Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League standings on Saturday after rallying from behind to record a 3-1 victory over Manchester City, who were redcued to nine men at the death.
- Manchester City 1 Chelsea 3
- Cahill nets own goal
- Costa powers home the equaliser
- Willian strikes second on the counter
- Hazard fires in the third
- Aguero and Fernandinho see red late on
Chelsea had the best chances early on when Eden Hazard fired narrowly wide. Not long after, Sergio Aguero went close with a strike that tested Thibaut Courtois.
Hazard went close again in the 26th minute after rounding Claudio Bravo, but chose to pass instead of shooting and the chance was lost. Yet, City did open the scoring when Gary Cahill deflected Jesus Navas' cross into his own net in the 45th minute.
Kevin De Bruyne then missed a sitter and it wasn't long after when Diego Costa made it 1-1. The Blues were catching City on the break and it was Willian who gave the away team the lead in the 60th minute. Eden Hazard put the final nail in the coffin on the counter in the 90th minute before tensions boiled over resulting in two red cards for City in injury time.
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— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 3, 2016
With both teams starting out with three at the back, it was always going to be a clash with plenty of chances. David Silva felt he had a penalty shout early on when the ball brushed the arm of a sliding Gary Cahill, however, nothing was given.
Chelsea nearly hit the front in the 15th minute when Eden Hazard fired a shot just wide of Claudio Bravo's post following a Leroy Sane mistake. It was City's turn to go close next when Sergio Aguero forced Thibaut Courtois into a save in the 21st minute.
Hazard may feel he should have done better not long after when he ran on to a raking pass from Cesc Fabregas and rounded Bravo. Yet, with John Stones blocking a route to goal on the line, he chose to pass but gave the ball away in the 26th minute.
The Citizens were in control in the latter stages of the first period and Aguero should perhaps have made it 1-0 with his head from a superb Kevin De Bruyne cross. Soon after Ilkay Gundogan had a decent appeal for a penalty turned down after seemingly being hauled down from behind.
Yet, Pep Guardiola's men would get reward for their pressure when Cahill deflected in Jesus Navas' cross just before the break. It was a moment to forget for the England international.
The home team stayed on top in the second stanza and it would be De Bruyne who produced arguably the miss of the season. After another brilliant cross in the 57th minute from Navas, the Belgium international hit the crossbar from four yards out with Courtois nowhere.
City would soon pay the price when Diego Costa struck the equaliser in the 60th minute. The striker pulled Fabregas' superb long pass down on his chest, turned inside Nicolas Otamendi and drilled an effort past Bravo.
Despite enjoying the better of the play and the chances, it would be the Blues who took the lead through Willian in the 70th minute. After Otamendi was again turned by Costa on the halfway line, the Spain international sent the Brazilian clear who finished well past a flat-footed Bravo.
With City pushing numbers forward in pursuit of an equaliser, it would be Hazard who profited when he ran on to Marcos Alonso's pass to finish smartly past Bravo at his near post in the 90th minute.
With emotions boiling over in the final stages, Aguero saw red for a bad challenge on David Luiz, while Fernandinho was also dismissed after a scuffle with Fabregas that descended into a mass brawl, as the match ended in acrimonious circumstances.