Premier League - Chelsea's Brazilians sink City

Sun, 20 Mar 18:02:00 2011

Late goals from Brazilians David Luiz and Ramires saw Chelsea grind out a 2-0 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Match Highlights: Chelsea

While £50m man Fernando Torres, preferred to both Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front, fired another blank, it was their other big January signing Luiz who broke the game open with a 79th minute header.

Ramires then clinched the points with a super solo effort in stoppage time as Chelsea jumped above City into third place.

It was Luiz who was the real star, as he also won the free-kick that led to the opening goal and produced a masterful display at the back in a superb individual performance.

Up until that moment though it had looked like a well organised Manchester City side would pick up a handy point in their bid for Champions League football despite being without their star man, Carlos Tevez, who failed a pre-match fitness test.

However, they now risk being caught by Tottenham for fourth spot for the second successive season, with Harry Redknapp's side only four points behind them with a game in hand.

Chelsea can still harbour outside thoughts of a crack at the title. They are nine points behind leaders Manchester United but still have to play Sir Alex Ferguson's men and have a game in hand.

The first-half was played at breakneck speed which made it reasonably entertaining fare even if chances were at a premium.

It was City who started the brighter and they had a decent effort after only six minutes when Yaya Toure drilled a decent low drive towards goal only for Petr Cech to get down quickly to push it away.

However, Chelsea soon started to get on top but struggled to create chances against a suffocating City backline marshalled superbly by Vincent Kompany.

The Belgian blocked an effort from Frank Lampard in the 37th minute while Torres's only real chance to shoot was ended by a crushing, but fair tackle, from the imposing Nigel de Jong.

Chelsea had a handball shout when the lively Salomon Kalou had a cross blocked by Joleon Lescott, but 0-0 was just about right at the break.

The second-half followed a similar pattern, Chelsea on top, but City coping. Florent Malouda fired straight at Joe Hart after good work from Torres and Kalou; a Branislav Ivanovic header was blocked by Kompany; but it was mere bits and pieces stuff as a draw looked inevitable.

However, then Luiz found himself inexplicably down the left wing in an attacking position and won a free-kick near the corner flag. Drogba, on at this stage for Torres, whipped in a superb free-kick and Luiz got his unmistakeable mop on the ball to head into the corner for the opener.

So settled into their gear of containment were City that they struggled to react to going behind, and they never really threatened an equaliser even with bad-boy Mario Balotelli being brought on to try and end a troubled week on a redemptive high.

Instead it was Chelsea who got the second in fine style as Ramies picked up the ball around 40 yards out; he then skipped past Aleksandar Kolarov and Lescott before ending his mazy run by smashing the ball past Hart to clinch all three points.

SeŠn Fay / Eurosport

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