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Sergio Aguero’s Manchester City hat-trick humiliates Chelsea in brutal evisceration of Sarri-ball

Yet another match ball for the relentless Sergio Aguero

Credit:
Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Chelsea

Man City

This was not so much a victory as an evisceration. This was not so much a defeat as a demolition. This was not so much three points as one very big point being made by the champions. If Liverpool, or Tottenham Hotspur, are to finish ahead of Manchester City it will be an exceptional achievement.

City returned to the top of the Premier League, with another Sergio Agüero hat-trick, which draws him level on 11 with Alan Shearer’s all-time record, and did so by destroying Chelsea. They humiliated them and their head coach, Maurizio Sarri – and that is dangerous territory for a club with Chelsea’s ambition and expectations.

It has been three games, nine points and 11 goals in a week for City. They brushed aside Arsenal and Everton but this was next level. This was something special; the best, Pep Guardiola said, since he has been at the club which is some statement given the heights they have scaled. He said it would be a final. He finished Chelsea.

It was also a result that kept Chelsea out of the top four, and actually pushed them down to sixth, for the first time this season but it also raises serious questions over where they are heading and whether Sarri will continue after this campaign. It was that brutal. Sarri-ball was deconstructed in 25 devastating minutes.

Whatever the excuses, the mitigation, the understandable arguments over giving Sarri time – and the players – to execute his precise brand of football, big teams do not get taken apart like this. They just do not; no matter how good City were and they were very, very good. It was beautiful.

Sterling celebrates the opener… and there was plenty more where that came from

Credit:
AFP

Guardiola’s tutoring of City also took time and maybe Chelsea will look to that but, if they do, it will be the first time in the history of Roman Abramovich’s ownership.

Sarri has to get them back in the top four but looked bereft. The hang-dog Italian chewed the cigarette butts on the touchline, as usual, but looked like he was about to be spat out and walked straight past Guardiola at the final whistle, lost in his thoughts, missing the hand-shake of his friend. It was that traumatic.

Aguero's second was a simply magnificent strike

Credit:
PA

This was Chelsea’s biggest defeat in the Abramovich era, and their biggest since 1991, and in their past two away league games they have conceded a frightening 10 goals without reply.

Agüero now has 11 league goals in 2019 – which is more than half the teams in the Premier League have registered. And he could have had more – missing a ‘sitter’ and also striking the goal-frame. It was his second successive hat-trick in home games and, once again, he departed to a standing ovation. “He’s a life legend … an absolute goal machine,” said team-mate Oleksandr Zinchenko. 

Chelsea's Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is down and out as Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan makes it four

Credit:
AFP

The bigger picture in terms of the title race is City emphatically stating their case and, importantly, enhancing their goal difference by doing so. Liverpool have a game in hand – that game being away a week on Sunday against Manchester United, whose caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was here – and can go three points clear again but City now have a 10-goal advantage.

Four goals arrived in the first half. Or, rather, the first half of a first half in which it felt like only Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuaín had the stomach for the fight. The first goal summed that up. Jorginho, badly struggling at the base of the midfield, needlessly fouled Kevin De Bruyne who took a quick free-kick. Neither Hazard nor, even more so, Marcos Alonso were alert to the danger and Bernardo Silva ran in from the touchline to cross low. David Luiz deflected the ball out but only as far as the onrushing Raheem Sterling.

Newsletter Promotion – James Ducker's Man City Briefing

There was then an astonishing miss by Agüero who somehow side-footed wide from just two yards out, with the goal beckoning, after a wonderful run and low cross by Bernardo but he quickly made amends. Agüero took possession from Zinchencko, weighed up the shot and sent a superb curling 25-yard effort that Kepa Arrizabalaga got a hand before it tore past.

Chelsea were reeling and they unravelled when Zinchenko scooped the ball into the penalty area with Luiz heading it out. That should have been the end of it but, for some reason, Ross Barkley headed it back towards his own goal, playing Agüero onside and, predator that he is, the striker stole in to steer a low shot past Arrizabalaga. It was Agüero’s 159th league goal – a new City record.

Peak Mike Dean banter: Hiding the hat-trick ball from Sergio Aguero 😆 pic.twitter.com/rmDa3YDVJP

— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) February 10, 2019

They struck again and once more Chelsea were at fault with no pressure as Agüero sent the ball out wide to Sterling who returned it back to the striker with both Luiz and Rudiger inexplicably standing off before Rudiger managed to intercept. But the ball only ran out to Ilkay Gundogan who struck a low first-time shot into the corner of the goal.

Chelsea created two first-half chances, their only chances, with Ederson denying Pedro and Higuaín, but the game was up and it was only a question of how many for City. It would be two more – after Agüero first went close with a header against the cross-bar before he claimed his hat-trick, his 15th overall for City. It came when Cesar Azpilicueta was undone by Sterling, bringing down the winger allowing Agüero to roll the penalty low into the corner.

