Monday night’s match between Chelsea and Manchester City was a bizarre one. If you watched the first 30 minutes, you would have been spellbound by how superior Roberto Mancini’s side was. City was so much in control of this match that Chelsea looked like a mere mortal in comparison, unable to link passes together and looking worse than ordinary.
But that’s the beauty of soccer. No matter how much a team is in the driving seat, one goal can change everything thanks to a great run by Daniel Sturridge down the right and into the box, to cross to Raul Meireles and to tie the game.
The other bizarre aspect of the game was after Gael Clichy got sent off, you would presume that Chelsea would push forward with more tenacity due to their one man advantage. But Chelsea sat back and played an incredibly patient game. So patient, in fact, that they took the life of the match. The first half was entertaining. The second was a bore. That is, until Frank Lampard scored from a penalty to make it 2-1 to Chelsea.
At the end of the day, three points is all that matters. I don’t believe this was a superior performance by Chelsea, and I thought Manchester City could have done better to put this game out of Chelsea’s reach in the first half. But what it does tell us is that the Premier League title race is now wide open with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all in the running. When was the last time we could say that there were six teams chasing the title at Christmas time?
It also tells us that Manchester City is not invincible. They can be overcome, which will give their opponents a boost in the upcoming games.
Who do you think will win the Premier League this season?