Chelsea lose after pair see red, victory for 10-man City

Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:31pm EDT
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - The race for the Premier League title was blown wide open when leaders Chelsea had two players sent off in a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday and Manchester City overcame a red card to win 2-0 at Hull City.

Chelsea also had manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands in stoppage time as the match exploded into life in the last few minutes but the normally loquacious Portuguese bit his tongue after the game.

"I prefer not to talk," he told Sky Sports television. "If I talk I will bring the game into disrepute and I don't want to be in big trouble."

Mourinho was clearly unhappy Brazil midfielder Willian was sent off by referee Chris Foy for a minor shoving offence, his second caution, in the 68th minute - a decision that played a key role in deciding the outcome of the match.

Second-placed Manchester City, who had skipper Vincent Kompany dismissed for hauling back Hull striker Nikica Jelavic after 10 minutes, won with goals from David Silva and Edin Dzeko.

City had started the day nine points behind Chelsea with three matches in hand but cut the gap to six points after Fabian Delph back-heeled a clever winner for Villa in the 82nd minute.

Chelsea have 66 points with eight matches to play while City are on 60 with 11 games remaining.

Liverpool, third on 59 points, and Arsenal, fourth on the same total, both have 10 games to go and visit Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively on Sunday.   Continued...

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (C) reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Aston Villa at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble