Chelsea 3 Manchester City 0

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 17 July 2007
Chelsea's defence of the Premiership title got off to the perfect start with a 3-0 defeat of Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from John Terry and Frank Lampard put the Londoners in charge and Didier Drogba rounded of the victory 12 minutes from full-time, after City had seen striker Bernardo Corradi sent off.

As early as the third minute Chelsea signalled their intent when City defender Richard Dunne had to react quickly to prevent an Arjen Robben cross reaching Drogba's head.

City's game plan was to pressurise Chelsea and force them into errors, but it never worked.

A whipped free-kick by Robben on 11 minutes soothed the nerves of the Chelsea faithful. The Dutchman's inswinging delivery was met perfectly by Terry who planted a powerful downward header past Nicky Weaver to open the scoring.

City's first effort on goal came on 20 minutes when right winger Trevor Sinclair found himself free in the Chelsea area, but his toe-poked shot didn't have sufficient power and was collected by Carlo Cudicini.

Goal number two arrived after 26 minutes. A fine break saw the ball ping from Robben to Michael Essien, who fed Lampard on the edge of the City penalty area.

The England midfielder took one touch before dispatching a low right footer on target. The ball was heading in to Weaver's hands until it deflected off Dunne's calf and dribbled over the line.

Claudio Reyna attempted to get City back into the game on 32 minutes, but his ambitious 35-yard effort flew hopelessly wide of goal.

Corradi then outpaced Terry as they chased Sinclair's long pass over the top, but the City man was not quick enough to reach the ball, which bounced through to Cudicini.

Referee Steve Bennett correctly turned down a claim for a Chelsea penalty on 50 minutes after Andriy Shevchenko turned smartly and unleashed a shot which rebounded off Dunne's foot and hit his hand.

City boss Stuart Pearce replaced Ousmane Dabo and Georgios Samaras with forwards Darius Vassell and Paul Dickov just before the hour mark in a bid to liven up his attack.

But the Mancunians' afternoon got worse on 63 minutes, when Corradi, already booked for a foul on 49 minutes, decided to have a second snap at the heels of Essien after the ball had gone.

The referee had little option but to produce a second yellow card, followed by the red. Essien also picked up a booking after dragging Corradi up off the floor by his hair.

Chelsea wrapped up victory in fine style when Robben fed Wayne Bridge on the left, and the full-back produced an excellent cross which Drogba met acrobatically to score with a diving header.

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