Premiership's Top Two Settle for Stalemate

Published on 1-Feb-2015 by srijan213

Soccer    Soccer Daily Update

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Premiership's Top Two Settle for Stalemate

The highly anticipated clash between Chelsea and Manchester City only produced joint occupancy of middle ground on the day.

For the battle, that is. Not the war.

The 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge kept the Premiership's pacesetting Blues five points ahead of the defending champs.

Here's the top of the table, with Southampton hosting Swansea later today:

Premiership top five

For all the build-up, the battle at the top turned out rather dull. The unavailability of Diego Costa and Yaya Touré took a bite out of each side's attack.

The Sky Blues definitely had the upper hand in much of the match. With goal machine Sergio Agüero in the starting XI, City was ready to close the five-point gap, but Loïc Rémy had other ideas.

The out-of-sorts Vincent Kompany forgot two basic skills of defending on that play. Well, three skills, if you count staying awake. But both marking and clearing wouldn't have gone amiss.

Even Rémy's chipmunk-cheek expression seemed to have acknowledged that lapse.

But the mistake was soon mitigated, as City got one back, complements of David Silva's timely salvo:

Regardless of how the first half ended, the match fizzled from that point onward. Chelsea couldn't even manage a single shot after their goal, and the Citizens never exploited the absence of Chelsea’s magical duo, Cesc Fàbregas and Diego Costa.

Ironically, Chelsea's only rousing moment in the second half was the return of their all-time top scorer, Frank Lampard:

Lampard sub

Lampard scarves

Even that could've used a bit more flair, kinda like this:

But, like the rest of the afternoon, the moment has passed.