Chelsea succumbed in a record Etihad crowd as Manchester City put three past the current champions, to round off a terrible week for the Blues.
Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho put the dagger in Chelsea’s heart as Manchester City threw down the gauntlet to the current holders.
The only relief for Chelsea fans is that this is a big game come early, with 36 more matches to claw back the points. The Blues are clearly still finding their fitness after a short pre-season but are paying the price for generous annual leave time, as they never really got going.
And with ‘medicgate’ the backdrop of Chelsea all week, it makes for depressing headlines tomorrow on Mourinho and his team.
There were plenty of warning signs from the off. Aguero should have got his account underway inside the first 30 seconds, finding gaps between a rusty Terry-Cahill partnership. Thankfully for Begovic it was right at him.
Costa had a penalty shout off Mangala but that would only be a brief respite for Chelsea, who were totally dominated by City early on. Kolarov’s free-kicks were a level ahead of Fabregas’ equivalents for Chelsea, and the Serbian nearly found Aguero for a toe-poke.
A quarter of an hour had gone and it was Aguero versus Begovic round three, with Begovic getting down low very quickly and smartly. Just 60 seconds later and it was deja vu, with Begovic again getting down low from an identical shot.
Would Chelsea heed these warnings? No; it was just a surprise it took until the 32nd minute for the deadlock to be broken. Aguero slalomed around past Cahill and Terry and his deft left-foot shot trickled in off the post.
In a week of ‘medicgate’, the arrivals of new physios, Steve Hughes and Chris Hughes, were greeted ironically by the home faithful, who chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” as they ran on to treat Cahill and Costa in quick succession. Sterling had an opportunity just before the break, when Chelsea were temporarily down to nine men, and would that not have rubbed salt into the wound for Mourinho, who has caused more damage than perhaps he intended with his words.
Terry was the man to give way at half-time, an unprecedented scape-goating for him as Mourinho has never substituted his captain in the Premier League, but nothing would change.
Ramires had the ball in the net but was offside, Nasri and Toure went close for City.
Falcao was sent on as Chelsea searched for an equaliser, but the next time the ball would be in the net would be City. Kompany made his trade-mark near-post run from a corner and got ahead of Ivanovic to put City two-up.
It would become a rout. Cuadrado was a make-shift left-back and failed miserably, leaving Fernandinho in space to rifle home.
The only relief is that it was a big clash come early for Chelsea, with plenty of time to claw back lost points. But Chelsea need to get up and running quickly.
What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Man of the Match
ASMIR BEGOVIC: Begovic was thrown into the deep end for his competitive Chelsea debut but the man earnt his money, despite conceding three. The Blues should have been four down inside the first half but it was for Begovic’s smart reactions that the score-line remains presentable. A horrible day in the office for all Chelsea players. 7/10
Mourinho was in bullish mood: “We had a difficult first half, we didn’t create a lot and our goalkeeper made a few important saves. Second half everything was different. 3-0 is a completely fake result. They made an intelligent change (to bring on centre-back Demichelis), the sort of change I get criticised for all the time, because they feel 1-0 is in danger, and then we concede a second goal. If 1-1, it would have been a different story as their team is in trouble.”
Pellegrini bit back: “We always dominate Chelsea. Maybe we draw against them last year and before we lost but always we dominate Chelsea. Today we made the complete work. We played really well, just Asmir Begoivc put in a great performance and we didn’t score more.”