It was the night Carlos Tevez was reintroduced to the Premier League but, for Manchester City, they will cherish what happened here for different reasons. Tevez's first appearance since September was only a sideshow compared to the real story of what this victory means for Roberto Mancini's team, the consequences at the top of the table and the message it sends to Manchester United.
This was the night they set a new Premier League record of 20 straight home wins but it was also the moment when they made it very clear they are not just going to crumple now the advantage is with the team from Old Trafford.
City had gone behind after an hour, via Gary Cahill's deflected shot, to a Chelsea side that has rediscovered the art of winning.
But City kept pressing forward, Tevez was brought on for his energy and drive and, in the end, they wore Chelsea down. Sergio Agüero equalised with a 78th-minute penalty and then there was the final, frenzied onslaught of the Chelsea goal.Almost inevitably, Tevez was involved in the game's decisive moment. There were boos when he was introduced, but plenty of applause, too. With five minutes to go, Nasri exchanged passes with the Argentinian, carried on running and slipped his shot past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Arsenal go third
Arsenal moved up to a season-high third place with a 1-0 win at Everton on Thomas Vermaelen's eighth-minute goal.
Tottenham slipped to fourth. Rafael Vander Vaart's goal on a header in the third minute of stoppage time gave Spurs a 1-1 tie against visiting Stoke.
Queens Park Rangers moved two points above the relegation zone, overcoming a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win over Liverpool. Sebas-tian Coates (54) and Dirk Kuyt (72) built a 2-0 lead, but QPR rallied on goals by Shaun Derry, Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie.