Manchester City romped to a surprisingly comfortable victory over champions Chelsea in Sunday's Premier League clash at the Etihad.
Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho gave Manuel Pellegrini's side a 3-0 win that put them top of the Premier League at this early stage, and left Jose Mourinho's side still looking for their first win.
City made just one change from Monday last Monday evening’s 3-0 win at West Brom, with Sergio Aguero returning to the starting XI in place of Wilfried Bony. Chelsea also made a single change from their first league outing, bringing in Ramires for Oscar.
The early moments of the match were all Manchester City's. Aguero was put in on goal within a minute, only to be denied by Asmir Begovic (a theme of much of the first half), Jesus Navas then screwed wide. Chelsea's midfield, most culpably, Cesc Fabregas, failed to offer adequate protection for their fullbacks, and City's wide men - Raheem Sterling in particular - had a field day.
The breakthrough finally came on 32 minutes. Aguero received the ball from Yaya Toure with barely room to breathe. However, the City No.10 wriggled his way between defenders and stroked a shot perfectly into the bottom corner. It was the obvious highlight of what was a very impressive first start of the season for last year's Golden Boot winner. In all he managed 4 shots on target - one more than Chelsea managed as a team.
Chelsea improve as the half wore on, but the end of their first 45 was both fraught and farcical. First, Begovic inadvertently punched Gary Cahill in the nose while trying to deal with a dangerous cross, drawing blood from the England defender. Chelsea's medical team were quickly on the scene to patch him up, and their serviced were required again moments later when Fernandinho caught Diego Costa with a flailing arm. The City midfielder was perhaps fortunate to only be booked, and Costa agreed. The Spain international chased the Brazilian down the tunnel at the break, with Fabregas again only half attempting to prevent danger.
With 19 minutes remaining, Hazard was presented with what would prove to be Chelsea's first and only golden chance. Chelsea finally had the chance to break, and were presented with a 3-on-3. Costa found the ball on the left of the City box, and dragged the ball back to the Belgian. Sadly for the champions, he was unable to test Hart, who saved the shot comfortably. Then, within 14 minutes, it was 3-0.
Vincent Kompany powered past Branislav Ivanovic to head City two up, before Fernandinho pounced on lax Chelsea defending to brilliantly stroke home the third. It was a scoreline that was somehow both hard to see coming but also fully deserved.
Aguero won Sky's Man of the Match award, but praise should also be handed to Aleksander Kolarov. The Serbian leftback did his job brilliantly at both ends of the pitch - swinging in 5 successful crosses, creating 4 chances in the process (both game highs), while also making 4 clearances and blocking 3 crosses (both game highs).
But while one Serbian defender had a great afternoon, another had a bit of a stinker. Branislav Ivanovic struggled to cope with the pace and movement of Raheem Sterling and then, as soon as the England winner was substituted, he was easily beaten at the near post by Kompany as the City captain scored the second.
Chelsea will likely not play this badly again this season - and they certainly won't play sides as good as City too often. Still, Jose Mourinho, who lost a Premier League match against a team who had finished in the previous season's top four for the first time since January 2007 (hat-tip to journalist Miguel Delaney for that one), clearly has some work to do.
- Since his Premier League debut (August 2011), Sergio Aguero has scored more goals than any other player (79).
- Yaya Toure has scored or assisted five goals in his last 4 Premier League games (3 goals, 2 assists).
- This game was the first time Jose Mourinho ever subbed off John Terry in a Premier League game.
- John Terry was subbed off for the only the 17th time in the Premier League in his career.
- Chelsea had to wait until the 70th minute to register their first shot on target.
- This is the first time under Mourinho that Chelsea have conceded more than once in Manchester in the Premier League (vs City or United).
- Manchester City have now won eight Premier League games in a row, their joint-best ever run.
- This is also only the second time the reigning Premier League champions have failed to win their first two games of the season (Man Utd in 07/08 being the other).
- This is Jose Mourinho's joint-heaviest Premier League defeat, along with a 3-0 loss at Middlesbrough in 2005-06 and another 3-0 defeat at West Brom in 2014-15.
- Mourinho has now lost 10 Premier League games in his second spell as Chelsea manager (78 games), the same number he lost in 120 PL matches in his first spell at the club.
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