Toure, Tevez keep alive Man City’s title hopes

Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez scored classy second-half goals as

Manchester City kept alive its slim Premier League title hopes with

a 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart also played a part in City’s crucial win at

Etihad Stadium by saving a penalty from Frank Lampard in the 52nd

minute, denying the England midfielder his 200th goal for

Chelsea.

Eleven minutes later, Toure delivered a composed finish after

dribbling inside the area and substitute Tevez sealed victory by

smashing in a finish from 25 yards in the 85th, ending City’s

damaging three-match winless run in the league.

The result kept City 12 points behind Manchester United and

moved the defending champions seven points clear of third-place

Chelsea, giving renewed hope to Tottenham and Arsenal behind them

in the race for the Champions League spots. Spurs will go third by

beating West Ham on Monday.

Bristling with energy and intensity, it was one of City’s most

convincing displays of a season in which it has struggled to

reproduce the form of last season.

With United tightening its grip on top spot by beating Queens

Park Rangers 2-0 on Saturday, this match was arguably more

important because of its impact on the fight for second place.

Chelsea had closed the gap to four points before kickoff due to

City only picking up two points in its last three games, but was

chasing shadows for much of the game.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech kept Chelsea in the game early on with

smart saves from Toure, Matija Nastasic and Jack Rodwell, while

Sergio Aguero will regret trying to round Cech instead of shooting

first time after being played through by David Silva.

The visitors’ defense – missing captain John Terry, who started

on the bench – stood firm but their attacking threat remained

non-existent until Demba Ba pounced on a lofted pass from midfield

and fell under minimal contact from Hart. Lampard struck his

spot-kick hard and low but Hart dived to his right to claw it

away.

City regained the upper hand and after Aguero fluffed another

chance by clipping a chip over the bar when one-on-one with Cech,

Toure gave his team the lead.

The Ivory Coast midfielder, playing in an attacking role behind

Aguero, collected Silva’s pass, drifted round John Obi Mikel’s

flimsy challenge and curled a shot inside the far post from 10

yards (meters).

Tevez had come on as a substitute by then and he helped further

stretch the Chelsea defense before scoring his seventh goal in nine

league appearances against Chelsea, leaving Cech no chance with an

arrowed shot into the corner.