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By Greg Robertson
Well if you’re into mouth-watering, you’ve got it as Chelsea hosts Manchester City – a team wanting to bounce back strong in the English Premiere League after a disappointing showing in the Champions League. But will the in-form Drogba net a couple for Chelsea and out the pressure right on the visitors?
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LIVE COMMENTARY… Chelsea 2 Vs Manchester City 1
FULLTIME: Chelsea sneaks home.... what a comeback at home! All video is up. The Bridge lights up.
92 mins: A touch of brilliance from Drogba who back heels through legs and shoots from a mile... no good.
91 mins: Yep, we are still in the top, right hand corner of the park.... City gets hold of it and breaks as the rain sweeps in and wind picks up... and voices sing at Stamford Bridge.
90 mins: Chelsea fought off a period of City fire and now have play tucked up in the far corner and are chewing the clock up.
86 mins: A chance for City but the delivery of the free kick has too much on it and that makes Balotelli a touch upset. Four minutes of added time.
82 mins: PENALTY to Chelsea as Lescott's hand is raised in the box and it's driven into it by Sturridge. Lampard steps up.... and smashes it into the top of the net! Video up.
80 mins: Ramires gets a chance to try and toe poke a ball past Hart after a nice back-heel sets him half free. Hart says thanks for the passback. Video up soon.
77 mins: Both teams a little cautious as the clock winds down. More yellow cards dished out - you foul, you're carded. That keeps things simple if not nuts. Book the world Mark Clattenburg.
73 mins: Now we have a return to regular transmission - Chelsea all over the ball.... crosses from the left, crosses from the right .... no chances coming... yet. De Jong on for City's Silva.
70 mins: Some time for City on the ball at the right end of the pitch. Passing it back and forth just to get a feel of the round thing that must seems foreign too them over the last 10 minutes.
68 mins: Balotelli shhots at the other end after a rare venture in the second spell... Hart only has to fall on that one though.
67 mins: Oh what a ball from Drogba on the right.... slips passed everyone but all the pressure right now is on the City goal.
62 mins: The pace of the game has sparked and it's City who are feeling the home heat right now... the ball squirted square to Ramires on the edge who lets fly but it's blocked early - may have flown wide anyway.
57 mins: Clichy has been sent off for City and they are down to 10 men! Ramires on the charge again and Clichy brings him down to get a second yellow. Video up. It's a nothing free kick from Drogba on the edge of the area and sails over the bar.
55 mins: Ramires down in a screaming heap... oh wait, he's up now. No where near the levels of Barc and Real Madrid's theatrics though.
53 mins: Wow... Mata down the left flank was superb before the foul. Lovely piece of work. Video up.
49 mins: All Chelsea at the start to the second as Pamires fires in an examining ball into the box. City's back boys, pass mark.
47 mins: The ball falls in the lap of Sturridge who banters it down and lets rip ohhhh just over the bar. Video up.
46 mins: Great defence from City to start the match as Chelsea cut right through the middle. They will want to tighten that up though.
Players back on the pitch...
Second half not far away from the off and it would be fair to say that the first half was a game of two halves, with the back-end belonging to the home side after a furious City pace to start the match.
HALFTIME Chelsea 1 Vs Manchester City 1
44 mins: I can just see the players beyond the rain.... well it's not that bad but it keeps coming down. Meireles breaks... he has his tail up and two minutes of added time.
38 mins: Drogba smashes a volley into the chest of Lescott at the back... more and more from Chelsea... but City do look very dangerous on the break. Blink, they'll be at the other end.
34 mins: GOAL! Chelsea has struck back to level it up after Sturridge does brilliantly down the right-hand side and delivers a wicked cross to Meireles who volleys it past Hart in the City net. Video up of the MEIRELES GOAL.
32 mins: City have managed to settle a little better into things after the initial blast from the starting blocks from the visitors.
29 mins: Drogba limping and that means Torres starts his warm up process.
27 mins: Chelsea with a lovely sweeping move that allows Drogba to set from 30 yards but his right boot lets him down and it flies well wide... as the rain continues to come down.
24 mins: Sturridge gets the ball and finds Drogba who pushes at the ball to send it near post into the side netting. The deflection means a corner but it's headed clear. Video up.
22 mins: Chelsea with 10 men behind the ball most of the time as City control. Little in the way of outright highlights so far but that may be the way of this one given ground conditions. Silva steaks the ball, finds Balotelli who feeds Milner whose first touch let him down and the subsequent cross suffered because of it. Great build up though.
