CHELSEA'S PERFECT RECORD under Roberto di Matteo ends as Manchester City came back from behind to win 2-1. It was a fair result for a game in which Chelsea had to do a lot more defending than attacking. Chelsea took a surprise lead via Cahill's deflected shot but Aguero later equalized from the spot as a handball was called against Essien in the box. Nasri sealed the victory with a well-worked goal. Let's look at that goal to see which Chelsea players could have done better to prevent it.
The Initial Phase
|Picture 1. Nasri Receives the Ball|
At this point, City has been putting Chelsea under a lot of pressure but their crosses from the wide areas have been dealt with by either Luiz or Cahill. As Nasri received the pass back from City's left flank, Lampard was tracking Barry's forward run; Tevez, under Cahill's close watch, was retreating from the Chelsea box. Di Matteo's team had 10 men back to defend this City attack.
Nasri Dragged Lampard Out
|Picture 2. Nasri Dribbled Forward|
As Nasri moved toward the Chelsea goal, Lampard left Barry with Ramires in order to step up to Nasri. There is nothing wrong with this move -- Barry was now in Ramires' zone and Lampard was right to close down Nasri who had the ball. Cahill, meanwhile, had his eyes on Tevez. So, the marking duty as of this moment is: Ramires-Barry; Lampard-Nasri; and Tevez-Cahill.
Lampard Loses His Man
|Picture 3. Nasri Flew Past Lampard|
Nasri, then, passed to Tevez and continued his run into the box. Lampard, for a moment, switched off and lost his mark -- Nasri who got ahead of the England midfielder to receive the return pass from Tevez. The French man chipped the ball past Cech. Number one rule of defensive marking: stay between your opponent and your own goal. Lampard failed to abide by that simple rule.
LAMPARD HAD A pretty poor game -- what's with the horrible back pass that could have cost dearly if Balotelli could have kept his shot on target in the first half -- and this little slip up was costly Chelsea who, for most of the game, had defended very strongly.
Carefree, wherever you may be...