Date: 21st August 2006 at 9:15pm
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City succumbed to a meek and predictable defeat at Chelsea on the opening day of the season. Goals from Terry, Lampard and Drogba were enough to see off a poor City challenge and set the Champions on their way again.

City started with Weaver in goal and Reyna in the problem left midfield position. There was no place for Vassell in the starting eleven as Pearce went with new boy Corradi partnering Samaras up front in an attempt to unsettle the Chelsea defence.

To be fair, City started with a game plan that had worked on previous occassions, namely close Chelsea down and hope for the best. Thatcher took the instructions to heart and subsequently conceded a needless free kick that led to Chelsea’s opener.

Once in front, Chelsea were never going to be worried by City’s lightweight performance. Lampard added a second, via a deflection, when the City defence failed to clear at the edge of their box. Chelsea looked content to keep it at two until ten minutes from time when an incisive break led to Drogba heading home a Bridge cross.

Debutant, Corradi, saw red midway through the second half for a poor challenge on Essien. That Essien should also have walked for a needless pull of Corradi’s hair was irrelevant in terms of the outcome, but reflects how once again refereeing decisions will continue to favour the top clubs.

Although most City fans expected nothing in terms of the result, it would have been nice to at least report on a battling performance. The truth is however, if Chelsea had raised their game it could have been a lot worse. Whether that is a true reflection of what is to come from Chelsea or City remains to be seen.

 

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