Chelsea were embarrassed on Sunday afternoon as they were beaten 6-0 by Manchester City in their worst-ever Premier League defeat, a record that was set just two weeks ago away at Bournemouth.
A first-half onslaught saw the home side race into a 4-0 lead inside 25 minutes before two goals after half time completed the humiliation and sent the Citizens back to the top of the table. The scoreline may be deemed unfair as the Blues had chances of their own but ultimately, the quality of finishing was evident.
Antonio Rudiger came into the starting XI alongside Pedro as they replaced Andreas Christensen and Willian respectively. The defensive change clearly didn’t have the desired effect as Raheem Sterling opened the scoring within just four minutes, slamming a strike into the net after Bernardo Silva had bags of time to pick him out from a quick free-kick routine.
The tricky Portuguese winger then put an even better opportunity on a plate for Sergio Aguero and as it looked for all the world as though he would double his side’s lead, the prolific striker poked the ball wide of the completely open net. But just moments after missing from two yards, he rifled a stupendous effort beyond the diving Kepa and right into the top corner to make Chelsea’s task twice as hard as it already was.
It became the Aguero show from there and he netted his second in the 20th minute after being handed the chance by Ross Barkley who sent a blind header into his own penalty area. The Argentine was on hand to score his 19th Premier League goal of the season, putting the game beyond any reasonable doubt.
The hosts weren’t done there though and Ilkay Gundogan made it four as the first quarter of the game passed. He sent a low effort towards the bottom corner from the edge of the box but just as Kepa seemed to have got across to tip it wide, he palmed it into the net to make matters somehow worse for the away side.
Pedro then had the chance to restore some pride for Chelsea but he failed to beat Ederson in a one-on-one following a great piece of play by Gonzalo Higuain who had actually looked bright in the first half. The Juventus loanee came closest to ruining City’s clean sheet in the opening 45 minutes but his half-volley from 30 yards was kept out brilliantly by Pep Guardiola’s number one.
The stats at the break showed that it was Maurizio Sarri’s men who’d had more shots but they still found themselves four goals down against the reigning Premier League champions who had been utterly ruthless.
It was clear that, after the restart, Aguero was desperate to grab his second match ball in three matches but he was unable to direct Kevin De Bruyne’s cross underneath the crossbar. However, he was given the perfect chance to complete his treble as Sterling was hacked down in the penalty area by Cesar Azpilicueta and he took the invitation with open arms, sending Kepa the wrong way from the spot.
At that point, any hope of a dignified performance went out the window for Chelsea and the game stagnated, playing perfectly into the hands of Man City. They missed a few chances as the contest neared its end but still had time for another as Sterling completed a brace, rounding off a lovely passing move with a tidy finish from six yards out.
Mike Dean called an end to a rather strange game at the Etihad where Chelsea weren’t as bad as the scoreline suggested but Man City were clinical enough to justify their six goals. Sarri’s failure to shake Guardiola’s hand at the end of the game summed up his mood as he must now prepare for the Carabao Cup Final against the same opponents in a couple of weeks time.