MAN CITY 6, CHELSEA 0
For Manchester City’s ace striker Sergio Aguero it was another record-breaking day as he scored a hat trick during an amazing 6-0 demolition of Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
Aguero’s hat-trick was his 11th in the Premier League for City as he equalled Alan Shearer’s record.
He has a total of 15 in all competitions, nine at the Etihad which is more than any other player on one ground, and three for the season.
The Argentine also became City’s record league goalscorer with 160 as he overhauled Eric Brook and Tommy Johnson who jointly held the record with 158.
Aguero also became only the fifth player to score back-to-back hat tricks in consecutive home games, and the first since Didier Drogba in 2010.
It was also the first time since 1977 that City had scored four goals at home against Chelsea who conceded five goals for only a fourth time in the Premier League.
City also became the first team since Tottenham in 1965 to score more than one goal in 15 consecutive home league games.
As for Chelsea it was their biggest defeat since a 7-0 loss at Nottingham Forest in April 1991.
City have had some remarkable highs in recent seasons, but this was up there with the best.
The way they blitzed top-four rivals Chelsea – they were 4-0 ahead inside 25 minutes – was breathtaking as Maurizio Sarri’s team was destroyed.Embed from Getty Images
City manager Pep Guardiola described it as one of City’s best performances since he arrived at the Etihad.
He said: “To find the spaces to score six goals against Chelsea was not easy.
“When you analyse the performance, bearing in mind we have played three games in the last week, the way we played with intensity, patience and finding spaces, the players were outstanding.
“That is why I am so pleased how we played against Arsenal, Everton and today.”
Guardiola, who will give his players two days off before preparing for their Emirates FA Cup, fifth-round tie at Newport County, and their Carabao Cup final against Chelsea.
City’s manager added the Wembley final will be tougher after what his team did to Chelsea who will have more to prove in the wake of this heavy loss.
When asked if City were hitting peak form at the business end of the season, a guarded Guardiola said: “It is only one week ago we played Newcastle (and lost) and not two months ago.
“In football it is important to stay calm, but today we were really good in all aspects of the quality we had,” he continued.
“After the last season we had you would normally expect us to drop down, but we are still there. That’s why I am so pleased.”
Sarri, asked whether his job was at risk, said: “I am worried about my team and its performance.
“About my job, it is always at risk. You have to ask the club.”
Sarri added motivation was not an issue, an accusation he had previously levelled at his players, but they were not allowed to play his style of football because City were “fantastic”.
City made three changes from the side that won at Everton in midweek.
There were recalls for Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko at the expense of David Silva, Leroy Sane and Nicolas Otamendi.
Once again there was plenty of firepower on the bench, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane and David Silva.
Chelsea had Argentine loan striker Gonzalo Higuain leading their attack with Eden Hazard and Pedro alongside him.
They, too, had plenty of forward options on the bench, Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
City could not have wished for a better start as they took the lead in the fourth minute.
Bernardo Silva provided the assist with a low cross from the right which took a ricochet off defender David Luiz and fell to Sterling at the far post to rifle home.
City ought to have doubled the lead when Bernardo Silva fired another low cross across the face of goal in the eighth minute only for Aguero to shoot wide at the far post from three yards.
Guardiola threw himself to the ground in despair as he knew it was a great chancer to give Chelsea a mountain to climb, even at this early stage of the game.
Aguero erased the disappointment as he doubled the lead in the 13th minute as he doubled City’s lead.
Zinchenko provided the pass before Aguero curled an exquisite shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
It got bad to worse for Chelsea when they presented City with a third goal in the 19th minute.
Ross Barkley inexplicably headed the ball back to keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga only for the ball to be intercepted by Aguero who fired home with a shot on the turn from seven yards.
City added a fourth goal in the 25th minute after Aguero pressurised Antonio Rudiger into a hurried clearance to Gundogan who from the edge of the box curled in a low to the left of the keeper.
It took Chelsea almost half an hour to create a chance and then two came in quick succession, both falling to Pedro who each time was denied by Ederson.
Higuain almost got Chelsea on to the scoresheet six minutes before the break with a shot from 25 yards that was heading for the top corner only for Ederson to pull off a super save.
Aguero was denied a record equalling 11th Premier League hat-trick early in the second period when he headed against the crossbar from De Bruyne’s left-wing cross.
It was only a matter of minutes before Aguero completed his treble, from the penalty spot after Sterling was fouled by Cesar Azpilicueta as he burst into the box. It was his 23rd goal of the season.
Fernandinho had a chance to make it six but his 30-yard drive was well saved by Arrizabalaga.
Guardiola made his first change mid-half as Aguero, his job done, made way for Jesus. And that was soon followed by Mahrez replacing De Bruyne and David Silva coming on for Fernandinho.
City kept pressing for a sixth goal and Jesus burst through on goal only for Arrizabalaga to make a super save to deflect his shot for a corner.
The sixth goal came with 10 minutes left when Sterling found the net for a second time following a breathtaking move.
Jesus produced magic on the left, David Silva released Zinchenko, also on the left, and Sterling swept home his low cross from six yards, his 14th goal of the season.
There was amusement at the final whistle when Aguero went to claim the matchball only for referee Mike Dean to hide it up his shirt which demonstrated that officials do have a sense of humour.