MANCHESTER - Chelsea has defied Manchester City's scintillating home form with a superb 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium that injected fresh intrigue into the English Premier League title race.
Imperious in recent weeks, City were looking to reclaim top spot from Arsenal and move six points above Chelsea, but it was the visitors who prevailed thanks to a 32nd-minute bullet by Branislav Ivanovic.
City had won all 11 of their previous home league games this season, losing only to European champions Bayern Munich on home turf, while it was the first time they had failed to score at the Etihad in the league since November 2010.
The hosts had been seeking a ninth successive league win, but instead Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were left to celebrate a home-and-away double, having beaten City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in October's reverse fixture.
Chelsea also hit the woodwork on three occasions, but Ivanovic's vicious strike proved enough as they moved level on points with City, two points shy of leaders Arsenal.
City were without top scorer Sergio Aguero because of injury, while Martin Demichelis had to fill in for the injured Fernandinho in central midfield, but the hosts attacked with their usual abandon nonetheless.