It was hard to imagine that Manchester City would exude the level of domination that they did. Chelsea are supposed to be a side challenging for trophies in four competitions. They have talented players and Premier League winners, but they could do nothing but accept utter domination at the hands of City.
Manchester City Dominate Chelsea
Manchester City came out for the start of their game against Chelsea looking a little shaky. In the first few minutes, they gave up an early chance and gave away easy possession to Chelsea’s press but, before the clock could strike the sixth minute, they had already scored. By the time the 25th minute came around, they were ahead a whopping 4-0.
It started with Chelsea going to sleep on a quick free-kick. Marcos Alonso left Bernardo Silva in acres of space. He played a lovely ball across that squirted through to Raheem Sterling who hammered it home. The next goal came from Sergio Aguero, who curled in a world-class shot from 25 yards out after already missing one of the easiest sitters he will ever get.
All that happened in the first 14 minutes and the next 14 minutes were no better. Aguero got another goal after a gift of a header back by Ross Barkley, and a lovely curler into the bottom corner by Ilkay Gundogan gave City a 4-0 lead. It was one of the most shocking 25 dominations in football.
As could be imagined, the second half of this game was very much a second-gear affair. City continued to control the possession and dominate the ball. They scored two more goals in the half, a lovely finish from Sterling and a penalty that gave Aguero his hat-trick. The penalty produced one of the best referee stances ever from Mike Dean.
When the referee is the highlight of the half, it says it all. City just completely dominated Chelsea for both halves of a game they wanted no part of. The rest of the half was so uninteresting that there is nothing left to say.
It was like Chelsea were just cones on the training ground. They didn’t want to attack the ball and, when they did, they were disorganized and out of control. They had less of a cohesive plan than Burton Albion when they came to the Etihad and the crazy thing is if there was ever a team that had a trademark plan, its Chelsea.
Sarri-ball is not something brand new or never seen before. It worked at Empoli and Napoli quite well, and Manchester City seems to do pretty well playing Sarri-ball. His principals are the same ones that have worked so well for Manchester City and Liverpool, but you can only do so much without the buy-in of the players.
There is no reason to think that Sarri has the backing of his players after a performance like this. The press looked so confused or frankly uninterested in working as a unit. When the forwards tried to press, the midfield didn’t go with them, leaving themselves exposed. Exposing any of your players anywhere on City is an absolute death sentence.
It’s hard to even take anything away for City from this game. They got to play this game against ten mannequins on the pitch for Chelsea. It was nice to see Oleksandr Zinchenko come in for a spot start and play well. It was just his fifth Premier League game of the season and he was full of life down that left-hand side.
Other than him, everyone played so well it was hard to pick out another standout. There was the usual great work in midfield from Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho, strong defending from Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, plus more great finishing from Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling completed the masterclass.