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Lampard's penalty earns Chelsea 2-1 victory over unbeaten Man City

(Xinhua)

15:37, December 13, 2011

LONDON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Frank Lampard's last-seven-minute penalty propelled Chelsea to a 2-1 victory over Manchester City and handed the Premier League leader their first defeat of the season on Monday.

The 33-year-old Lampard, who was used to be the skipper in the Stanford Bridge, came off the bench in the last 17 minutes. His sharp pass seven minutes before the injury time set up Daniel Sturridge free in the area and the England forward's shot caused Joleon Lescott's hand ball, earning the host side a valuable penalty.

Lampard, who was frequently excluded from the starting 11 by the manager Andre Villas-Boas this season, reproved his experience, resilience and calm to convert the penalty, lifting Chelsea to the sensational victory and the third place in the league.

The Blues' third win in succession dragged City down to a two-point lead over arch rival Manshester United. The title contention thus returned to be usually intense after Man City led the league with great margins in the season's early campaign.

On Monday night, before the dramatic finish of the England midfielder, Man City, who hadn't lost a game yet after 14 rounds, made a dream start after Mario Balotelli's second-minute opening goal.

However, Chelsea, who beat Newcastle in the league and obsoleted Valencia in the Champions League recently, showed their upward form when Portuguese organising midfielder Raul Meireles equalised before half-time.

Man City was stunned by one man down before the hour when the fullback Gael Clichy was sent off for fouling Ramires.

With the numerical advantage, Chelsea collected the critical three points after Lampard's cool finish.

Now, Villas-Boas' team returned to the top three and regained the momentum to fight for the league title. While Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool followed the Blues on the table.

 
 
 
 
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