Carlos Tevez celebrates putting Man City ahead after 56 minutes
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Eastlands
Shay Given was Manchester City's hero as they staged a stirring fightback to come from behind and beat Premier League leaders Chelsea in an enthralling encounter at rain-soaked Eastlands.
The Republic of Ireland keeper saved Frank Lampard's late penalty to give City a victory their huge reserves of resilience and character deserved after Chelsea took an early lead.
Chelsea looked to be maintaining their momentum at the top of the table when they went ahead after City striker Emmanuel Adebayor unfortunately diverted the ball into his own net after eight minutes.
City refused to lie down in the face of this setback and set about Chelsea with real relish, equalising before the interval when Adebayor made amends for his own goal by turning in a close-range finish after Shaun Wright-Phillips' shot fell invitingly into his path off Micah Richards.
Carlos Tevez completed the turnaround with a 20-yard free-kick after 56 minutes that flew suspiciously close to Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, although he may have been unsighted by the presence of Joleon Lescott in the penalty area.
Chelsea inevitably turned up the heat in a tumultuous Eastlands atmosphere, and looked to have snatched a point when referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot nine minutes from time after Nedum Onuoha fouled Didier Drogba.
But this was City's day - and it was confirmed as Given dived to save Lampard's spot-kick as City completed a momentous week after sealing a Carling Cup semi-final clash with derby rivals Manchester United.
Ironically, City's win cuts Chelsea's lead over United to only two points - but this was of no significance to their joyous fans as they filed out of Eastlands in ecstasy.
And for boss Mark Hughes, who shared a handshake with opposite number Carlo Ancelotti at the final whistle after his mid-week spat with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, this removed any pressure he has felt after seven successive Premier League draws and will act as further proof that the new Eastlands empire is now heading firmly in the right direction.
Hughes praises Man City fightback
City brought Robinho back into their line-up after Craig Bellamy was ruled out by an injury - a blow for Hughes as the Wales striker was hugely influential in the Carling Cup quarter-final win against Arsenal.
Chelsea recalled all the big guns who missed their Carling Cup loss at Blackburn, and they instantly slipped back into the smooth style that swept aside Arsenal at the Emirates last Sunday.
They opened up City in the slickest fashion after only six minutes as Deco flicked Lampard's pass nonchalantly into Drogba's path, but keeper Given was swiftly off his line to save.
It was a brief reprieve for City as Chelsea went ahead two minutes later in a moment that was laced with good fortune for the league leaders.
Given saved well from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka but he was helpless as the ball rebounded off Adebayor inside the six-yard box and into the net.
Chelsea's quickfire start and early goal ensured City would receive a stern examination of their credentials as challengers for a top-four spot - and it was one they answered in a positive manner throughout a thrilling first half.
Ancelotti suprised by referee's 'mistakes'
Adebayor pulled a near-post finish wide when well placed and Gareth Barry's powerful effort from outside the area deflected narrowly wide off Michael Essien as City pressed forward in a torrential Eastlands downpour.
Chelsea keeper Cech was having anxious moments as City subjected him to a bombardment from set pieces, and he was fortunate to survive a misjudgement as he came to collect a cross from Wright-Phillps 10 minutes before the interval.
Richards beat him to the ball, but Ricardo Carvalho scrambled back towards the line to make a saving header and spare his keeper's blushes.
The equaliser City's response deserved came after 37 minutes, with Adebayor getting in on the action at the right end by turning home a simple finish after a shot from Wright-Phillips bounced invitingly into his path off Richards.
Chelsea claimed the ball had hit Richards' hand, but referee Webb ignored their protests - and perhaps justice was done because replays suggested the corner that led to Adebayor's own goal had been incorrectly awarded.
The Londoners were wounded and almost went back in front when Drogba curled a free-kick inches wide from 20 yards with Given well beaten.
City, greatly encouraged by their first-half display, were in the ascendancy immediately after the break and Ivanovic was forced to scramble off the line from Adebayor after Wright-Phillips created an opening on the right.
They did not have to wait long to take the lead and complete a turnaround that demonstrated great character. Carvalho was penalised for a foul on Wright-Phillips and Tevez hit a free-kick that evaded the lurking Lescott and flew past Cech.
