Manchester City reminded everyone about their title aspirations by demolishing a lacklustre Chelsea 3-1, and moved up to 5th in the table, 4 points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s depleted squad were quick, incisive and precise to punish a woeful Chelsea to their fifth defeat of the season.
Both teams took a while to get settled in the opening minutes of the half as City lined up with Sterling and Foden on the flanks, and De Bryune as the false 9. The first chance of the half fell City’s way, as De Bryune was played through on goal by Cancelo, but the Beligian dragged his effort inches wide of the far post.
The miss didn’t prove to be costly as City took the lead in the 18th minute through Gundogan, who collected the pass from Foden and gained a yard on Thiago Silva to rifle his shot into the bottom right corner.
City quickly doubled their lead in the 21st minute through Phil Foden, who clipped a first-time shot beyond Mendy after collecting a nutmegged pass from De Bryune. Chelsea were left chasing shadows, as City took control of the game and played between the lines with great efficiency.
Chelsea conceded a third goal in the 34th minute to effectively lose the game from their own set-piece. City’s clearance from Ziyech’s free-kick fell to Kante, who tried to hook the ball beyond City defence. However, De Bryune intercepted the pass and set Sterling through on goal from City’s own half. Kante chased back the City forward and forced him out wide, but Sterling curled a shot on to the upright and De Bryune slotted home the rebound from close range.
City went close to scoring the fourth through Foden and Gundogan, but the former missed a free header from 8 yards out, and the latter’s back-heel flick rolled a few yards away from the post.
Chelsea’s misery continued in the second half as Mendy produced a point blank save from Rodri to deny visitors their fourth goal of the evening. The goalkeeper had to make another well timed lunge to gather the ball from De Bryune’s feet, as the Belgian prepared to shoot from Sterling’s pass.
Frank Lampard’s men struggled to get a touch of the ball as City passed around in a quick and slick manner to pile on more misery for the struggling Blues. City lowered the intensity in the final few minutes of the game, which allowed Chelsea to have some joy with the ball, but without any meaningful purpose.
Chelsea scored a late consolation goal through Callum Hudson-Odoi, who slotted his shot into the bottom right corner from Havertz’s cross. The Blues suffered their fourth defeat in six games to slide further down the table, while City won their third game in a row.