Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea: Premier League – as it happened

Simon Burnton on 10 February 2019

Barney Ronay on Agüero and Guardiola

Here’s Daniel Taylor’s match report:

For Manchester City, it was a supreme way to round off an immaculate week. One by one they have been ticked off: first Arsenal, then Everton and, finally, a Chelsea side that looked in need of smelling salts before the match had even reached the midway stage of the first half. Three games, 11 goals, nine points, and more fool anyone who thought this might be the most difficult assignment.

Much more here:

And with that, I’m done. It’s been quite literally awesome. Bye!

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Pep Guardiola is chuffed.

Yeah, good. Of course we were lucky that the first three times we attacked we scored two goals, but in general we make an incredible performance against a top team.

On the title chase:

Pressure doesn’t exist. It never exists. We’ll play like a team and if we win, perfect. If we don’t, we’re going to try next season. It’s a privilege, to be a football player or manager. They have to try their best. That is what I demand of them. So many things happen all over the world, to talk of pressure.

Liverpool, Graeme Souness says, are going to have to win every single game to hold City at bay and this league. We can’t get carried away, when City have lost to Newcastle, Leicester and Crystal Palace in the last couple of months, but this was a top-class, peak-level City performance.

Raheem Sterling has a chat.

It was a terrific performance from the team. Straight after the Everton game he was getting us ready for this game. It took a lot of preparation. It was just a win, another three points. We scored a lot of goals but the most important thing was to put in a good performance and get three points, and that’s what we’ve done.

Sergio Aguero also speaks to Sky, but his English is still very poor and he doesn’t say very much. Here’s Sterling on Aguero:

He’s a player we depend on. Moments like the first goal, out of nothing he can put the ball in the top corner. Players like this you have to cherish them.

It is 28 years since Chelsea last lost this badly:

I’ve just received an email from a bookmaker, headed: “SARRIVEDERCI”.

Mike Dean hides the ball in the back of his shirt, hilariously pretending to Aguero that he has lost it before producing it in the end. The style with which he awarded City’s penalty has also attracted attention:

Final score: Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea

90+4 mins: The final whistle goes, and Sarri heads straight down the tunnel. Lots of head-shakes but no handshakes for him today.

90+3 mins: Chelsea are now sixth, behind Arsenal on goals scored, having surrendered an apparently healthy goal difference advantage over the course of one afternoon.

90+1 mins: There will be about three minutes of further humiliation stoppage time.

89 mins: Sterling plays Zinchenko through, but he pulls up at the vital moment and the ball is swept away by a defender. It looks like cramp, rather than anything more troublesome.

87 mins: “Of course, this doesn’t bode well for Man City’s chances of beating Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup,” writes Andy Tuohy. “I always think back to what happened to Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi after spanking Crystal Palace 9-0 in 1990. I think a sort of complacent hubris takes hold when a score is as convincing as this.” Perhaps we’ll all be calling Sarri a genius in a couple of weeks. But then, maybe we won’t.

85 mins: “It must be hard for any Liverpool (and Chelsea) supporter to see City cruise to victory this easily with players like David Silva coming off the bench and Leroy Sane not even used at all,” writes Konstantin Sauer. “Their squad depth is unbelievable.”

82 mins: “If it stays like this, we can categorically say that City are slightly better than Bournemouth,” says Matt Dony. City’s next away game in the league is at Bournemouth, so we’ll see precisely how much better they are then.

GOAL! Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea (Sterling, 80 mins)

There’s a gorgeous pass here from David Silva, inside Loftus-Cheek and into the path of Zinchenko, scampering down the left flank, whose low cross is turned in by Sterling on the edge of the six-yard box!

78 mins: Emerson shoots low, under the wall but into Ederson’s arms.

77 mins: Gundogan trips Loftus-Cheek, just before the Chelsea player got the chance to lose the ball on the edge of the City area. Now they have a decent shooting opportunity from the free kick.

76 mins: City make their final substitution, bringing David Silva on for Fernandinho.

75 mins: Instead they nearly concede another! City break, Sterling plays in Jesus, and just as he’s about to shoot David Luiz shoves him in the back. It’s cynical, it’s a foul, and it should have been a penalty. Instead Kepa saves the shot and play continues.

