Those expecting a Roberto Mancini’s title concession speech will have to wait a while longer. Joe Hart, Yaya Toure and Carloz Tevez maintained Manchester City’s slender hopes of catching Manchester United, and - perhaps more significantly given the current state of the table - extended their cushion to Chelsea in second place.
The turning point at The Etihad was Hart’s 51st minute penalty save to deny Frank Lampard.
Hart could have found himself having to explain another error to his manager after he clumsily challenged Demba Ba in the penalty box. Instead, he offered a timely reminder why he is England premier goalkeeper.
Lampard, normally so reliable from the spot, saw his well struck kick pushed away.
City then piled on the pressure and deservedly took the lead thanks to a brilliant individual goal by Toure as he danced his way through a packed Chelsea defence and side-footed past Cech on 63 minutes. A superb second from Tevez late on completed an accomplished second half performance.