And, to think, City achieved all this without David Silva who then came on and delivered the pass of the match as he released Zinchenko who cut the ball back. It fell to Sterling who finished unerringly. These two sides will meet again in the Carabao Cup final later this month. Hopefully it will be more of a contest or, at least, some kind of contest.

 

5:53PM

Full time: Manchester City 6 Chelsea 0

Pep Guardiola offers his hand to Maurizio Sarri, who seemingly snubs the handshake! For God’s sake don’t let Mark Hughes see. 

Update: Guardiola says that he  spoke to Zola, who told him that Sarri didn’t see him. Guardiola seems unoffended, unbothered.

Game effort by Sarri to throw in a handshake distraction. Clearly a student of Premier League controvassy.

— Larry Ryan (@RyanLarry) February 10, 2019

To add insult to, erm, insult: Manchester City’s PA is playing the song ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness… which is the song Chelsea play to celebrate their victories at Stamford Bridge! Sick burn! 

How good are City? Hard to tell. It's fine doing this to a side like Chelsea but how will they fare when they come up against top opposition? #MCICHE

— Danny Baker (@prodnose) February 10, 2019

Much to enjoy there, and I am sure all of it will be touched upon in the incoming match report from Mr Jason Burt. 

5:49PM

89 mins: City 6 Chelsea 0 

Zinchenko has cramped up, looked like he was in there after Sterling’s ball but he has pulled up. Goes over to the sidelines, doesn’t seem too busted up.

Gab Jesus looks to be in but has lost it on the edge of the box.

5:45PM

86 mins: City 6 Chelsea 0

A few minutes left for Chelsea to endure.

5:43PM

Making Prog-ress

One man who very much does have a hinterland is Shane O’Leary, from whom an email arrives entitled ‘Brain Salad Surgery Opening Hours’:

Much as I hate to correct the (ahem)grate and good, ELP were always known in our very common room as Cumbersome, Fake & Trauma. However, I do love Brain Salad Surgery

5:39PM

GOAL! City 6 Chelsea 0 (Sterling 79)

Yes Raheem! Another super move, David Silva with the ball to Zinchenko, the cross comes in low and – oooh, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is not in the wide awake club – for here is lovely Raheem Sterling to steer the ball home. He made a tricky finish look simple and Chelsea’s woes deepen yet further.

5:35PM

75 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0     

Chelsea fans are leaving and frankly who can blame them? Presumably they are looking at a several hour, very expensive train ride back to Harrow, Reading, the Home Counties, South West London etc I mean sure why not some of them probably live near the ground and who wants that on a Sunday night?

David Silva is on for Fernandinho.

5:32PM

72 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0    

Emerson comes on, replacing the aforementioned Alonso, and prompting Martin Tyler to point out that City have previously had a Lake (Paul) and a (Roger) Palmer.

Alas, Gary Neville has not heard of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Not your fault Martin: it was a good one. You cannot legislate for Gurreh’s lack of a hinterland.

De Bruyne, superb, comes off for Mahrez. 

5:27PM

67 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0   

A quiet bitty period: Alonso into the book for something or other. I’d just book that guy on principle. What a disappointing young multi millionaire he is. Even his wearing the number three shirt is annoying.

5:27PM

63 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0  

Sergio Aguero comes off, Gabriel Jesus replaces him.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on for Pedro. Lucky Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

I hadn’t noticed earlier: Ross Barkley, who was largely abject, subbed off in favour of Kovacic a few minutes back.

5:24PM

62 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0 

De Bruyne is not done yet, he has produced another fine effort, this time from open play. He has not had a League goal since before Christmas and would clearly like to put that right.

Jorginho has cleaned out Fernandinho and that’s a booking.

5:18PM

58 mins: City 5 Chelsea 0

Oof, it’s damn near six. KDB has a freekick, strikes it nicely, plenty of curl and whip and devil on it, and it needs a smart save.

5:16PM

GOAL! City 5 Chelsea 0 (Aguero 56p)

Aguero…. That’s it, it is the hat-trick! He sends the keeper the wrong way, he slots it home, and that’s a perfect penalty to complete a superb hat-trick. City 5 Chelsea 0 (Aguero 56p)

He equals Alan Shearer’s record for PL hat-tricks: 11.

5:13PM

PENALTY TO CITY

Woe upon woe for Chelsea. It is a penalty for Man City.

Azpi fouls Sterling

Credit:
Sky

Sterling drove towards the box down his left flank. He was too quick, too direct, too full of vim and determination and Cesar Azpiliceuta, in desperation, clipped him. Can’t really say that there was any protest from the Chelsea players. Bizarre strike-a-pose from Dean as he gives the kick.

