Bernardo Silva’s scuffed finish at the start of the second half was enough for Manchester City to see off a timid Chelsea side in one of the most one-sided games we’ve seen in Premier League history. The Blues were devoid of effort, of passion and of ambition and showed no signs of attacking let alone scoring during the entire match.

There were gasps among Chelsea fans when the team sheets were released an hour prior to kick-off without the name of N’Golo Kante on them. His absence through illness proved to be one of the deciding factors in Chelsea’s dire defeat but I doubt it would’ve altered the way the Blues would’ve played. Right from the first whistle they parked themselves on the edge of their own area and refused to budge, even with the ball. Eden Hazard was left as the sole striker to try and chase down any of the stray passes that happened to find their way past the Manchester City midfield.

On the other hand, the hosts took the initiative and had David Silva and Leroy Sane buzzing around in little pockets of space that they could find in front of the blue wall. On one occasion, Sane found Bernardo Silva on the edge of the penalty area (where else?) and the Portuguese winger curled a speculative effort that landed on the roof of Thibaut Courtois’ net. Silva found himself open on the right wing again later in the half but shanked his shot wildly across goal and into the Chelsea fans behind that goal.

Time after time, balls were carelessly lumped in the general direction of Eden Hazard but none of them stuck with the Belgian who grew more frustrated at the lack of service and the lack of support as the game went on. He clearly wasn’t enjoying life as a lone striker, especially with two more physical forwards catching woodworm on the bench. Leroy Sane came closest to opening the scoring before half time when he touched a long ball down inside the area before firing past Courtois with his right foot but Cesar Azpilicueta did enough to keep it out on the goal line. That summed up the first half in general with City coming so close to scoring but not quite doing enough to find the net.

You sensed that Chelsea were bracing themselves for impact when the goal eventually came and their defeatist attitude didn’t do them any favours. The two Silva’s combined straight from the restart with David feeding Bernardo and the winger bounced the ball over Courtois and into the net to give the league leaders a deserved lead. You’d have thought things might change for Chelsea then once they found themselves behind but they sleepwalked through the majority of the second half without creating many chances at all. Once again Hazard couldn’t get into the game and with Pedro and Willian tied down to defensive duties it seemed the Blues were happy to accept their fate.

Things got ridiculous when the visitors became so passive that the game turned into walking football. City’s midfielders content enough to see out the time passing between themselves and Chelsea’s midfield happy to watch them do it. Not one time did either Cesc Fabregas or Danny Drinkwater show any sort of effort to win the ball back and launch an attack – it really was abysmal stuff. The away end amused themselves by cheering any corner kick that their side won and were happy just to see their team down their end of the pitch.

It took until the 78th minute for Antonio Conte to make a positive change with Olivier Giroud coming on for Willian. The introduction of the former-Arsenal man did give his teammates something to aim for but they were too busy being dragged into City’s hypnotic passing to do anything about it. Emerson was the next to be sent on by Conte but the Brazilian barely had any impact on the game playing as part of the front 3. Alvaro Morata was due to come on at the same time but Conte delayed his introduction until the 89th minute as he came on for a deflated Hazard.

Marcos Alonso came close to snatching one of the most undeserved equaliser’s in football history but his volley whizzed past the post but it at least got Ederson moving. The defeat leaves Chelsea 5 points adrift of Tottenham in 4th place and if the Blues continue to play such unambitious, uninspiring and passionless football until May, they can forget the Champions League next season and start preparing for Thursday night football.