20 mins: Once again Chelsea's defence is found wanting and John terry looked likely for a second before the scramble settled things.
18 mins: A decent period of attack for the home side. But nothing that has truly threatened the City net... though you get the feeling that's not far away.
16 mins: Sturridge had the ball trapped under his feet otherwise Chelsea may have had - at the least - their first one on target. Slowly working into the match.
13 mins: Aguero again up front. Did I mention he's a danger today? The difference so far is that City is pressuring much better when they don't have the ball, and with it are shifting it faster.
10 mins: Meirelis has the first shot for Chelsea but it's deflected well away for a corner... which has been easily cleared.... and at the other end it's Aguero who shakes off a defender and should have found the corner of the net. VIDEO UP. He may have missed that one but he's a huge danger for the Chelsea defence.
6 mins: A change of scenario as this time Balotelli nearly slips Aguero through. Most play in the Chelsea half so far. Aguero gets another good ball up front seconds later... he's finding plenty of space.VIDEO UP of the Balotelli goal.
5 mins: Well Chelsea has been rocked by that early goal and it may mean a better game because of it - even better I should say.
2 mins: GOAL! Mario Balotelli runs onto a a great ball from Aguero, who turned his defender, then Balotelli went around Cech in goal and slotted it home easy. Video up soon.
1 min: We're off and the weather may turn this one into a touch of a scrap. Tough conditions, slick so the ball is zipping around.
Kick off seconds away...
Rain pouring down.... Stamford bridge puddles may be on their way if this keeps up.
Here we go here we go here we goooo... one of the match ups of the season as the teams come out onto the Park. Managers have had their say but it's out of their hands no and up to 22 players plus a few to make a difference in this intriguing game.
Kick off is at 20.00 GMT or 9am NZ time and commentary will start just before the whistle but in the meantime watch Manchester City thrash Norwich 5-1.
Chelsea (Probable, 4-2-1-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu; Lampard; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.
Man City (Probable, 4-3-3): Hart; Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry, Nasri; Silva, Dzeko, Agüero.
Manchester City is preparing to put the only unbeaten record in this season's Premier League on the line against the club it has deposed as English football's top financial power.
The league leader travels to Chelsea on Monday in the last of this weekend's round of matches needing to recover from Champions League elimination and contend with the partizan Stamford Bridge crowd if it is to stretch its advantage over the fourth-place Blues to 11 points.
But having done what City could not by advancing in the Champions League, Chelsea could yet complicate matters and give second-place Manchester United the chance to close on its local rival.
United hosts lowly Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, while third-place Tottenham is at Stoke in one of two games Sunday (UK time).
Hampered by earlier poor results, City slipped out of the Champions League on Wednesday despite a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich. Manager Roberto Mancini must now lift a squad of players, many of whom joined partly because of the promise of Champions League football.
"For us it will be important to improve in the next six months in the Premier League," Mancini said.
That sounds ominous for Chelsea since City has dropped only four points in the Premier League and is unbeaten in its last eight away league games.
Sergio Aguero could add to his 11 goals in 13 Premier League appearances against a Chelsea defense that has already leaked an uncharacteristic 17 goals and kept only four clean sheets. But the Blues have scored three goals in three of their last four matches in all competitions and Didier Drogba recovered his old form on Tuesday with two goals in a 3-0 win over Valencia.
"Didier was fantastic for us," captain John Terry said. "We needed a big man to hold it up and give us time to get up, which he did. The manager stressed that a third goal kills them off, which it did, and it was a great third goal from Didi after a great start to get us on the way.
"If he's only 80 percent fit, there's plenty more life in him."
Drogba could start alongside Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge against City, with Fernando Torres again on the bench.
After elimination by unheralded FC Basel, United needs to get over its own Champions League disappointment and seems to have an easier game.
But Wolves beat United 2-1 in the Premier League last season and United will be without captain Nemanja Vidic after the central defender twisted his knee against Basel.
Mikel Arteta could come up against his former teammates when Arsenal hosts Everton on Saturday, looking for the win that would take the Gunners up to fourth place if Chelsea loses to City.
Also Saturday, Liverpool hosts Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle is at Norwich, Aston Villa is at Bolton, Fulham is at Swansea, and Wigan is at West Bromwich Albion.
League Championship leader Southampton hosts Blackpool in the second tier.