Lampard is spot on as City are pegged back in title race

 

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The Independent Online

It was written in the stars on a tempestuous night at a wet and wild Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard came off the bench to score the winner – from the penalty spot – as Chelsea beat 10-man Manchester City 2-1 to keep the Prermier League title race bubbling along nicely.

Lampard had warmed the bench again for 73 minutes before Andre Villas-Boas threw him on. Ten minutes later, he smashed in his goal from the penalty spot after referee Mark Clattenburg had (correctly) adjudged that Joleon Lescott had handled.

The referee, in truth, barely did City any favours all night. The visitors had led from the second minute – Mario Balotelli finishing coolly after rounding Petr Cech – and with the visitors in complete command, Clattenburg denied City what looked a stonewall penalty when David Silva was tripped by Jose Bosingwa.

City should have led by more than one goal but allowed Chelsea back into the game midway through the first half and the hosts took full advantage, Daniel Sturridge skinning Gaël Clichy on the left and crossing for Raul Meireles to volley home.

The night went from bad to worse for Clichy, who then saw red after picking up two bookings in quick succession at the start of the second half – one for hauling down Sturridge and the second for tripping Ramires.

Chelsea mounted a late onslaught and got their reward with the penalty, after Lescott handled Sturridge's shot.

The victory means Chelsea have crept up to third in the table, just seven points behind City, who are now just two points ahead of their arch-rivals, Manchester United. The FA may be interested in taking retrospective action against Yaya Touré (pictured), who appeared to lash out at Juan Mata.

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