It was complete dominance at the Etihad as Manchester City dominated reigning champions Chelsea 3-0. Sergio Aguero was incredible on the night, torturing the Chelsea back line all match long and getting the opening goal. Chelsea picked up the pace in the second half and tried to get back in the match, but in the end was overpowered by a much better Manchester City.
The week leading up to this match was filled with controversy for Chelsea as their manager Jose Mourinho controversially called out his own medical staff for being too quick to treat Eden Hazard in their draw against Swansea. Along with that was the fact that their top keeper, Thibault Courtois, was forced to miss this match due to the red card he received in the same match. On the Manchester City side of things, they just kept quiet and brought their great form from their first match into this tie.
Manchester City got off to a blazing start with Aguero nearly opening the scoring only 20 seconds into the match, latching on to a great David Silva through ball only to be stopped by Asmir Begovic. Begovic was forced to deal with a lot of early pressure, as Chelsea’s defense looked completely out of sync, especially in the first 20 minutes. The Blues slow, plodding attack and lack of initiative going forward led Manchester City to create great counter-attacking opportunities for themselves. These opportunities created four shots on goal in the first 25 minutes from Aguero, who continued to test Begovic, who was great on the day but was let down by his defenders.
Just as Chelsea looked to be settling into the match and starting to possess well and dictate the tempo, Aguero finally got the goal he deserved. A great bit of individual play in the box got the Argentine past every Chelsea defender, and he calmly slid it past Begovic to open the scoring for Manchester City. Opening the scoring did nothing to slow down the home side’s attack as they continued to give the Chelsea defenders fits.
Near the end of the first half, the match began to get very chippy, with both sides feeling the intensity of an early season tie between two clubs hoping to challenge for the title. Diego Costa, who did very little to get into this match at all, was the main instigator of the trouble as he felt Fernandinho deserved some punishment for hitting him in the head with his elbow when they both went up for a header.
Mourinho sacrificed his captain, John Terry, at half for youngster Kurt Zouma in an attempt to add more pace and life to their fledgling defense. Chelsea was much more lively and willing to go forward to open the second half, and it looked as if it might have changed the tide when Ramires finished a Eden Hazard cross, only to be called back when the Brazilian was ruled offside. Another good chance for the reigning champions came soon after, when a well-set-up counter-attack saw Hazard’s shot saved by Joe Hart.
Those two chances were about it for Chelsea as Manchester City re-established their dominance as the second half wore on. Alexander Kolarov was a constant threat on the left side, delivering great balls in all match long and making Ivanovic look awful all night. In the 79th minute, Manchester City doubled their lead through their captain, as Kompany made a great near post run and finished from a corner with a superb header. The second goal really ended any hope Chelsea had of getting any points from this match. Manchester City only added to Chelsea’s misery in the 85th minute when Ivanovic failed to clear a header and it fell right to the feet of Fernandinho, who blasted in the third goal. It was a great finish from the Brazilian and it was indicative of how poorly Chelsea played, and how good Manchester City was on the day.
This dominant 3-0 victory over the reigning champions will likely label Manchester City as the favorites for the title early on in this Premier League season. In their first two matches of this season, City have looked to be already in mid-season form, winning both by a 3-0 margin. Chelsea will have a lot to think about as they only have one point in their first two matches of their title defense. Luckily for them, the transfer window is open for another two weeks if Mourinho feels his squad does not have the necessary pieces to right the ship in this rough start to the season.
Commentary by Max Petkevicius
Goal: Manchester City vs Chelsea
Daily Mail: Man City 3-0 Chelsea
ESPN: Manchester City Destroys Chelsea
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