Given delighted with
Ancelotti then made a double change after 63 minutes, sending on Juliano Belletti for Carvalho and Jon Obi Mikel for Michael Ballack.
Chelsea sprung back to life as an attacking force as they went in search of an equaliser, with Ivanovic glancing Deco's free-kick just over.
City's attempt to maintain their lead was hampered by a double injury blow, with Richards hobbling off to be replaced by Onuoha and Wayne Bridge stretchered off after a shuddering collision with Belletti.
Chelsea looked like they had battled their way back into contention when they were rightly awarded a penalty after Onuoha's rash challenge on Drogba, but Given sent Eastlands wild with excitement by plunging to his right to parry away Lampard's spot-kick.
As tension mounted around the stadium - and indeed in the Manchester City technical area where Hughes and his staff were becoming increasingly animated - Drogba was agonisingly just off target after being played in by Essien's incisive pass.
Chelsea then lost captain John Terry as he limped off against the club that pursued him with such vigour in the summer - and City survived for what could become a landmark win as they attempt to challenge the Premier League's elite.
90:00+3:16 Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the left by-line.
90:00+1:05 Short corner worked by Carlos Tevez.
90:00+0:37 Substitution Pablo Zabaleta replaces De Souza Robinho.
90:00+0:15 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
89:20 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.
88:08 De Souza Robinho is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
87:26 Substitution Florent Malouda replaces John Terry.
86:07 Didier Drogba produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
85:24 Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.
85:24 Booking Caution for Deco.
84:34 Booking Ashley Cole is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
84:26 Ashley Cole concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlos Tevez.
83:54 Corner taken by Juliano Belletti from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Nigel De Jong.
81:37 Placed penalty taken by Frank Lampard saved by Shay Given. Man City 2-1 Chelsea.
81:37 Unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Nedum Onuoha results in a Penalty.
79:51 The referee gives a free kick against Carlos Tevez for handball. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
79:24 Foul by Didier Drogba on Kolo Toure, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
78:42 Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Carlos Tevez, the ref awards a free kick. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
78:04 Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.
78:04 Booking Branislav Ivanovic is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
77:58 Foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Emmanuel Adebayor, free kick awarded.
77:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nedum Onuoha on Petr Cech. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
76:45 Juliano Belletti challenges Emmanuel Adebayor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Carlos
Tevez from left wing, Petr Cech makes a save.
73:57 Free kick taken by Shay Given.
73:57 Substitution Vincent Kompany on for Wayne Bridge.
73:57 Booking The referee cautions Juliano Belletti for unsporting behaviour.
73:47 Wayne Bridge fouled by Juliano Belletti, the ref awards a free kick.
73:14 Unfair challenge on Frank Lampard by Gareth Barry results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
69:28 The ball is crossed by Juliano Belletti, clearance by Wayne Bridge.
68:38 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Nedum Onuoha coming on for Micah Richards.
66:13 Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry manages to make a clearance. Outswinging corner taken right-footed
by Deco, Close range header by Branislav Ivanovic goes over the bar.
65:53 Ashley Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Micah Richards.
65:28 Nigel De Jong challenges Michael Essien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mikel.
65:09 The referee blows for offside. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.
64:15 The referee blows for offside. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
62:59 Substitution Michael Ballack leaves the field to be replaced by Mikel.
62:59 Substitution Ricardo Carvalho goes off and Juliano Belletti comes on.
62:08 The ball is delivered by Frank Lampard, Branislav Ivanovic takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.
62:08 Booking Gareth Barry shown a yellow card.
62:01 Deco fouled by Gareth Barry, the ref awards a free kick.
60:49 Joleon Lescott concedes a free kick for a foul on Didier Drogba. Frank Lampard produces a cross, Didier Drogba has a headed
effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.
60:32 Centre by De Souza Robinho, Petr Cech makes a save.
60:01 The referee blows for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.
58:16 Unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Shaun Wright-Phillips results in a free kick. Michael Essien takes the free kick.
