Match ends, Chelsea 1, Manchester City 1.
- Gap between top two stays the same
- No Chelsea goal attempts after Remy scores
- Silva grabs his seventh goal of season
- Lampard plays last 14 minutes against old club
Chelsea maintained their five-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table after a disappointing stalemate at Stamford Bridge.
Loic Remy - in for suspended leading goalscorer Diego Costa - gave Chelsea the lead just before the interval but David Silva replied almost instantly for City after a rare error from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea had the opportunity to open up the sort of gap that would leave the reigning champions with a mountainous task to retain their crown.
But a late substitution that saw manager Jose Mourinho replace scorer Remy with defender Gary Cahill illustrated that they were happier with the draw.
Even the introduction of Frank Lampard, given a largely warm reception as he returned to the club where he is the record goalscorer with 211 in 649 appearances, could not provide a dramatic late twist to a largely uneventful tale.
Chelsea missed the threat posed by Costa, banned for three games after his stamp on Liverpool's Emre Can in the Capital One Cup semi-final, as well as the midfield influence of injured Cesc Fabregas and this was a performance clearly designed to avoid defeat and maintain that crucial lead over City.
It was unambitious and lacked spark but City could not force the win. Mourinho will be satisfied with a point and while City boss Manuel Pellegrini would have wanted victory, his side at least earned a point to ensure Chelsea remained in range with an advantage that is not insurmountable.
Mourinho's decision to replace the menace and goal threat of Costa with Remy was a decision that was eventually rewarded with that opening goal just before half-time.
In the early part of the half, however, it was City who looked more dangerous as Courtois was kept occupied by efforts from Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero, which he blocked.
Aguero appears just short of the fitness and form that made him such a threat before he picked up the knee injury against Everton in December, and he still looked a little rusty as he missed the game's best chance so far after 32 minutes.
John Terry was caught slightly out of position by Martin Demichelis' long clearance, allowing Aguero in behind with a clear run at Courtois but he steered his finish wide.
As half-time approached Chelsea went ahead, when Eden Hazard stole in behind Bacary Sagna on to Branislav Ivanovic's cross and Remy sidefooted in from five yards.
Just as Chelsea and Mourinho contemplated an interval lead, City responded and equalised with a goal that was, in large part, the responsibility of the normally impeccable Courtois.
|Chelsea mustered only had three shots in total, the lowest figure they have recorded in a single Premier League game since 2003/04.|
He flapped badly at Jesus Navas's cross and when Aguero fired his misplaced punched clearance towards goal, Silva made sure by applying the final touch.
In a second half devoid of goal threat, Lampard was finally introduced with 14 minutes left to a reception that was largely applause but also contained some dissenting voices.
He was barely involved and a draw was the almost inevitable outcome from a poor spectacle produced by the Premier League's two top teams.
- 7Santos do Nascimento
- 22WillianSubstituted forDrogbaat 80'minutes
- 8OscarSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 90+2'minutes
- 10E Hazard
- 18RemySubstituted forCahillat 87'minutes
- 6RegesBooked at 74minsSubstituted forLampardat 77'minutes
- 21SilvaBooked at 52minsSubstituted forJoveticat 90'minutes
- 16AgüeroSubstituted forDzekoat 84'minutes
- Mark Clattenburg
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Manchester City 1.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.
Substitution, Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Oscar.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Nemanja Matic.
Substitution, Manchester City. Stevan Jovetic replaces David Silva.
Offside, Chelsea. Ramires tries a through ball, but Didier Drogba is caught offside.
Attempt missed. James Milner (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva.
Substitution, Chelsea. Gary Cahill replaces Loïc Remy.
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Loïc Remy (Chelsea).
Substitution, Manchester City. Edin Dzeko replaces Sergio Agüero.
Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Chelsea. Didier Drogba replaces Willian because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Willian (Chelsea) because of an injury.
Foul by James Milner (Manchester City).