Chelsea missed out on the first piece of silverware of the season as they were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City in the sunshine at Wembley on Sunday. Jorginho was handed his competitive debut while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkey were both given a starting berth in attack after a strong pre-season.
It was clear from the start that an attack of Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero was going to dominate proceedings and that’s exactly how it panned out in the first half. Every time the Premier League champions got the ball, they looked like scoring. It only took 12 and a half minutes for the deadlock to be broken as Phil Foden slipped the ball into Aguero following a probing run, leaving the Argentine to do the rest. He did just that by hammering the ball past Willy Caballero from the edge of the box on his left foot.
The first half petered out from there with the intense heat undoubtedly playing a big part. Pep Guardiola’s team were in total control against a Chelsea side definitely missing the tiresome workrate of N’Golo Kante. The Blues’ new £57 million man Jorginho looked off the pace after losing the ball on a few occasions while Hudson-Odoi was the main threat on the break. Alvaro Morata was largely clutching at straws in terms of chances; blazing one over from 20 yards was about as close as he got in the opening 45 minutes.
The FA Cup winners didn’t look any better in the second half as City continued to run the show. It should’ve been 2-0 within five minutes of the restart as Aguero got in behind only to see his attempt to around Caballero thwarted by his international team-mate.
However, just ten minutes later, he doubled his side’s lead by sliding the ball inside the near post after a deft pass between the defence from Bernardo Silva. Not only did it take his goal tally in Manchester to 201 goals but it also put the tie beyond their opponents.
As the game went on, Foden looked a lot more comfortable on the ball and started to dictate the tempo. Before coming off late on, the English youngster should’ve had two assists and came close to a goal of his own. Pedro nearly pulled one back for Chelsea but his curled effort rolled just wide before David Luiz was inches away from netting an own goal.
Despite holding a two-goal lead, it was all City at this stage and Caballero was called into action to deny Aguero his hat-trick from a ferocious back-post volley. Brahim Diaz then had a shot saved before Gabriel Jesus was met by some more good goalkeeping, you have to feel that if it wasn’t for the Blues stopper, the score could’ve been double figures.
Barkley then had a chance to slide the ball into Tammy Abraham who had run clear but the low cross was smothered by Claudio Bravo before his counterpart was called into action yet again deep into added time to keep the score at 2-0.
Man City were effortless throughout and look as though they’ve picked up where they left off last term, while it’s clear that Sarri has a lot of work to do at Stamford Bridge. It’s going to take some stopping to deny Guardiola another Premier League title.