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PMB: Manchester City v Chelsea - history

With not long to go before we face Man City again, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton delve back into past encounters…

We Have History 

This fixture’s first incarnation was at Hyde Road in early April 1908, a Division One encounter watched by 18,000 spectators that ended 3-0 to the Pensioners. We took the lead after five minutes through an own-goal by Jackson, and tripled the lead after the break with goals by Percy Humphries and Fred Rouse.    

The more recent league title-defining battles are not the only ones of significance in our history. In the 1980s there were two second-tier tussles that stick in the mind.

The first of those, in May 1984, was a Friday night fixture that Chelsea needed to win to keep on course for the Division Two championship, having already won promotion. Defeat would end the Citizens’ remote prospects of joining us, and Mickey Thomas had not endeared himself to home supporters with newspaper comments suggesting the Mancunians’ inferiority meant them missing out would be a mercy.

Player-coach John Hollins had neglected to bring his boots and had to be left out, but the Blues encountered no other problems. Pat Nevin, at his most mischievous and effective throughout, created the Blues’ first with a shrewd header over Clive Wilson, followed by a smart finish across keeper Alex Williams.

Chelsea’s second (pictured above), Kerry Dixon’s 33rd of the season, derived from twinkle-toed trickery by Paul Canoville culminating in the nutmegging of Wilson, allowing David Speedie to cross for the no.9 to finish with his head.

Prior to our March 1989 meeting City had been undefeated at home since the opening game of the season. There was little chance of that record surviving their comedy of errors that lunchtime. ‘City were so busy making life difficult for themselves that Chelsea, now 21 League games unbeaten, were required to do very little and in the end they were reduced to City’s level,’ reckoned the Guardian’s acid-tongued Cynthia Bateman.

Andy Dibble came for and missed a 15th-minute Peter Nicholas corner, leaving a close-range tap-in for the grateful Dixon. The centre-forward turned provider for the second before half-time, muscling past Brian Gayle to set-up strike partner Kevin Wilson for a side-foot finish.

It was 3-0 to the visitors after Paul Lake stumbled on the ball in the Chelsea half and Tony Dorigo hared half the field, rounded goalkeeper Dibble and finished in style to the delight of thousands of travelling fans of the Londoners.

City finally responded with a contentious penalty dispatched past Dave Beasant by Neil McNab, followed by a stoppage-time stab home by 18-year-old Ged Taggart. It ended 3-2. A week earlier the Blues had lost top spot to the Citizens, this was redemption, and we would once more regain top-flight status as champions.

The February 2014 Premier League game at the Etihad was billed as a chance for Jose Mourinho’s ‘little horse’ team to peg back champions-elect City in the title race. It was expected the Portuguese would set his side up defensively, but instead they went toe-to-toe with the Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

The power, skill and determination of the Blues was an awesome sight, Nemanja Matic famously overpowering Yaya Toure, and Willian and Ramires running their opponents into the turf. Eden Hazard was another standout performer, but it was Branislav Ivanovic who had the honour of the winning goal. The Serb was first to the ball after Joe Hart had parried Ramires’s drive, and blasted it left-footed into the net.

Matic hit the bar and last-man Matija Nastasic might have seen red for a professional foul, but a riveting encounter ended 1-0 to Chelsea – the first time the hosts had failed to score in 61 outings at the Etihad. 

You may enjoy moments from these and other away trips to City below    


This weekend Chelsea are looking to avoid a third successive Premier League defeat against Manchester City. The most recent time that occurred was in 2010. 


Fifty-six years ago on 3 December 1960, Jimmy Greaves notched all but two of Chelsea’s goals in a 7-1 whipping of West Bromwich Albion at the Bridge. Remarkably, this was the third time in four seasons as a Blues first teamer that the 20-year-old forward scored five times in one match. 

Our last 10 league meetings at Manchester City

Other Premier League match last season

16 April 2016

Chelsea………..……..0       Man City…..…….……..3

                                     Aguero 33, 54, 80 pen

               Att: 41,212


Chelsea v Manchester City in all competitions

Games played   155

Chelsea wins      64

Draws                39

City wins            52


Head to head in the League at Maine Road and the Etihad Stadium

Games played     71

Chelsea wins      22

Draws                17

City wins           32


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

Visit again later for the final part of the Briefing