With the top spot up for grabs again, Manchester City put an absolute shift in against Chelsea winning 6-0 and stretching the goal difference against Liverpool to ten goals. Guardiola’s were quick off the block with an early goal from Raheem Sterling accompanied by a Sergio Aguero hattrick and a world class performance across the pitch. With this result, City return to first place in the Premier League tied with Liverpool on points, but also signalled that a back-to-back league winning season is very much on the cards.
City Start Early Again
With just 25 minutes gone, Guardiola’s men effectively put the game out of reach as they went four goals to the good thanks to an Ilkay Gundogan finish outside of the box. Similar to Aguero’s goals against Newcastle and Arsenal inside 60 seconds in recent weeks, Raheem Sterling found the back of the net in the fourth minute following an intricate move from Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. After missing a sitter minutes later, City’s top goal scorer redeemed himself in a miraculous manner with a rocket from 25 yards that found the top corner. With the fans recovering from the Argentine’s strike, Aguero added another much to the dismay of Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley who headed the ball back towards his own net giving Sergio another classic poacher’s goal. To make matters worse for Sarri’s men, Gundogan added his goal in the 25th minute showcasing the relentlessness City have demonstrated throughout the season particularly in the first half.
Aguero’s Hat Trick Record
With his third goal in the 56th minute from the penalty spot, Aguero equalled Alan Shearer’s Premier League record of 11 hattricks, and has come into some of the best form of his life under Pep Guardiola. With the signing of Gabriel Jesus and rumors of a potential Aguero exit following Pep’s appointment as manager, the future of the 2011-12 title winner was cast into doubt. However, with six goals in his last three games and hattricks against Arsenal and now Chelsea, Sergio looks inspired to make the Premier League hattrick record his own and put a shift in week in and week out. The Argentine looks to be absolutely crucial to any hopes of retaining the Premier League title this season.
Pep’s Faith in Rotation and City’s Squad Depth
With a start for Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back and a surprising spot for David Silva on the bench, Pep Guardiola has shown that any one of his players is capable of putting in a world class performance even against a top-six side like Chelsea. Due to Benjamin Mendy’s return date being delayed even further, a number of City players have filled in for left-back leaving room for someone like Zinchenko to make his mark, and he did just that. The Ukranian bolstered two assists, created two chances, put in four tackles, and had two clearances along with a block and an interception. Additionally, Pep aimed to give some key starters a rest including Fernandinho, one who rarely ever sees time on the bench. To continue with the theme of rest, Guardiola also elected to substitute De Bruyne in the 68th minute to allow him to ease his way back to full fitness.
Ederson Proves His Shot Stopping Ability
Despite being City’s goalkeeper, Ederson is known for his remarkable passing and ability to stay calm in high-pressure situations. The Brazilian certainly proved his worth in shot-stopping as City’s number 31 produced four saves and kept another clean sheet. Most notably, Ederson sprung off his line to deny newly signed Chelsea striker, Gonzalo Higuain with a brilliant finger-tip save in the 38th minute. With the clean sheet against Chelsea, Manchester City earned consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since January 20th.
You can follow the author here: @JLewis4242
You can follow us on twitter for more Manchester City content: @City_Xtra