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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Zola double sinks City
Chelsea's Emmanuel Petit keeps a close eye on Manchester City's Marc-Vivien Foe
Marc-Vivien Foe was denied by a superb Cudicini save
Manchester City 0-3 Chelsea

A second-half Gianfranco Zola brace gave manager Claudio Ranieri an early birthday present as Chelsea won for the first time in four games.

Zola ensured an early start to the manager's 51st birthday on Sunday when he headed home a Graeme Le Saux corner and then broke clear to rifle the ball past Peter Schmeichel.

The icing on the cake was provided by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who claimed his first goal in open play this season.

The win halted an alarming slump in form that had seen Chelsea lose successive league games as well exit the Uefa Cup after an embarrassing defeat to Viking Stavanger.

  Key incidents
69 mins: Gianfranco Zola heads Chelsea in front
84 mins: Zola bags his second
85 mins: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink makes it 3-0

Chelsea's win means that Kevin Keegan's side have secured just two points from six games.

This latest defeat will be all the harder to swallow considering Marcel Desailly might easily have been sent off and Eyal Berkovic hit the post early on.

Even in Italian, I can hardly express what Zola means to us
Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri

The game could have gone either way after a frenetic end-to-end opening.

After just three minutes Shaun Goater looked to be impeded by Desailly as he attempted to collect Niclas Jensen's pass.

Yet Dermot Gallagher waved play on, to Goater's disbelief.

Then Ali Bernabia cleverly dummied Goater's cut-back allowing the ball to run to Berkovic, but his shot rebounded off the post.

Another Bernabia pass was allowed to run straight across the Chelsea area, but Shaun Wright-Phillips' shot was saved by Carlo Cudicini at his near post.

City pressed forward and right on half-time, Cudicini bravely dived forward to thwart Berkovic as he looked set to convert Nicolas Anelka's cross from close range.

It was cruel because we were the better side for 70 minutes
Man City boss Kevin Keegan

Cudicini produced a superb low one-handed save when Marc-Vivien Foe took Anelka's neat lay off and spun to rifle in a shot which looked to be heading for the corner.

But it was Chelsea who made the breakthrough in the 69th minute.

Le Saux's corner was flicked on by Emmanuel Petit to the far post, where Zola was waiting in space to nod home his seventh of the season from barely five yards.

Zola then broke clear to double Chelsea's advantage and on 85 minutes Hasselbaink also got in on the act to claim his second goal of the season.

Man City: Schmeichel, Jihai, Howey, Distin, Wright-Phillips, Berkovic, Foe, Benarbia, Jensen, Anelka, Goater (Huckerby 71).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Dunne, Horlock, Vuoso.

Booked: Benarbia.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Le Saux, Gallas, Desailly, Melchiot, Morris, Petit, Lampard, De Lucas, Zola (Oliveira 89), Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: Pidgeley, Ferrer, Terry, Gudjohnsen.

Booked: De Lucas, Lampard.

Attendance: 34,953

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

BBC Five Live's Alistair Yeomans
"Zola just gets better and better"
Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"The least we deserved was a draw"
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"It was a very important win"
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