Two goals at the tail end of the first half at Stamford Bridge brought game to life.
Honours ended even as Chelsea kept Man City at arms length in the Premier League title race.
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On 42 minutes a fine flowing attack was capped off by a lethal finish by Loic Remy, replacing the suspended Diego Costa, to give the home side the lead.
Barely three minutes later David Silva swept home a Sergio Aguero effort to level things just before the break.
Frank Lampard received a good reception from the Blues faithful as he came on for the closing stages of this tight encounter.
In a game of few clear-cut chances the two sides played out an entertaining stalemate that will please Jose Mourinho far more than Manuel Pellegrini.