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.