A common refrain from sets of rival fans had been a desire for both teams to somehow lose, and it seemed that was what each side was trying to achieve in a dire first half replete with mistakes and poor play from both sides. Manchester City dominated, but could not convert their chances, Sergio Aguero the most culpable after getting clear due to a terrible collective error from Chelsea's defence, but dawdling over his chance and allowing Cech to recover.
After half-time, Manchester City resumed their dominance, and a neat spell of passing resulted in Sergio Aguero having an opportunty with an overhead kick, but he could not connect cleanly and missed the chance.
Just afterwards, against the run of play, Chelsea had the chance to put themselves ahead after Joe Hart cleaned out Demba Ba after the Senegalese forward broke into the box. Frank Lampard stepped up to score his 200th goal for the club, but Hart atoned for his error by making a fine save to keep the veteran midfielder out.
Late on, Carlos Tevez sealed the win, picking up the ball on the edge of the area, and the striker was allowed to pick his spot and smash a fine effort into the top corner that left Petr Cech with little chance. It was a well-struck goal, but woeful defending from Chelsea was once again culpable, allowing Aguero to make his run to set the goal up and not putting Tevez under any pressure as he pulled the trigger.
Sergio Aguero was given yet another opportunity to put the hosts ahead afterwards after getting clear of the dozing Chelsea backline, but his attempted chip after Cech came racing out of his goal did not dip under the bar, and it appeared City were not going to find a breakthrough. Then, however, Yaya Toure stepped up. It was his power and drive from midfield that the Citizens had missed most while he was at the Africa Cup of Nations, but he showed neat footwork and finesse here, dancing his way into the box before clipping a delicate curled finish into the far corner.
In the end, a deserved defeat for Chelsea, who were the worse of two poor sides. They are now in a real struggle to qualify for next seasons Champions League, while City have kept their ever-fainter title hopes alive - at the very least, they should see themselves stay clear of the struggle with Arsenal and Tottenham which their opponents now find themselves mired in.