57:44 Didier Drogba concedes a free kick for a foul on Joleon Lescott. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
55:27 GOAL - Carlos Tevez:Man City 2 - 1 Chelsea Carlos Tevez scores a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man
City 2-1 Chelsea.
54:20 Booking The referee shows Ricardo Carvalho a yellow card.
54:11 Ricardo Carvalho challenges Carlos Tevez unfairly and gives away a free kick.
53:38 De Souza Robinho is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
53:03 Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Michael Ballack gets a block in.
50:00 Shaun Wright-Phillips challenges John Terry unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
49:07 Unfair challenge on Gareth Barry by Michael Ballack results in a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.
48:14 The offside flag is raised against Didier Drogba. Direct free kick taken by Kolo Toure.
45:58 De Souza Robinho concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Ballack. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:31 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+0:41 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gareth Barry, clearance by Didier Drogba.
45:00+0:41 Booking John Terry is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
45:00+0:29 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Terry on Carlos Tevez.
42:49 Foul by Kolo Toure on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. Didier Drogba has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
40:43 Shot by Carlos Tevez from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.
40:07 The referee blows for offside against Didier Drogba. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.
39:00 The ball is swung over by Ashley Cole, clearance made by Joleon Lescott. Corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line
to the near post, Kolo Toure makes a clearance.
38:10 Corner from the left by-line taken by De Souza Robinho, save by Petr Cech.
36:08 GOAL - Emmanuel Adebayor:Man City 1 - 1 Chelsea Emmanuel Adebayor gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-1 Chelsea.
36:07 Shaun Wright-Phillips takes a shot. Blocked by Micah Richards.
35:34 Corner taken by Carlos Tevez from the left by-line played to the near post, Petr Cech manages to make a clearance.
35:02 Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Ricardo Carvalho makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Carlos Tevez, Michael Essien
makes a clearance.
33:56 Unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Nicolas Anelka results in a free kick. Gareth Barry delivers the ball from the free
kick left-footed from right wing, clearance made by Didier Drogba.
33:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Nicolas Anelka. Micah Richards takes the direct free kick.
32:02 The official flags Nicolas Anelka offside. Kolo Toure restarts play with the free kick.
30:21 Nigel De Jong challenges Michael Essien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.
29:11 The ball is delivered by Wayne Bridge, clearance made by Michael Ballack. Corner from the left by-line taken by De Souza Robinho,
save made by Petr Cech.
29:00 Michael Ballack challenges Wayne Bridge unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Bridge.
26:38 Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry, Header by Joleon Lescott from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of
26:09 Nicolas Anelka challenges Kolo Toure unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wayne Bridge takes the direct free kick.
25:34 Gareth Barry takes a shot. Michael Essien gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry from the right by-line,
Petr Cech makes a save.
25:03 Shaun Wright-Phillips produces a cross, Shay Given makes a save.
22:57 The official flags Didier Drogba offside. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.
20:13 Emmanuel Adebayor has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
19:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on De Souza Robinho by Nicolas Anelka. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free
18:24 Kolo Toure takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
15:11 Unfair challenge on Joleon Lescott by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.
13:29 De Souza Robinho fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Wayne Bridge takes the free kick.
12:08 Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry, Micah Richards has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
7:40 Branislav Ivanovic takes a shot. Save by Shay Given. Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.
7:38 GOAL - Emmanuel Adebayor:Man City 0 - 1 Chelsea An own goal is conceded by Emmanuel Adebayor. Man City 0-1 Chelsea.
7:36 Nicolas Anelka provided the assist for the goal.
6:57 Frank Lampard takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Emmanuel Adebayor.
6:26 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.
5:22 A cross is delivered by Shaun Wright-Phillips, save made by Petr Cech.
3:24 Unfair challenge on De Souza Robinho by Branislav Ivanovic results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Carlos Tevez. Nigel
De Jong has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
2:51 Corner taken by Gareth Barry from the right by-line, clearance made by John Terry.
2:38 The ball is swung over by Carlos Tevez, Michael Ballack manages to make a clearance.
0:19 The official flags Didier Drogba offside. Indirect free kick taken by Shay Given.
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.