Aguero steps up… 

5:09PM

48 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0  

Here’s De Bruyne down the left! He gets to the byline, he stands the ball up, Aguero rises like a peroxided salmon, he plants the header firmly and… it hits the bar! So close to the hat-trick.

5:07PM

47 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0 

Kyle Walker took his sweet time to re-emerge. The start of the third quarter follows the same pattern of the second quarter: Chelsea are playing very well and are all over Man City.

5:05PM

46 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0

We’re off again.

5:00PM

What do you do now?

If you are Chelsea? Continue to press and attack and risk getting done on the counter, lose 7-0? Or just take the L, take your medicine, and shut up shot to protect the GD at least?

City were simply too good in the first 25

4:49PM

HT: City 4 Chelsea 0

Well, City have somehow made it to the break (?!) despite being given a bit of a hiding in the last 15 or 20. It has been all Chelsea! Since the four goals that is.

But you do strongly feel that City could do them again on the break.

Very impressive from Pep and co. Are you watching, Liverpool?

Here is something for Chelsea to reflect on in the interval.

4 – Chelsea have conceded four goals in consecutive away top flight matches for the first time since December 1990. Capitulating.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 10, 2019

4:43PM

42 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0       

City’s level has dropped, and they are happy to sit behind the ball at the moment. Chelsea have been the dominant team since, er, they let in their fourth goal.

4:42PM

40 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0      

Barclay and Pedro link up well, Hazard gets it down the left and is fouled rather needlessly by Bernardo.

4:38PM

38 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0     

Nice control and hit from Gonzalo Hig, and it’s athletically tipped over the bar by the City keeper.

I’ve never seen a team in the Premier League simply take a game away from their opposition like Pep’s Man City do, and then do it regularly over two seasons. If you set up in any system that gives them a hint of space you’re just doomed from the off.

— David Hartrick (@DavidHartrick) February 10, 2019

Don’t press me.

This is what happens when teams try and press City #GameOver 4-0 💥💥💥💥

— Trevor Sinclair (@trevor8sinclair) February 10, 2019

4:38PM

37 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0    

Sterling again lethal down that left, it looks like he has got through again but Antonio Rudiger shows his mettle with some good physical defending.

Bless little Jorginho, still trying, like it's Escape to Victory or something

— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) February 10, 2019

4:34PM

34 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0   

Chelsea are steaming forward, committing a lot of bodies. I have high hopes that this is a terrible strategy and that we will see yet more goals.

4:33PM

32mins: City 4 Chelsea 0  

Chelsea away from home in 2019

Scored 0
Conceded 10 (most in the league)

— Orbinho (@Orbinho) February 10, 2019

It took 37 minutes for City to put their fourth past Burton the other day. So we’re well ahead of schedule for a 9-0. 

4:30PM

29 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0 

A good few moments for Chelsea other than, well, the obvious scoreline issues: a corner. Cleared. But Hazard is still at it.

4:30PM

27 mins: City 4 Chelsea 0

City magnificent and terrifying but never entirely impregnable. A good chance for Chelsea here as the hosts are opened up easily. Pedro drills it at the keeper.

4:28PM

And again

4-0. [25'] #MCICHE

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 10, 2019

4:26PM

GOAL! City 4 Chelsea 0 (Gundogan 24)

Sterling with a great piece of footwork down the left, he crosses, and here is Ilkay Gundogan. he picks his spot and hits it hard and low. The keeper has made that look a better shot than it actually was, he should have done better, in fact he has done nothing – and it is four! City 4 Chelsea 0 (Gundogan 24)

4:22PM

Enjoyably pass-agg

total lack of information here.

3-0. [18’] #MCICHE

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 10, 2019

4:19PM

GOAL! City 3 Chelsea 0 (Aguero 18)

oH MY GOODNESS IT is THREE!

Kevin DB runs, chips the ball into the area. Luiz, about 8 yards from goal, heads clear. And then Ross Barkley, inexplicably, heads the ball STRAIGHT INTO THE AREA. Mystifying decision from the former Everton man. Augero pounces on the gift and slots it home. City 3 Chelsea 0 (Aguero 18)

4:18PM

16 mins: City 2 Chelsea 0    

David Luiz has brough down Aguero. Freekick, central 35 yards out. It’s not properly cleared…

4:17PM

15 mins: City 2 Chelsea 0   

Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Chelsea kepa, did well to get a fingertip to that but it was not enough.

4:14PM

GOAL! City 2 Chelsea 0

Oh that is a peach. An absolute thunderbison. KDB with a run, wriggling around outside the box, Aguero takes it up and has unloaded on the ball. Wellies it into the roof of the net from distance. He had just missed a sitter and now he has scored a screamer. City 2 Chelsea 0 (Aguero 12)

Aguero scoring that after missing the sitter is like those high-jumpers who don't bother with the first four designated heights. "Nah, too easy pal."

— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) February 10, 2019

4:12PM

11 mins: City 1 Chelsea 0  

Thrilling, powerful run from Hazard as he drives, drives, and drives through the middle before firing a low shot in the corner. Easy enough get for the City keeper.

4:09PM

7 mins: City 1 Chelsea 0 

Amazing from Bernardo Silva as he dances away from everyone in the penalty area, he gets down the left and he crosses. Aguero! Must be! It’s a proper sitter, but he has somehow put it wide from two yards. Dr Gary Neville diagnoses "floppy foot."

4:05PM

GOAL! Man City 1 Chelsea 0 (Sterling 4)

City’s Kevin De Bruyne takes a quick freekick, Bernardo Silva is in acres down the right and Chelsea have questions to answer about their marking, and general wide awakeness.

Bernardo there down the right, unmarked

Credit:
Sky

Quickly taken freekick as I say. Bernardo on to it, he crosses. Bit of good fortune I suppose in that it gets a deflection on the way through off the heel of David Luiz, and here is dear old Raheem Sterling at the back post to drill it home.  Man City 1 Chelsea 0 (Sterling 4)

Alonso especially dozy, turning his back on the freekick taker…

4:04PM

3 mins: City 0 Chelsea 0

Early action for Mike Dean and if there’s one thing Mike Dean likes it is early action. Freekick in the Chelsea half.

4:02PM

2 mins: City 0 Chelsea 0 

Hazard with an early gallop, down the flank, crosses for Gonzalo H. Loses out, City have a lot of men back.

4:01PM

1 mins: City 0 Chelsea 0

City allowed to play it around at the back. Chelsea now come for the press. Hoofed forward and out of play. Now it is Chelsea’s backs who get a chance to have a touch.

4:00PM

Right then! Exciting 

Hope we have a good game. Mike Dean starts things off.

the fans are up for this one

Credit:
PA

3:59PM

Chelsea

Credit:
Sky Sports Main Event

3:58PM

Manchester City first

Credit:
Sky

3:57PM

Let's see how these teams might

line up. 

3:54PM

Two heavyweights

ready to do battle.

Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City (L) and Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea

Credit:
Getty 

3:48PM

Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain warming up

Credit:
Sky Sports Main Event

Has had a lively start to his Chelsea loan spell so far: since his arrival the team…

  • Beat Sheffield Weds 3-0
  • Lost to Bournemouth 0-4
  • Beat Huddersfield 5-0

It seems quite unlucky that the sequence will continue with a 6-0 away at City but I suppose you never know.

He netted twice against the Terriers by the way.

🔥 @G_Higuain #MCICHE pic.twitter.com/XC6CCTwAXc

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 10, 2019

3:45PM

Lots of sport on this afternoon

England’s cricketers have squandered a strong overnight position, losing their last six wickets for just 45 runs. 

But the egg-chasing seems to be going in their favour: they lead France by 30 points to 8 at Twickenham.

3:38PM

So busy day at the top of the table

FT: Tottenham 3 Leicester 1

Tottenham's consistent league form continues with another win that keeps them within striking distance #TOTLEI https://t.co/rUoY7uQvrG pic.twitter.com/WqB50UUBle

— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) February 10, 2019

Three of the top five in action. We turn now to the Arriviste Derby. 

3:36PM

Teams again

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 (Wirral) 

3:28PM

It has finished 3-1

Between Spurs and Leicester, a very enjoyable game: Jamie Vardy missed a penalty with his first touch at 0-1, Spurs went right up the other end and scored. All in all probably a flattering result for Tottenham, but never mind, it has allowed them to keep the pressure on City for second.

3:07PM

Our peerless tactical preview

is here.  Man City v Chelsea tactical preview: How City keep scoring tap-ins and why Chelsea must play dirty to win

These are the two cleanest sides in the League: but Chelsea are the ones who need to make this a scrappy, scruffy, niggly and disjointed afternoon. Or so says JJ Bull.

Average fouls per game Premier League 2018/19

3:06PM

Manchester City team news

Your #mancity line-up to take on Chelsea! 🙌

XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (C), Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Bernardo, Aguero

SUBS | Muric, Danilo, Sané, Silva, Mahrez, Otamendi, [email protected] ⚽️ #MCICHE pic.twitter.com/oyaHfKTuRc

— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 10, 2019

3:06PM

Chelsea team news

The team news is in! 📝

Here's how we line up this afternoon… 👇#MCICHE pic.twitter.com/Lihxd4hSIQ

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 10, 2019

3:04PM

Massive game coming up!

Happy Sunday. Tyers here. An exciting and perhaps pivotal game in the Premier League Title race. But public transport in this country is no respecter of anything, and so there is precious little time for me to witter on (well done London Transport, you have done the readers a favour) and I will instead get right to it with the team news.

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