Aguero-Wahnsinn: ManCity overruns Chelsea in Pep’s “Finale”
Greetings to Liverpool! Manchester City has inflicted Chelsea the highest ever Premier League defeat in their top match. Aguero set a three-pack record, starting the game with an unbelievable blackout.
Although the final in the league cup between the two clubs is not due until 24 February, Pep Guardiola had already described the Premier League duel against Chelsea as a “final” to sharpen the senses of his pros. And how sharp they were! Manchester City won the top game of the 26th matchday early Sunday evening 6-0 – and defended the top of the standings against Liverpool FC in a more successful match.
After 25 minutes it had already been 4:0, it was a combination of city power and Chelsea mistakes. First, starter returners Sterling scored because Marcos Alonso slept in a simple De Bruyne free-kick and let Bernardo Silva slip away (4th). The 2-0 win (13th) was a special story: goalscorer Aguero scored it with a dream shot into the angle from over 20 metres – five minutes after missing the empty goal from the shortest distance and even causing Guardiola to collapse in the Coaching Zone. “One-metre goals are for softies,” the BBC commented on the inconceivable scene.
Aguero uses Barkley’s dropouts – Rüdiger hangs up for Gündogan
As expected, Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri had taken a courageous approach to the champions, but within minutes everything collapsed. Barkley headed back a ball that David Luiz had sent out of the penalty area for no apparent reason – Aguero used the dream to score 3-0 (19). And when Gündogan’s 17-meter shot, unfortunately presented by Rüdiger in the duel with Aguero, hit the net (25th), everything was finally clear. It was City’s fourth shot at Kepa’s goal, which you could feel sorry for.
But look: The Chelsea pros, criticised by Sarri a few weeks ago as “difficult to motivate”, showed morale. Also because City slowed down the pace and allowed himself a few concentration errors because of the score, Pedro came to a one-on-one with Ederson (and lost, 28th) and Higuain, who had introduced Pedro’s chance by hack, to a dangerous volley shot, which Citys goalkeeper defused strongly (38th). At the break, the ball possession values were almost balanced.
Aguero catches up with Shearer – goal difference continues to grow
Chelsea, who had caused City their first league defeat in the first leg, did not come out of the dressing room in spite of this appealing phase; instead, Aguero moved back into the spotlight: first he headed to the crossbar (51st), then he turned a penalty (Azpilicueta to Sterling) into his second triple within a week (56th), his eleventh in Premier League history. Alan Shearers record is set, Citys hunger not yet.
Although Guardiola changed Aguero, De Bruyne and Fernandinho with relish (Sané stayed on the bench), his team continued to set little highlights even without the last tension, Sterling, for example, filled half a dozen (80th) after a David Silva/Zinchenko combination.
Chelsea cashes highest defeat since 1991 – Sarri rebuffes Guardiola
Only this week Pep Guardiola had stressed how important the goal difference could become in the title race with Liverpool (and Tottenham). Now City are plus 54, Liverpool ten less. The champions have now scored 33 times in their last six home games. And not only against Rotherham or Burnley, but also against Chelsea, who had only scored 22 goals before, who had lost their highest game since 1991 – and is now only fifth. Sarri was so frustrated that, after the final whistle, he marched towards the tunnel with his eyes fixed, overlooking Guardiola, who had stretched out his hand to him for seconds.