Manchester City 6.
I did not expect that result or performance from City before the game! Chelsea are not a bad team as proven with some good results this season, however City hit them fast and hard and before the 20th minute, the home side were 3-0 to the good.
That was the best performance I have seen from Man City this season. Everyone was fully up for the game and worked exceptionally hard, making sure that Chelsea could not recover. That is exactly what Pep Guardiola demands and was the antithesis from what was seen at Newcastle.
It took City just four minutes to open the scoring with a smart finish from Raheem Sterling at the back post. Sergio Aguero then made it 2-0 with a superb curling effort in the top corner. Shortly after it was 3-0 Aguero used his composure to capitalise on a Chelsea mistake. After 25 minutes it was 4-0 as Ilkay Gundogan scored a beautiful goal from outside of the box.
City then started the second half as they had the first. They were fast and looked as if they would score with every attack. This eventually happened when a menacing Sterling beat a tired Cesar Azpilicueta and was brought down for a penalty. Aguero tucked it away and scored his 11th Premier League hat-trick!
The sixth and final goal came in the 80th minute with a superb ball through by David Silva to Oleksandr Zinchenko, who put the ball on a plate for Sterling who couldn’t miss.
This was certainly a statement but there are many tough challenges ahead.
Here’s how we rated the City stars:
Ederson - 7
Ederson was excellent once again. His passing was top notch as he played with the Chelsea press, as well as sending pin-point long balls to both wings. He also made a couple of crucial saves to keep a clean sheet; the most notable when he closed down Pedro and the stunning volley from Gonzalo Higuain.
Kyle Walker - 8
If you believe some fans then Walker was up against the best player in the league! Eden Hazard was a threat but Walker and Bernardo Silva’s tag team effort meant that he had very little impact.
John Stones - 7
He was alert when the danger was near and headed the ball away effectively to prevent any threat from set pieces. Stones was a powerhouse with his ball playing abilities and a dominant run in the first half showed how comfortable he has become for City.
Aymeric Laporte - 8
Laporte is an immense footballer, he has put in three world class performances this week, in two different positions! Higuain is not an easy opponent but Laporte kept him very quiet. Laporte consistently breaks the lines with so much class and he split the Chelsea midfield numerous times to aid the City onslaught.
Oleksander Zinchenko - 8
I did not expect him to make the squad let alone play and was nervous when I saw he was picked. However, I was so, so wrong because Zinchenko oozed class both defensively and going forward. He got two well deserved assists and tore Azpilicueta apart all game alongside Sterling!
Fernandinho - 7
His performance hinged on whether City would get anything out of the game. The battle between him and N’golo Kanté was key, although Kanté was impressive, the City 25 dominated him in all aspects of the game. A tidy but important performance.
Kevin De Bruyne - 7
In what could have been the battle of the Belgians, Kevin De Bruyne required a top performance. That was what he delivered with his usual intelligence and power. Especially in the first half when his whipped crosses should have led to at least two goals. A good save from Kepa prevented him getting a goal from a well hit free kick in the second half.
Ilkay Gundogan - 8
As Ilkay has been given a longer run in the side, he has started to show why he was Pep’s first signing. He always puts in a shift and kept Jorginho very quiet with his energy and intensity. Going forward ‘silky’ Ilkay is at his best, the link up play and passes that split the defence to Sterling and Aguero put the Chelsea defence on edge. His goal was well taken. It could have been saved, but was a smart curved finish into the bottom right corner.
Bernardo Silva - 9
Man City have had a few standout players so far but this man is my candidate for player of the season. He runs and runs and runs. However, that is not all he has to his game, he drifts past players with such ease and battles harder than anyone I have seen in a City shirt. He played a key role in the opening goal and performed a dribble across the box, a few moments later, that Leo Messi would have been proud of. Magic.
Raheem Sterling - 10 (MOTM)
Aguero scored another hat trick and it feels wrong not to give him MOTM, but Sterling was a man possessed. Sterling is often immune to the abuse he gets, but it felt like he was getting revenge for the sad incident back in December. Cesar did not know how to deal with him at all, once Sterling was at full force and running at the Chelsea defence it looked as if City would score. He got his goal after four minutes and should have had an assist moments later but Aguero missed an absolute sitter. In the second half, he was even better and his efforts were rewarded by winning a penalty and then rounding off the game by making it 6-0.
Sergio Aguero - 10
He’s a special, special player and he proved it once more at the very highest level. When Sergio missed that tap in it was either going to be one of those days or he’d cause havoc. It was the latter as he unleashed a beauty into the top right corner to make it 2-0. Aguero is about more than just goals though. He presses very hard and looks so threatening with the ball at his feet. He caused David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger so many problems. His second showed his killer instinct, a clever finish to leave Kepa stranded as the Argentine reacted first. Finally, he got his third with a penalty and he now shares the Premier League record for number of hat-tricks with Alan Shearer.
Gabriel Jesus (Sub 65) - 7
The game was dying out and Jesus was brought on to give Aguero his well deserved ovation and some important rest. Jesus put in a high energy performance and linked up very well with Sterling.
Riyad Mahrez - (Sub 68) - 6
Riyad is a man getting little playing time and subsequently, he seems to have very little confidence. He has not been at his best when he gets a few minutes at the end of the game, but he still has 10 assists to his name in all competitions this season. When he finally settles, he will be some player for this side.
David Silva - (Sub 75) - 6
David came on to give Fernandinho a much needed rest. He was effective in possession and played a ball through to Zinchenko that showed why he is so important to this City side.
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