Mischa Wilmers’ Sunday Column – Chelsea defeat out of the blue

All the big four teams were in action yesterday on a day which added yet another twist to an already intriguing title race.

After Man Utd’s win away to West Ham, the pressure was on Chelsea to regain their five point lead at the top of the table in their late kick off against Man City. The game did not go as planned for the Blues as Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez scored as Chelsea crashed to a 2-1 defeat, their third of the season. Both sides produced plenty of chances in what was a fairly even game but ultimately Chelsea were made to pay for their missed opportunities. City manager Mark Hughes will have been encouraged by a particularly solid performance from his goalkeeper Shay Given who impressed throughout and saved a late penalty from Frank Lampard. Chelsea are all too aware that rivals Manchester United now lie just two points behind them at the top of the table. Coming into this game Carlo Ancelloti’s side were in excellent form and in fairness Chelsea did not perform badly. Aside from the penalty miss, they had several opportunities to score, most notably when Didier Drogba was presented with a chance which the in form striker would normally have buried. Manchester City will be delighted with a result which strengthens their bid to finish in the top four.

Manchester United’s 4-0 win against West Ham was once again a match which, in spite of the scoreline, the Reds did not dominate. Paul Scholes rolled back the years with a screamer before youngster Darren Gibson showed why some people are tipping him to become Scholes’s long term replacement in the United side with a long range wondergoal. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will also be pleased with Wayne Rooney who performed well and scored a goal which puts him top of the scorers list alongside Drogba and Jermaine Defoe. The Reds are now in an excellent position and with Liverpool.s 0-0 draw with Blackburn virtually ending what was left of Benitez’s title hopes; it is looking increasingly like this might be a two horse race. For now however, Arsenal remain in contention following a 2-0 win against stoke.

Manchester City’s defeat of Chelsea is the dominant headline in most of the Sunday papers. Carlos Tevez has stolen most of the headlines with The Observer’s reading Tevez and Given justify City’s lofty ambitions and the Sun dubbing the striker “Super Tev” in their title: Carlos KO’s leaders as Lamps misses penalty. In The Telegraph Oliver Brown is also full of praise for Tevez writing the tireless Argentine direct all his derision at Chelsea with a winning free-kick that arrested City’s run of seven straight draws. On the other hand in The Observer Paul Wilson blames Chelsea Goalkeeper Petr Cech for the loss: The goalkeeper was at fault for both goals, never looked commanding throughout, and with hindsight Chelsea may have been better off sticking with Henrique Hil

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