Premier League - Hart save inspires Man City to win over Chelsea

Premier League, Etihad Stadium - Manchester City 2 (Y Toure 63, Tevez 85), Chelsea 0

Joe Hart's brilliant penalty save from Frank Lampard helped Manchester City to a 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea.

Hart sprung to his right to palm away Lampard's powerful spot-kick to keep the game goalless early in the second half.

Yaya Toure then scored the opening goal just after the hour mark with a rare moment of composure inside the box, ghosting past John Obi Mikel and curling his shot inside the far post.

And substitute Carlos Tevez put the result beyond doubt late on with a rasping finish from 20 yards.

But Hart's save - coming after he clumsily brought Demba Ba down to concede the spot-kick - remains the stand-out moment as he denied his England colleague Lampard with exceptional agility.

The win keeps City 12 points behind neighbours Manchester United at the top of the table.

The title remains a faint hope for City, but a win against third-placed Chelsea gives their hopes of a top-two finish a major boost.

It also relieves some of the pressure on manager Roberto Mancini, whose side had won none of their last three Premier League games, allowing United to build a formidable lead.

Roberto Mancini played Sergio Aguero as a lone striker, allowing Yaya Toure to roam forwards from central midfeld.

The Ivorian tested Petr Cech with a shot in the first minute, hinting at his influence to come.

Rafa Benitez made five changes from the side that scraped past Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, relegating John Terry and Fernando Torres to the bench.

The Spaniard insisted that his captain had not been dropped - merely rested after playing 90 minutes twice in the last week.

Neither side created much in a drab first half, though the excellent Matija Nastasic might have done better with a header that he directed into the ground, allowing Cech to push the ball away on the bounce.

On a weekend of superb Premier League volleys, Pablo Zabaleta nearly added another, but saw his goalbound rocket headed bravely away by Gary Cahill.

The match ignited early in the second half when Ba went past Hart and the goalkeeper pulled him down, avoiding a red card as Ba was heading away from goal.

Lampard, normally so reliable from the penalty spot, hit the ball forcefully towards the bottom-left corner only to see Hart deny him magnificently.

Given a reprieve, City then proved ruthless. Toure broke the deadlock with a superb piece of individual skill on 63 minutes, leaving Mikel for dead and beating Cech superbly.

Chelsea's lack of precision in their passing saw them flounder in their attempts to conjure an equaliser, and Tevez's late cracker put the result beyond doubt.

Roberto Mancini played Sergio Aguero as a lone striker, allowing Yaya Toure to roam forwards from central midfeld.

The Ivorian tested Petr Cech with a shot in the first minute, hinting at his influence to come.

Rafa Benitez made five changes from the side that scraped past Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, relegating John Terry and Fernando Torres to the bench.

The Spaniard insisted that his captain had not been dropped - merely rested after playing 90 minutes twice in the last week.

Neither side created much in a drab first half, though the excellent Matija Nastasic might have done better with a header that he directed into the ground, allowing Cech to push the ball away on the bounce.

On a weekend of superb Premier League volleys, Pablo Zabaleta nearly added another, but saw his goalbound rocket headed bravely away by Gary Cahill.

The match ignited early in the second half when Ba went past Hart and the goalkeeper pulled him down, avoiding a red card as Ba was heading away from goal.

Lampard, normally so reliable from the penalty spot, hit the ball forcefully towards the bottom-left corner only to see Hart deny him magnificently.

Given a reprieve, City then proved ruthless. Toure broke the deadlock with a superb piece of individual skill on 63 minutes, leaving Mikel for dead and beating Cech superbly.

Chelsea's lack of precision in their passing saw them flounder in their attempts to conjure an equaliser, and Tevez's late cracker put the result beyond doubt.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Matija Nastasic (Manchester City): The 19-year-old, deputising for the injured Vincent Kompany, produced a performance of maturity far beyond his years. Another Stefan Savic he is not.

PLAYER RATINGS

MANCHESTER CITY: Hart 7, Zabaleta 6, Kolo Toure 6, Nastasic 8, Clichy 7, Garcia 6, Milner 7, Rodwell 7, Silva 5, Yaya Toure 7, Aguero 7. Subs: Lescott N/A, Nasri N/A, Tevez 7.

CHELSEA: Cech 6; Ivanovic 7, Cahill 7, Luiz 6, Cole 7; Mikel 5, Lampard 5; Ramires 6, Mata 6, Hazard 6; Ba 6. Subs: Oscar 6, Moses 6, Torres N/A.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS