Manchester City were perhaps the better side than Chelsea for 58 minutes, or at least engaging them in an even game in Stamford Bridge. The rest of the game belonged to the Blues, following Gael Clichy's 58th minute sending off with the score tied at 1-1. Roberto Mancini put his team in a defensive shell after that and failed to hang on, conceding a penalty and eventually falling 2-1.
Chelsea got off to an abysmal start in the second minute, as their defense got caught well out of order. With John Terry closing down too high up the pitch, David Silva spotted Mario Balotelli and hit a through ball to the Italian. He beat Branislav Ivanovic one-on-one before rounding Petr Cech and scoring, putting his team up 1-0.
Though the Blues did not look great in the first half, they still found an equalizer in the 34th minute. Daniel Sturridge - arguably the man of the match - was the man who provided a magical assist for Raul Meireles, beating Gael Clichy for pace before cutting a ball back across the box. No one tracked Meireles' late run and he tapped the ball into the back of the net to tie up the score.
The game made its turn in the 58th minute, when Clichy was sent off after picking up a second yellow card. His hard sliding challenge on Ramires was a downright brainless one, especially considering that he was already on a yellow and Vincent Kompany was there for cover. Mark Clattenburg made the right decision to send off Clichy, and from that point forward, City just tried to hang on.
Roberto Mancini's intentions to play for a draw were confirmed in the 76th minute when he took off David Silva for Nigel De Jong. The most creative player in his side off for the most famous leg-breaker in the world. Surely, the quintessential defensive substitution and the stuff memes are made of.
It didn't pay off. In the 82nd minute, Sturridge took a shot that was blocked by the hand of Joleon Lescott. For some inexplicable reason, while in the penalty area and in front of the ball, Lescott raised his arms in the air and caught a piece of the ball. Clattenburg correctly granted a penalty and Frank Lampard - who did not start the match - stepped up to convert it. That would prove to be the winner, with Chelsea taking all three points in a 2-1 victory.