It figures that Carlos Tevez would be the one to save City's life.
Much to the surprise of, well, everyone, it was announced before the match that Tevez would be on the bench for City, thus ending his six-month hiatus from the club. At that point, there were only two questions worth asking:
1. Will he play?
2. What kind of reception will he get if he does play?
The answer to the first question ended up being "yes," and the answer to the second question ended up being "mixed." There were equal parts (more or less) cheers and jeers.
Not long after Tevez came on the pitch, there were only cheers.
Trailing 1-0, City got an equalizer from Sergio Aguerro on a penalty that came courtesy of a handball by Michael Essien. That brought the crowd packed into Etihad to life, and Tevez's shining moment came just a few moments later.
If you missed it, here's the video clip:
Samir Nasri made a great play to punch that in, but I'll wager Tevez's setup was even better. It was a brilliant play by a player who has done many brilliant things throughout his career. No doubt many City fans will remember those things now that the bad blood between Tevez and City has been wiped clean.
It really can't be overstated how huge City's victory over Chelsea in the grand scheme of things, as it keeps City very much alive in the chase for the top spot in the Premier League table. Time is running short for City to overcome Manchester United, but they have to feel pretty good about the stretch run knowing that Tevez is ready, willing and able to contribute to the cause.
City boss Roberto Mancini was hoping for a spark and Tevez gave his club one against Chelsea. There's no reason to think there won't be more sparks in the weeks to come.
This is, of course, assuming Tevez doesn't refuse to warm up again.