking three on either side.
'Kompany would be a miss for City if he's not available again. We know the boys will have opportunities and the chances need to be taken. The other night we had something like 22 shots, six on target so we need to be more clinical today.
'The last few games have shown we have players on the bench who can have an impact. We were better second half against Prague but we needed to pull out the choke a bit and that's what Hazard and others can give you, which is for the good of the team.'
Squad fitness news
Oriol Romeu (knee) is the only player ruled out for Chelsea. For Man City, Vincent Kompany's calf injury makes him a doubt.Gareth Barry (ankle) faces a fitness test and Micah Richards (knee) is out.
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WE HAVE HISTORY
In May 1984 Chelsea travelled to Maine Road for a Friday evening live BBC televised game with John Neal's side competing to finish the season as Second Division champions having already won promotion.
There was a carnival mood among the hordes of Blues fans who travelled north (and afterwards a party in Manchester hosted by chairman Ken Bates) and the dynamic trio of Dixon-Nevin-Speedie did not disappoint.
The first hour was goalless, but on 65 minutes Pat Nevin muscled (yes, muscled) his way past City left-back Clive Wilson and, timing his shot as the ball bounced in the area, volleyed across goalkeeper Alex Williams to score off both posts.
Five minutes later winger Paul Canoville twinkle-toed the ball through the unfortunate Wilson's legs to Speedie, who chipped a perfect cross to Dixon. The big no.9's close-range header gave Williams no chance and the match finished 2-0 to the Londoners.
Man City have won five of the last eight meetings in all competitions between our clubs since December 2009.
Chelsea have won 15 of the last 23 league matches at Maine Road and the Etihad Stadium, losing only five. City's victories in the last three seasons plus the one in 2004 are the only ones in 15 since the Premier League started in 1992.
Our last 10 league meetings at Manchester City
2002/03 - Chelsea won 3-0
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Man City won 1-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 1-0
2006/07 - Chelsea won 1-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 2-0
2008/09 - Chelsea won 3-1
2009/10 - Man City won 2-1
2010/11 - Man City won 1-0
2011/12 - Man City won 2-1
The reverse fixture this season
25 November 2012 Barclays Premier League
Chelsea………..……0 Man City.………..….…0
FA Community Shield this season
12 August 2012 Villa Park
Man City……..….…3 Chelsea………..……2
Y Touré 52 Torres 39
Tévez 58 Bertrand 79
Chelsea v Manchester City in all competitions
Games played 145
Chelsea wins 61
City wins 47
Head to head in the League at Maine Road and the Etihad Stadium
Games played 67
Chelsea wins 21
City wins 30
Biggest league win at Man City for each team
Man City 6-2 Chelsea - 26/11/1977
Man City 1-4 Chelsea - 03/05/1933 and 01/10/1966
Chelsea won at the Etihad: 1,625
Manchester City lost at the Etihad: 77
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,835
Liverpool won the league: 8,330
Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.
The Blues have only been beaten once (at Newcastle) in 11 away games in all competitions (seven wins, three draws), since our defeat at West Ham on 1 December.
Of the 17 occasions Chelsea have opened the scoring in the Barclays Premier League, we have gone on to win 12 games and draw four. Only West Ham have defeated us.
Chelsea have the Premier League's second best scoring and defensive records this term.
The Blues are eight points better off compared to the corresponding 26 fixtures last season.
We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term.
We have dropped 14 points from winning positions
Frank Lampard has scored 11 goals in 13 Premier League starts this term.
|Last six results|
|Jan 30||Reading (a)||D 2-2|
|Feb 2||Newcastle (a)||L 2-3|
|Feb 9||Wigan (h)||W 4-1|
|Feb 14||Sparta Prague (Europa League a)||W 1-0|
|Feb 17||Brentford (FA Cup h)||W 4-0|
|Feb 21||Sparta Prague (Europa League h)||D 1-1|
Premier League scorers
Lampard 11 (4 pens), Mata 10, E Hazard 7 (1 pen), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Ramires 4, Cahill 2, Ba 1, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1 (pen), Sturridge 1, Terry 1, own goals (Walters, Stoke) 2. Total 55.
League games since
An away win: 2
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 0
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Wed 27 Feb||Middlesbrough (FA Cup 5) away||7.45pm|
|Sat 2 Mar||West Brom home||3pm|
|Thu 7 Mar||Steaua Bucharest (Europa Lge rd of 16) away||6pm UK time|
Frank Lampard needs one goal to reach 200 goals for Chelsea and three to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling.
MAN CITY STATS
3 League championships, last in 2012
5 FA Cups, last in 2011
2 League Cups, last in 1976
4 FA Charity/Community Shields, last in 2012
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970
Man City have the tightest defence in the Premier League this term conceding 24 goals in 26 games.
They have not lost any of the 14 matches they have opened the scoring, winning 12 of them.
City have gained 16 points from losing positions this term.
Since December 2010, City have only dropped 13 points at the Etihad from the last 126 available. Their one defeat was against Manchester United in December.
At home this term they have won 30 points from a possible 39 with nine wins against Southampton, QPR, Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Reading, Stoke and Fulham, three draws against Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool and the one defeat to Man United.
It is 92 games since City last lost consecutive Premier League games
Manager Roberto Mancini
Days in charge: 1,162
|City's last 10 year league history|
|Last six results|
|Jan 19||Fulham (h)||W 2-0|
|Jan 26||Stoke (FA Cup a)||W 1-0|
|Jan 29||QPR (a)||D 0-0|
|Feb 3||Liverpool (h)||D 2-2|
|Feb 9||Southampton (a)||L 1-3|
|Feb 17||Leeds (FA Cup h)||W 4-0|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Džeko 12, Agüero 9 (2 pens), Tévez 7 (2 pens), Y Touré 4, Milner 3, Silva 3, Javi Garcia 2, Zabaleta 2, Balotelli 1, Barry 1, Kolarov 1, Lescott 1, Nasri 1, own goals 1. Total 48
League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 4
Man City's completed January transfers
Outs Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Andre Marriner is refereeing his fourth Blues match this season, having previously been the official at Stoke, Leeds in the League Cup and against QPR at Loftus Road.
There are no suspensions.
David Luiz is two bookings away from a two-match domestic ban.
In a game that sprung to life after a first half of limited opportunities, Chelsea were left to rue a saved Frank Lampard penalty when Yaya Toure gave the home side the lead soon after. Substitute Carlos Tevez sealed the result with a late strike.
There was more threat to Chelsea's play in the more open second half but we continued to look vulnerable to City's attacking moves, although had Lampard found the net when Demba Ba was fouled in the area shortly after the break, the home team's confidence after their recent shaky run of results might have been in question.
Instead it took a good strike to open the scoring at the other end and from that moment on the points looked destined to go to the second-placed side. Chelsea remain in third but one point ahead of Tottenham who play away at West Ham tomorrow.
Ashley Cole returned to the side and made his 300th Chelsea appearance. David Luiz played in central defence for the first time since the home draw against Southampton last month. Cahill partnered the Brazilian and with John Terry on the bench, the returning Lampard was captain.
Man City captain Vincent Kompany was unfit so Kolo Toure and Matija Nastasic were their central defence. Sergio Aguero was the most central striker with Yaya Toure and David Silva playing in advanced positions.
The Stamford Bridge meeting between these sides, Rafael Benitez's first game in charge of Chelsea, had been a stalemate and the first 45 minutes of this encounter followed a similar pattern.
In a measured opening by both sides, the first attack of promise from Chelsea came when Hazard passed wide to Ba, who won a corner. Man City's early threat was mostly from the mobile Yaya Toure, operating primarily wide on the left in the early stages. A very early shot from the Ivorian had been too tame to worry Cech.
Man City won a 13th minute corner after Hazard had given the ball away in trying to play out from the back and Silva's delivery was met by the head of Nastasic. Cech, with little time to react, did very well to block it on his line. Aguero was offside as he tried to follow up.
That began a spell of sustained pressure by the home side. Cahill blocked a shot from Yaya Toure and then another shortly after from Rodwell. Then, after the ball had been lost in midfield, Silva's pass allowed Aguero to spring forward but although he took the ball past Cech, he also took it over the by-line for a goal kick.
Chelsea improved around the midway point in the half and forced Man City onto the back foot for the first time in the game, but couldn't test Joe Hart. Lampard was well off-target with a 30-yard free-kick.
Rodwell, who had earlier escaped a booking for a foul on Ramires, was the first to go into the book for pulling down Ivanovic by the touchline.
There was a promising move down the left involving Hazard and Mata but the Spaniard was tackled inside the City area. As the home team broke, Ramires fouled Yaya Toure at the expense of a yellow card.
One of the best moves of the half cut the Chelsea defence open as Milner found Aguero's run in behind Ivanovic, but when Zabaleta powerfully volleyed the cross at goal, Cahill headed it away. The Chelsea defender was making a habit of being in the right place at the right time this afternoon.
City were looking for a goal before the break and Cech twice denied Rodwell in the space of a minute; the first time tipping a shot over and then catching a header from the corner that followed.
Zabaleta was booked for a trip on Cole. The first-half foul count was Man City 13, Chelsea 1.
Just before the break, the tenacious Hazard broke free of a challenge and then tricked his way into space but when he played a pass on to Ramires in the box, the Brazilian couldn't get the better of Clichy. The goalless first half came to an end moments later.
Twice in the first two minutes after the break, Man City got in behind the right-hand side of the Chelsea defence. Aguero, from the second cross, made good contact with a difficult volley with his back to goal but thankfully the shot went wide.
On 49 minutes Hazard struck Chelsea's first shot on target in the game. Hart, with time to watch it, saved low down.
On 51 minutes came one of the game's big moments. Ivanovic struck a diagonal pass into the area and as Ba took it wide on the outside of Hart, the keeper brought the Chelsea man down. Kolo Toure had shoved Ba seconds before anyway. The ref pointed to the spot. Ba had not been moving towards goal so a red card was not a possibility.
Lampard, on the verge of 200 goals, hit his penalty low to the left but a keeper he has faced many times in England training sessions saved well. Cahill headed the corner that followed just over.
This half was shaping up very differently from the first period in terms of incident. More good defending by Cahill kept the City attack at bay but then the defender let Aguero in behind him, only for the Argentinian to chip his shot onto the roof of the net.
It was attack and counter-attack. The unlikely pair of Ramires and Ivanovic led one break forward but when Ramires was found in the centre by the Serbian's pass, he allowed Kolo Toure to muscle him off the ball.
City went straight up the other end and scored. Yaya Toure had been playing deeper since Carlos Tevez's introduction for Rodwell early in the half. Silva played the ball back to him on the edge of the area and his first touch took him round the outside of Mikel. With a yard of space to exploit, Toure curled a shot low beyond the reach of Cech. It took a slight deflection but it was a good individual goal. There were 62 minutes played.
Rafael Benitez made a double substitution five minutes later - Moses replacing Lampard and Oscar on for Hazard. Torres came on for Mikel with 10 minutes left to play. David Luiz moved into midfield with Ivanovic switching to central defence and Ramires to right-back. We were now playing with two men up front.
On 84 minutes the home side put the game to bed when Aguero made inroads against the reshaped right-hand side of Chelsea's defence and played a pass back to Tevez. From 25 yards out, the substitute arrowed a shot past Cech.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Mikel (Torres 81), Lampard (c) (Moses 68); Ramires, Mata, Hazard (Oscar 68); Ba.
Unused subs Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Terry, Bertrand.
Booked Ramires 36.
Man City (4-3-2-1): Hart; Zabaleta (c), K Toure, Nastasic, Clichy; Milner, Javi Garcia, Rodwell (Tevez 54); Silva (Lescott 90+2), Y Touré; Agüero (Nasri 90).
Unused subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Sinclair, Džeko.
Scorers Y Toure 62, Tevez 85.
Booked Rodwell 28, Y Toure 39, Zabaleta 42.
Referee Andre Marriner