Chelsea traveled to Manchester needing a win to be sure of ending Week 27 in third place in the Premier League. John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta made way for Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz at the back. Demba Ba was preferred to Fernando Torres up front, and Frank Lampard returned to the squad .
Despite having 53 percent of the possessions, Chelsea were unable to link their play together. City were by far the more threatening side and fully deserved their win.
The ratings assigned to players reflect the areas that they need to work on. Each player starts at 5/10, and points are awarded or subtracted based on attitude, work rate and effectiveness. For example, a defender gains more points than a forward if he scores, and failing to convert a penalty is an automatic 1.0 deduction.
Petr Cech: 6.5
Cech made four excellent saves from six shots on target as Manchester City used David Silva's strength on the right to exploit the Chelsea defence. His distribution was much improved from other recent performances as 83 percent of his passes found their way to their intended target.
There was little he could have done to prevent the two goals, and it was the inability of his teammates to create chances at the other end that led to Chelsea's downfall.
Branislav Ivanovic: 6
Ivanovic returned to the side having been rested for the Europa League tie with Sparta Prague. He made three successful clearances from the right-hand side of the Chelsea back four, although only 78 percent of his passes found their man. His perfectly timed pass from the wing set up a superb shot for Ramires, but the Brazilian was indecisive and it came to nothing.
Gary Cahill: 7
With a passing accuracy of 82 percent and 67 percent of his aerial duels won, Cahill was quietly efficient. He made five successful clearances, the most from any Chelsea player, and also managed a headed effort on goal which went over the bar.
Yaya Toure left him baffled for City's first goal, but a wonderful interception from a Sergio Aguero shot kept Chelsea in the game.
David Luiz: 6.5
David ''liability'' Luiz was recalled to centre-half as Benitez's infinite wisdom saw fit to ignore the evidence that he is more effective when given freedom to roam forward. Luiz made four successful clearances and one tackle, but his passing was only 74 percent accurate.
Luiz spends too much time on the attack to be a truly effective centre-back. It would have made far more sense for John Terry to start in his place.
Ashley Cole: 6.5
Cole won 75 percent of his tackles and had a passing accuracy of 89 percent. He lost possession nine times but won two free kicks. He also had a shot blocked and worked hard to make a successful dribble down the left.
John Obi Mikel: 6
Mikel lost possession 10 times but made three of his four tackles successfully. His passing accuracy of 90 percent was the highest of any of the starting 11, but he was caught out for Yaya Toure's goal.
An 81st minute panic by Benitez saw him replaced by Fernando Torres as Chelsea looked to overturn the 1-0 deficit.
Frank Lampard: 5.5
Frank Lampard had the chance to score his 200th goal for Chelsea when he stepped up to take a penalty which had been won by Demba Ba. Joe Hart had other ideas and pulled off a fantastic save. But Lampard's three shots made him the best goal threat for Chelsea in this game as he continues to chase Bobby Tambling's goal-scoring record with the clock ticking down on his contract.
Of his passes, 80 percent were accurate. However, despite partnering Mikel in the holding role, he only made one successful tackle.
Ramires had the best chance of the game for Chelsea, but his dithering in the box allowed Kolo Toure to comfortably deal with the threat. His passing was 79 percent accurate, and all four of his tackles were unsuccessful. He lost possession 24 times and seemed unsettled by playing further up the pitch.
Juan Mata: 6
Mata failed to have a shot during this match, but his passing accuracy of 85 percent allowed him to create two chances for his teammates. He was unusually quiet and had very little impact on a disjointed attacking display by Chelsea.
Eden Hazard: 7
After scoring the winner against Sparta Prague in the Europa League, Hazard replaced Oscar in the starting 11. Hazard's crossing beat the first man 50 percent of the time, and he won three free-kicks, as well as created two goal-scoring opportunities.
His only shot at goal was from outside the box, drawing a save from Joe Hart. His passing accuracy was 82 percent.
Demba Ba: 6
Demba Ba was brought down by Joe Hart to win the penalty which should have seen Chelsea take the lead, only for the 'keeper to save the spot-kick. Although he only had one shot which was blocked, his passing accuracy was 80 percent.
The lack of fluidity in the Chelsea side nullified the threat posed by the Senegalese striker, as he was essentially a spectator for much of the game.
Victor Moses and Oscar were brought on with 20 minutes remaining to replace Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard. Oscar found his man with 13 of 16 passes while Moses was successful with seven of nine attempted passes.
Oscar made a successful tackle and Moses won a corner, but the change in tactics had little impact on the game. Fernando Torres replaced John Obi Mikel after 81 minutes as Benitez looked to salvage a goal while Chelsea were 1-0 down.
His two touches on the ball did not make the desired difference as Chelsea conceded a second goal to finish the game only one point ahead of fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur, who are yet to play their 27th fixture of the season.
All stats are provided by EPLindex.com