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02/15/2014
 
It was an awful display that Chelsea gave tonight at Etihad Stadium against rivals Manchester City. The Citizens, who after getting defeated by Mourinho's team in the Premier League had a statement to make, were looking for revenge. We could talk about David Silva's impressive passing or Vincent Kompany's defensive showcase, but that would mean Chelsea had nothing to do with the game's final outcome and this would be far from reality.

The truth is that throughout the ninety minutes all of the Chelsea players were completely distracted when the time came to make a pass or make in-zone defensive work. When Mourinho's teams play against the strongest squads of the tournament, the main struggle takes place in midfield, but the duo that played in that position today (Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel) were simply not up to the task. The Etihad Stadium was witness to an authentic pass-to-no-one show from these two, for they made a substantial amount of pass attempts that were directed to literally no one.

It was in these little windows of opportunity when tonight's midfield master Yaya Toure took advantage to recover the ball and do a great deal of damage with vertical passes to Silva, Dzeko and Jovetic. When it came to the fight in midfield, Frank Lampard was immensely missed because of Mikel's and Ramires' poor display. Mourinho thought it best to save the Blues' number 8 after midweek's game in the EPL.

The incomprehensible addition of Obi Mikel to the line-up is not the only downside of Chelsea's bad game at Manchester City. It became clear that when Ramires plays behind Samuel Eto'o and not a faster striker that the Blues find it very difficult to get inside the box. Today would've been a great chance for Brazilian Oscar to play instead of his compatriot; his quick feet and technical abilities would've given Eto'o better chances to score. This lack of speed from the defensive line, plus Kompany's standout performance assured City's goalie, Costel Pantilimon, of an easy day at the Etihad.

Manchester City needed a victory like this just a few days away from their crucial UEFA Champions League game against La Liga leaders FC Barcelona. As far as Jose Mourinho is concerned, maybe the Portuguese manager should think twice before making such incendiary remarks against the rivals he faces for they could backfire in a nasty manner, exhibit A.......
 
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