Carlos Tevez (left) is mobbed by jubilant team-mates after City's winner
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Eastlands
Manchester City ended Chelsea's flawless start to the Premier League season as Carlos Tevez's second-half solo goal settled a tense encounter at Eastlands.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti took on his City counterpart and fellow Italian Roberto Mancini with the men from Stamford Bridge riding high on the back of five straight League wins and a flurry of goals.
It was a golden sequence that had even Mancini predicting that Chelsea would cruise to the title again this season - but this meeting with big-spending City was also regarded as by far the biggest test of Ancelotti's champions.
Mancini delighted with 'fantastic' Tevez
And so it proved, as City stifled Chelsea's attacking potency with fiercely-disciplined defence and close midfield attentions, offering encouragement to those hoping to take their crown away and allowing captain Tevez to spring the trap on the hour.
The visitors conceded possession as Mancini's men broke from defence, and Tevez ran half the length of the pitch before making light of Ashley Cole's presence to fire his finish across Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech and in off the post.
A sign of Tevez's impact on this expensively-rebuilt City side was that it was his 25th goal in his last 29 Premier League matches and his sixth in his last five games against Chelsea.
The west Londoners, who hit the post through Branislav Ivanovic in the first half, were unable to mount any response and their lack of threat was underlined when Ancelotti removed a surprised Didier Drogba with 15 minutes left - but to no avail.
City doggedly defied all Chelsea's attempts to fight their way back into the game, with the influence of injured Frank Lampard badly missed.
For the home side, despite their manager's downbeat assessment of their ability to challenge Chelsea in the title race, this victory against a side that has carried all before them in the league will only add to their confidence that they can make an impact near the top of the table this season.
Mancini left exciting Adam Johnson on the bench, and the England winger's creation and unpredictability was missed in a dour first 45 minutes.
James Milner caused Chelsea's only moments of alarm, with a free-kick that was touched away by Cech and a driven low cross on the stroke of half-time that was scrambled to safety by John Terry with Tevez closing in.
The visitors did not offer much more as a attacking force, although they came closest to scoring on the half-hour when Alex headed into the path of Ivanovic, who headed against the post before forcing City keeper Joe Hart into a diving save from the rebound.
The second half opened with what could almost be termed a flurry of action after the stalemate of the opening period, with Hart turning away Nicolas Anelka's shot with his fingertips and Cech being forced to save down at his near post from David Silva.
And the renewed ambition from both sides saw Mancini's side go ahead after 59 minutes with a solo effort from Tevez. Ramires conceded possession under pressure from Milner, and when Yaya Toure fed Tevez, the Argentine ran unchallenged from the halfway line, with Terry and Cole in retreat, to score off the post.
Man City are title rivals - Ancelotti
The challenge had been thrown down to Ancelotti's men, but it was City who almost had the opportunity to add to their lead only for Alex to get a crucial touch to Tevez's cross with Silva lurking behind.
Drogba had endured a frustrating afternoon, but he still flashed a look of surprise in the direction of his manager when he was substituted with 15 minutes left. Former City youngster Daniel Sturridge was his replacement, and his Eastlands return was not well received as he was greeted by a storm of jeering.
The home side made a change of their own minutes later, when the limping Silva was replaced by Johnson - and Mancini's side were able to close out the victory in comfort.
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