Roberto Mancini’s side made their intentions clear in the opening exchanges with a high-tempo approach, while Chelsea defended with stout determination, launching sporadic forays forward.
Their caution prevailed, however, when Fernando Torres broke the deadlock five minutes before the break.
Ramires was the catalyst, surging towards goal and freeing the Spain striker, who lifted the ball past Costel Pantilimon.
The London side’s spirit was dampened two minutes later when Branislav Ivanović was sent off for a tackle on fellow Serbian international Aleksandar Kolarov. City seized the initiative, levelling eight minutes after the restart. Yaya Touré began the move, before pouncing on John Terry’s clearance and finding the net with an emphatic low finish.
Carlos Tévez turned the match on its head moments later, traversing the face of the Chelsea penalty area and unleashing an unstoppable effort which left Petr Čech rooted to the spot. Samir Nasri made it three on 65 minutes, latching on to Kolarov’s centre and deftly deflecting the ball beyond Čech.
Roberto Di Matteo’s charges rallied and were rewarded when left-back Ryan Bertrand reduced the deficit with 11 minutes remaining, yet it proved in vain as City held on to lift the trophy for the fourth time and first since 1972.
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