Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chelsea reax

Henry Winter, Sunday Telegraph

Under pressure following recent anaemic displays and reports of dressing-room objections towards his training methods, Mancini came up trumps here. When the heat was on, City's team spirit and tactics underpinned one of the results of the season, a win that gives them real hope of claiming the fourth Champions League position.

In shielding the back-four, Mancini again deployed three pedigree dogs of war, Nigel de Jong, Pablo Zabaleta and Barry.

Mancini's tactics are defensively-minded but City can counter-attack venomously, a quality displayed in an extraordinary second period.

Steve Wilson, The Observer

While that made City's job easier towards the end, the visitors had put themselves in a winning position against 11 men, not nine. Only the final City goal, when Tevez led a breakout from his own half and Craig Bellamy picked up his second of the afternoon from a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross, was attributable to Chelsea's lack of numbers. Everything else was their own fault, and even after one of the most boring and uneventful opening half hours of the season it was impossible to see it coming.

Duncan Castles, Sunday Times

In the past week, Internazionale and City have demonstrated different ways to unbutton Chelsea in open play. Jose Mourinho won the Champions League tie by playing two quick forwards and leaving Wesley Sneijder free to manufacture chances behind. Here City triumphed with classic counterattacking, Roberto Mancini lining up five in midfield and asking Tevez to sniff opportunities around the centre-backs.

Steve Tongue, Independent on Sunday

Astonishingly, an unmarked Lescott should have added a second goal almost immediately, heading Craig Bellamy's free-kick beyond the far post as Terry lay on the ground. Five minutes into the second half, City were ahead anyway after the first of three superb counters, all involving Bellamy. For this one he raced away from a static Mikel on to Gareth Barry's pass and shot across Hilario, who was again badly positioned.

Jeremy Wilson, Sunday Telegraph

Manchester City had created nothing and looked in danger of falling further behind before equalising on the stroke of half-time in the most unexpected of circumstances. Bridge had thumped a hopeful ball forward which John Obi-Mikel attempted to head back to Terry, only for Carlos Tevez to intercept.

He then turned inside Ricardo Carvalho and scuffed a shot which carried just enough power to dribble beyond Henrique Hilario and into the Chelsea goal.

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