Luiz breaks the deadlock for Chelsea on 78 minutes with a fine header
By Alistair Magowan
BBC Sport at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea overtook Manchester City to move into third place in the Premier League and signal their title hopes might not be over after late goals by David Luiz and Ramires.
Brazilian defender Luiz proved his growing status as a star at Stamford Bridge in a closely fought battle that for long periods looked like it would end in a goalless draw.
The 23-year-old rose to meet Didier Drogba's free-kick on 78 minutes and Ramires added the gloss in injury time to relieve the Chelsea crowd, who had suffered a frustrating afternoon up to that point.
The result will also give Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti further confidence after his position was said to be up for discussion in May by chief executive Ron Gourlay on Sunday morning.
For City, an early Yaya Toure shot saved by Petr Cech, was as good as it got and as the game wore on their attacking threat was often snuffed out by the excellent Luiz.
So the defeat - which ended a run of three victories against the Blues - will again raise questions about Roberto Mancini's defensive approach and it will give Tottenham hope that they can beat them to the fourth Champions League spot.
Ancelotti plays down title talk
Mancini's side started brightly with David Silva picking up the ball in deep areas and it was his through-ball that presented Toure with a rare opening but his shot was well saved by Cech down to his right.
Chelsea withstood that early pressure and began to respond themselves, with Salomon Kalou bursting into the box - but he was tripped by his own player Ramires when the ball broke to him in the penalty area.
That began a dominant spell for the hosts, with Ashley Cole going close and much of Chelsea's impetus was down their left side. Yet while there was some good interchanges between Cole, Florent Malouda and Kalou, the City defence stood strong.
Even when Ancelotti's team attacked on the break, the likes of Nigel de Jong were there to cover, epitomised by a superb tackle on Fernando Torres when he was put through by Kalou.
Still looking for his first Chelsea goal, Torres was paired with Kalou up front with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka relegated to the bench but the Spaniard remained on the periphery for most of the game.
Indeed, it said something for the goalmouth action in the first half that things were brought more to life when Malouda was caught in the air between Micah Richards and Edin Dzeko and was lucky not to receive a booking after he took his revenge on James Milner with a wild lunge.
Chelsea's best chance of the half came when the otherwise excellent Vincent Kompany slipped, allowing Malouda's cross to reach Kalou, but the Ivorian's turn and shot was straight at Joe Hart.
Kalou then perhaps showed his lack of first-team action on 50 minutes when he again failed to test the City keeper after Torres and Malouda combined well.
John Terry, restored as permanent England captain, suffered a scare soon afterwards when he injured his knee tackling Toure, causing much concern for the watching England boss Fabio Capello ahead of his side's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales next Saturday.
Defeat won't deter us - Platt
But the Chelsea skipper appeared to recover and in truth City rarely threatened as they showed few signs of repeating the recent success they had enjoyed over their opponents.
Without the injured Carlos Tevez, Dzeko toiled up front on his own and where he did have chances to make an impression, he was soon thwarted by Luiz, who was always quick to cover.
Sensing City's lack of ambition, Ancelotti made a double substitution replacing Torres and Malouda with Drogba and Anelka on 70 minutes.
But it was the fantastic Luiz who helped craft and indeed score Chelsea's breakthrough. Earning a free-kick deep on the left, the Brazilian met Drogba's free-kick with an unstoppable header to crown a glorious performance.
Following the goal, Mancini brought on Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson for Toure and Milner but they made little impression before Ramires doubled Chelsea's lead in injury time.
Michael Essien clipped the ball to the Brazilian and after he weaved through the City defence he calmly stroked the ball past Hart.
There was no doubting who the hero was at the finish, though, with Chelsea fans singing Luiz's name after a deafening roar at the final whistle.
The only sour note for Chelsea was the injury to Terry but for now that will be a bigger concern for Capello.
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