Blues Spoil Robinho's Debut  (Sky Sports)

Manchester City 1 Chelsea 3

frank Lampard

Robinho marked his Manchester City debut with a goal but Chelsea came from behind to win 3-1 in an eventful game at Eastlands which also saw John Terry sent off.

Brazilian forward Robinho, wanted by Chelsea for much of the summer, endeared himself to City fans after just 13 minutes as he curled a free-kick past Petr Cech with the aid of a slight deflection.

Chelsea responded just three minutes later as Ricardo Carvalho seized on some defensive uncertainty to finish with aplomb.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's side continued to carve out the better chances in an open encounter and took a 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute through Frank Lampard.

Nicolas Anelka rounded off a neat move after 69 minutes to extend Chelsea's advantage, and City could not fight back even after Terry was shown a straight red card for a foul on Jo.


Given the amazing events of the last fortnight at what has now been dubbed 'Middle Eastlands' by the City support, it was perhaps no surprise Robinho should make the perfect start.

His price tag ensures every move he makes will get monitored and a warm embrace with Scolari after the traditional pre-match handshakes did little to foster a feeling he has ended up where he wanted to be.

But any doubts over his commitment were swept away by the 24-year-old's reaction to a goal that could be a point historians will remember as the moment City's revolution began.

Carvalho was unhappy at the free-kick in the first place as Jo went down under minimal contact and Cech was clearly agitated at the way his wall failed to take shape as he requested.

It just added to the theatre as Robinho ushered away all his team-mates, before reintroducing Vincent Kompany as a token presence. He then took aim and calmly stroked the ball into the corner.

There was nothing too elaborate about his reaction, just a gleeful run towards the halfway line, thumb in mouth as South Americans do, before being mobbed by ecstatic team-mates.

With Shaun Wright-Phillips - on his home debut after returning from Chelsea for under half the £21million that took him to London in the first place - keeping the visitors' defence on their toes with some mazy runs, all seemed set for an evening of celebration.

Unfortunately for the hosts, their lead lasted just three minutes as Terry leapt for Lampard's corner, saw his header strike Joe Cole and the rebound falling invitingly for Carvalho, who promptly lashed it into the roof of Joe Hart's net.


It was the start of a sobering period for City, who were outplayed for long periods, with Robinho becoming largely anonymous.

Florent Malouda saw his cushioned header bounce back off the bar, then Anelka wasted an excellent opportunity from Pablo Zabaleta's poor clearance as Deco's influence started to spread.

City were restricted to rare sights of goal, although Jo could easily have profited from one as his curling shot flew over after striking Carvalho.

Having established a loose stranglehold on the contest, Chelsea tightened their grip within eight minutes of the restart.

Lampard had already gone close once after Joe Cole's shot had been deflected into his path but City failed to heed the warning, offering their opponents far too much space down the middle of the field.

The move took Chelsea deep inside home territory and after skipping on to Malouda's pass, Lampard surged past Richard Dunne before burying his shot into the bottom corner.

Stephen Ireland and Wright-Phillips created chances for each other but were unable to take them as City tried to find a way back into the contest, Carvalho excelling on both occasions.

But Chelsea were the better side, with Anelka denied a clear penalty when he was pushed over by Micah Richards, only for referee Mark Halsey to wave away the appeals.

Killer blow

And 20 minutes from time, Chelsea provided the killer blow as Joe Cole sent Anelka clear with a superb pass. With only Hart to beat once more, this time the Frenchman made no mistake, slipping the ball under the advancing City keeper.

Before City could kick-off again, Scolari sent on Didier Drogba.

The delirious Chelsea fans launched into a chant of "What a waste of money", which was premature in two senses given City are one game into a new era, albeit now aware of the mountain of work that lies ahead and Terry was sent off 13 minutes from time.

Terry's professional foul was clear enough after Deco sold the England skipper short with a lay-off but Halsey presumably failed to notice Carvalho stood at least two yards back as Jo was wrestled to the ground.

It was a mistake Terry could well do without, although that was the only blot on Chelsea's day. The same could not be said for their hosts.

Manchester City

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Manchester City  Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Ball (Sturridge 85), Hamman (Fernandes 62), Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Ireland, Jo
Subs Not Used Schmeichel, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Evans, Elano
Goals  Robinho 13

Chelsea  Cech, Carvalho, A. Cole, Bosingwa, Terry, Deco, Mikel, Lampard, J. Cole (Belletti 71), Malouda (Drogba 71), Anelka (Alex 79)
Subs Not Used  Hilario, Ivanovic, Bridge, Kalou
Booked  Mikel
Sent Off  Terry

Goals  Carvalho 16, Lampard 53, Anelka 69

Attendance 47,331

Referee M. Halsey

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