74 mins: For a moment there it looked like Chelsea might get the ball into City’s penalty area. But then they don’t.

73 mins: Chelsea bring Emerson on, taking Alonso off.

71 mins: Mahrez is dispossessed on the byline and Chelsea break, move the ball to Loftus-Cheek in midfield, and his mishits a pass to Hazard out of play. Chelsea have achieved absolutely nothing for 20 minutes or so.

69 mins: Alonso earns himself a booking by steamrollering into Bernardo Silva.

69 mins: “By the time this match is over, I wonder if the massage chair-thingies in the Chelsea dressing room (see preamble photo) will have been sympathetically replaced with psychiatrist couches,” writes Peter Oh.

68 mins: De Bruyne goes off now, Riyad Mahrez coming on.

67 mins: Fernandinho’s long-range drive is saved by Kepa, and City finally draw level on shots, at 11-11.

66 mins: City play the ball up the right touchline, and Bernardo Silva controls it just magically. Worth the entrance fee on its own, that technique.

65 mins: City take off Aguero, as of today their all-time record league goalscorer, and bring on Jesus. Chelsea also make a change, bringing Loftus-Cheek on for Pedro.

64 mins: For the first time, this has the look of a game between a team that knows they are beaten and a team that knows they will win.

60 mins: City look ready for more. They have a three-on-two break, but Sterling’s pass to Aguero on his left isn’t great, and he should probably have gone to Gundogan to his right anyway. Aguero lashes a left-foot shot well wide.

59 mins: Saved! De Bruyne curls his shot past the wall but it’s much too central to get past even a humbled, out-of-sorts Kepa, who pushes it away from danger.

58 mins: Aguero is fouled just outside the area, and City are surely about to have their eighth shot of the game.

57 mins: That is Aguero’s 15th hat-trick for City and a record-equalling 11th in the Premier League.

GOAL! Manchester City 5-0 Chelsea (Aguero, 56 mins)

That’s a perfect penalty, Aguero sending Kepa the wrong way and tucking the ball just inside the other post!

Aguero gets his hat-trick.
Aguero gets his hat-trick. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Manchester City have a penalty!

55 mins: Sterling runs into the area, past Azpilicueta, and both players try to get toe to ball first. Sterling toes ball, Azpilicueta toes player, and it’s a penalty!

52 mins: Chelsea’s first substitution sees Kovacic replace Barkley. This is the most predictable substitution in all football: the only thing Sarri enjoys more than replacing Barkley with Kovacic is replacing Kovacic with Barkley.

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51 mins: Aguero heads against the bar! The corner is cleared but Walker hits a fine pass back to De Bruyne on the left. His cross is fabulous, and zings onto Aguero’s head, seven yards out.

50 mins: Chelsea are bullied into giving the ball away in their own half, and Aguero picks out De Bruyne in the area, whose cross deflects behind.

47 mins: If Chelsea continue to play in this half as they did in the latter period of the first, this would be a uniquely encouraging humiliating defeat. They have so far restarted very brightly.

46 mins: They’re off! After waiting a while for Kyle Walker, who ran out a couple of minutes after everybody else for some reason.

The players are back out and ready for more!

“While Sarri deserves some blame for this, he’s very much a modern manager in that he selects the squad to put on the field and that’s about it,” rages Joe Harvey. “He doesn’t seem to have much if any input on transfers. Why isn’t Chelsea’s Director of Football/transfer committee under more fire? Who looks at this squad and decides, before the season, that a £70m keeper is the answer, when two of the three players in the front line are on the wrong side of 30? Sarri’s only inputs on this squad, I think, are Jorginho and Higuain (who despite my doubts looks quite good). Otherwise their recruitment isn’t just poor, it’s expensive and poor.”

Half time: Manchester City 4-0 Chelsea

45+3 mins: A quite ludicrous half of football. City ripped through Chelsea at will in the first 25 minutes, scored four and missed a sitter. Chelsea attacked well in the final 22 minutes, created little and scored nothing.

