Four goals, two red cards, controversy, chances, and great haircuts: This game had it all, as Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Premier League at The Etihad Stadium
If this Game was a Song…
Kaiser Chiefs — I predict a Riot
Oh yes, I’m taking you back to the days of 2005, when life was easier, politicians were qualified, and the Kardashians hadn’t been invented by the Illuminati yet. Or, I’m taking you back to last Thursday on the middle floor at Factory.
This game was jam-packed with some sexy football, and some golden opportunities (many squandered by City), but it would be wrong to not mention the eruption of chaos deep into additional time at the end of the game. Sergio Agüero got sent off for a tasty challenge on David Luiz, and then we had ourselves a good old fashioned skirmish (wouldn’t go as far to say a ‘riot,’ but I couldn’t find a link to the 2005 hit “I predict a skirmish”).
It was very much the kind of event that your Mum calls a kerfuffle — handbags and poor temperament. Agüero will miss four games now with this ban, as it is his second ban of the season, but he won’t be lonely as he will be joined by Fernandinho for three of those games after he was also sent off. Fernandinho had a heated exchange with Fàbregas which resulted in the Chelsea man taking a tumble over the advertising boards. It is completely wrong to condone violence, but it was a pretty funny tumble. Otamendi will also miss the next game, as he received his fifth yellow card of the season earlier in the game. He still has an immaculate haircut though.
I got the feeling early on that this may not be City’s day. They had a goal disallowed, as Kevin de Bruyne’s wicked free-kick was headed in by Fernandinho, but the Brazillian was stood in an offside position. Gary Cahill was too busy waving to his Gran in the stands at one point, which allowed Agüero to pounce on a loose back-pass in the Chelsea penalty area, but that resulted in nothing. Agüero had a few more chances throughout the game too, but it just wasn’t to be.
None of those chances compare to Kevin de Bruyne’s miss though. Just in time for the yearly “Bradley Walsh’s Top 10 Premier League misses” DVD this festive period, Kevin de Bruyne comes straight in at number one, after rattling the crossbar from five yards out on an empty goal. The Belgian has been City’s best player this season by quite a distance so the fans won’t mind too much, and Kevin won’t mind the royalties he’ll get from the DVD either.
Goals, goals, goals
City’s goal came from a Jesús Navas cross that Gary Cahill expertly turned into his own net, as they left Chelsea to the finishing. Chelsea put away three of their four shots on target. The first was curtesy of Diego Costa as he leapfrogged Sergio Agüero in the goalscoring charts this season. He wriggled free of Otamendi to score. Some say Otamendi was beaten because of Diego Costa’s fantastic touch and movement — others suggest it was punishment from the heavens for wearing gloves with a short sleeve t-shirt.
The second came from Willian, who ran onto a Diego Costa pass to slot home. Will.I.An didn’t have time to stop for an interview with me after the game though, as he had to run off and film the fifteenth series of The Voice UK. Where is the love? The third goal came curtesy of a late counter attack from Eden Hazard, to finish off the game. This was yet another goal for the Belgian who is back in form, after taking a gap year (gap yah) last season.
Being a referee is a tough job. I mean, it’s not like being a surgeon or an American politics expert, but it’s a pretty tough job. Nobody loves a referee. Nobody goes home and kisses their pinned-up poster of Howard Webb — they go home and kiss a poster of Raheem Sterling or Lorraine Kelly (just me?). That being said, we still need to talk about Anthony Taylor’s display this game… but let’s all try and remember that Taylor has a tough job and probably didn’t make these decisions to piss anyone off. Probably.
City had a couple of penalty shouts this game that were all waved away. These were correct decisions; Jesús Navas fell over an invisible table in the penalty area late in the second half, and Gary Cahill (he really had a nightmare today) handled the ball early on in the game. Both of these would have been harsh.
Taylor however did miss a blatant foul from David Luiz on Sergio Agüero. The ball had made it past Alonso on the left and Agüero was through on goal. Then Luiz arrived and Agüero fell to the ground under his pressure. I mean, it wasn’t like Luiz steamed in like a tank on steroids, but it was definitely a foul. As the last man, there would have been a decision to make as to whether Luiz would stay on the pitch or be sent off. The decision in the end from Taylor was to avoid eye contact with anyone and pretend nothing happened.
To summarise, it was a bloody good game with a bloody silly kerfuffle at the end. Celtic next for City on Tuesday in the Champions League! Who knows what will happen, nothing’s certain except that it’s going to be bloody freezing. I hate December.