45+1 mins: De Bruyne curls the ball into the penalty area from a free-kick on the right, but Aguero mistimes his diving header and gets nothing on it. And was offside.

45+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there will be about two minutes.

42 mins: Chelsea continue to attack, and have been excellent in the second half(ish) of this first half. Sadly they conceded four times in the first half(ish), but still.

40 mins: De Bruyne puts his team in trouble with a hopeless pass infield, straight to a dark blue shirt, though City have enough players back to cope with Chelsea’s ensuing attack.

38 mins: That, though, is a very fine shot from Higuain, who chests the ball into the air and then volleys from just outside the area. The ball was dipping towards goal until Ederson tipped it over the bar!

36 mins: Though to be fair Chelsea have had more shots so far. City have only had five: the four goals and Aguero’s ridiculous miss. Chelsea have had seven, most of them blasted by Higuain straight into the nearest defender.

34 mins: Azpilicueta’s low cross is cleared just before Alonso gets to it. The fact that both full-backs were in the final 20 yards of the pitch there illustrates Chelsea’s attacking approach to this game, which has of course been woefully unsuccessful.

32 mins: “Do you reckon David Luiz has got deja vu?” writes JR. “What an entertainer. Is it wrong that I am hoping he will begin weeping on the pitch before the half is over?” A little mean, perhaps, but understandable.

30 mins: Chelsea attack again, Higuain’s shot from Alonso’s cross being deflected behind for a corner.

29 mins: Pedro has another shot, and Ederson makes another save. This one was much easier, though, the Spaniard’s low shot from 15 yards going straight to him.

28 mins: A great chance for Chelsea, but Ederson saves! Higuain has the ball on the edge of the area, cutely backheels into Pedro’s path and he shoots at the rapidly-advancing keeper!

27 mins: Three more goals and Chelsea would drop behind Arsenal in the league on goal difference.

GOAL! Manchester City 4-0 Chelsea (Dundogan, 25 mins)

This is a horror show. Kepa should perhaps have done a bit better having got a good hand to Gundogan’s shot from the edge of the area, but his wrist, like most of Chelsea’s team, is just a bit flimsy.

Gundogan celebrates after scoring City’s fourth.
Gundogan celebrates after scoring City’s fourth. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
Sarri is not happy.
Sarri is not happy. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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21 mins: Chelsea have a shot! The ball falls to Barkley at the edge of the area, and he curls his effort well over the bar.

GOAL! Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea (Aguero, 19 mins)

This one comes gift-wrapped by the Chelsea defence! The ball is lifted into the area, headed away by David Luiz, incomprehensibly headed right back into the danger area by Barkley and half-volleyed in by Aguero, on the edge of the six-yard box.

Aguero’ second, and City’s third.
Aguero’ second, and City’s third. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters
Higuain looks to Barkley after his little gift.
Higuain looks to Barkley after his little gift. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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17 mins: Hazard nicely dummies the ball to let it run to Alonso on the left, who expects the Belgian to keep running. He doesn’t, so Alonso’s pass runs straight out of play.

GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea (Aguero, 13 mins)

He misses from two yards, and then scores from 25! Zinchenko breaks down the left, cuts inside, gets a couple of lucky bounces off Chelsea shins and eventually works the ball to Aguero, who curls a delicious shot into the far, top corner!

Aguero scores.
Aguero scores. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Aguero celebrates.
Aguero celebrates. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

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12 mins: David Luiz’s excellent pass through midfield finds Hazard, who spins and sets off towards goal. He gets into the area but is then forced wide, and when he shoots he’s off balance and hits a weak effort that’s easily stopped.

8 mins: What a miss by Aguero! Incredible! De Bruyne’s pull-back to Bernardo Silva is a bit behind the Portuguese player, who would have had an easy chance of his own had the pass been more accurate, but instead he controls, dances away from goal, keeps running, turns, heads to the byline and sends in a low cross, which finds Aguero just beyond the far post, with an open goal to aim at ... and he misses it!

7 mins: Chelsea have approached the game very ambitiously, trying to attack City, pressing them deep in the home side’s half. Which is fine, except when they then completely fail to close them down in their own penalty area.

GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea (Sterling, 4 mins)

Chelsea fall into a deep sleep as De Bruyne prepares for a free-kick, allowing the Belgian to pass to an untracked Bernardo Silva on the right, and he has time to get into the penalty area, measure his pass, and slide the ball across goal. He was probably aiming for Aguero but it breaks to Sterling at the far post, and he slams it into the net!

3 mins: Then the ball is lifted over the City defence, Higuain runs through unmarked, and is a foot or two short of reaching it.

2 mins: Hazard gets down the left nicely and slides the ball inside to Higuain, but his shot is blocked and when it is eventually returned to him, another shot is also blocked. “’Shower Slides’, Simon, ‘Shower Slides’?” boggles George Peel. “Is that Metropolitan-speak for flip-flops?” I think they’re quite different to flip-flops, lacking the toe-dividing thong-type device, but I don’t really know what the right name for them is.

1 min: They’re off! Sergio Aguero gets the game started.

Ready for action. Deep breath ...

Sky inform us that Callum Hudson-Odoi was in the squad that travelled to Manchester, so his absence is simply down to Sarri not really fancying him.

City’s players eventually arrive, and out they come!

The players are in the tunnel! Well, Chelsea’s players are.

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A bit of managerial chatter. Firstly here’s Pep Guardiola on approaching this game like a cup final:

So the last part of the season, 11, 12 games to play. It’s important against contenders at home especially to be solid as we have been these last two seasons and try to win. Against Chelsea, Arsenal, United, big teams, it’s always a final. If you don’t play these kind of games feeling like a final it’s more complicated.

And here’s Maurizio Sarri on Chelsea’s win over City in December:

We defended very well. We played a very good match. But I have to say that we were lucky when we scored the first goal because we scored in a very difficult moment of the match for us.

“Bit of a shame not to see Hudson-Odoi in Chelsea’s squad today,” says Adam Kline-Schoder. “I’ve really enjoyed watching him when he’s been given a chance; he’s got great skills, a lot of pace, and is attack-minded, all of which are things that Chelsea fans rightly crave. Kind of a surprise that Sarri doesn’t seem to rate him, as he seems a natural fit. Do you know if he’s injured, or just not fancied today?”

He has apparently been suffering from an unspecified illness this week, which would explain his absence (or handily deliver Sarri an excuse not to use him, depending).

Here’s a glimpse inside Chelsea’s dressing room, featuring some very neat shower slides.

Chelsea's dressing room at Manchester City
General view inside the Chelsea dressing room prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Oleksandr Zinchenko is the unexpected name in the City line-up. He makes his fourth Premier League start of the season, but by some margin the most consequential (the others were against Brighton (h), Bournemouth (h) and Southampton (a)). His last league minutes came at the end of December, but he played both legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Burton last month.

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The teams!

The team sheets are in, and these were the names upon them:

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling. Subs: Danilo, Sane, Silva, Mahrez, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Muric.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Higuain, Hazard. Subs: Loftus-Cheek, Caballero, Kovacic, Giroud, Willian, Christensen, Emerson Palmieri.
Referee: Mike Dean.

Hello world!

So who, then, are Chelsea? Are they the team that triumphed 5-0 against Huddersfield in their last league game, or the one that crashed 4-0 at Bournemouth in the one before that? Are they the side that folded 2-0 at Arsenal in their last top-flight meeting with another member of the established top six, or the one that beat City 2-0 in the one before that?

Can they, in short, provide another twist to the developing title-chase spaghetti-tangle? With another meeting with these opponents to follow in the Carabao Cup final later this month, will they be unusually motivated by a desire to prove their collective mettle and win their individual places for that match, or will that looming Wembley date or some kind of general ennui fatally distract them?

City? Well, we know about them. “It’s a final for us,” says Pep Guardiola. “We have to play in that way.” Today’s match against Chelsea might in fact be, psychologically, more of a final than the one that will actually be a final. This is confusing.

Over the next few hours City could return to the top of the table, Liverpool will once again find themselves with a game in hand, and Chelsea will answer several questions, one way or the other. Welcome!

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