The Blues were rarely in the same league as their hosts at the Etihad Stadium, Sergio Aguero setting the tone before Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho’s second-half goals
Manchester City continued a strong start to the Premier League season with a thoroughly convincing 3-0 victory against reigning champions Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
Restored to the starting XI, Sergio Aguero looked short of sharpness as he missed early chances before finally burying one midway through the first half.
Chelsea’s distance behind a dominant City side was underlined by the substitution of captain John Terry at half-time but it brought no significant upturn in their fortunes and Vincent Kompany scored for the second consecutive game with a near-post header to settle it for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
With the Blues tamed, Fernandinho added insult to injury in the 84th minute as he finished off a vibrant team move by firing a clean shot through a crowded penalty box.
Asmir Begovic came into the Chelsea starting XI for the suspended Thibaut Courtois as one of two changes to the side who drew 2-2 with Swansea City last time out and the former Stoke City goalkeeper was called into action inside the opening minute when Aguero – in for Wilfried Bony as City’s only alteration – was sent clean through on goal by David Silva. The Argentine failed to find a way past Begovic and Jesus Navas drilled wide from the rebound.
Begovic was making a promising start to his full Chelsea debut and got down brilliantly to his left to keep out another Aguero strike on 16 minutes, before pulling off an almost identical save from the same man a minute later.
As encouraged as Mourinho will have been by the early performance of his stand-in keeper, the fact that he saw as much action as he did in the opening 20 minutes will have given the Chelsea boss some cause for concern.
And the Portuguese’s worst fears were realised in the 31st minute when Aguero and Yaya Toure exchanged passes on the edge of the box – the former tying up Gary Cahill in knots and guiding a low effort beyond Begovic into the bottom-left corner.
Cesc Fabregas – making his 50th Chelsea appearance – fired just wide as the visitors chased an equaliser and, after making such a positive start, Begovic found himself responsible for giving Cahill a bloodied nose as he attempted to punch clear an Aleksandar Kolarov free kick in the 44th minute.
The first appearance of Chelsea’s medical staff on the pitch prompted a chorus of ironic cheers and chants of “Eva, Eva, Eva” from the home fans, a result of the row over the controversial demotions of Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn after the Swanse game.
Tempers flared as the players left the pitch for half-time, with Diego Costa feeling aggrieved after being caught by the flailing arm of Fernandinho.
Mourinho replaced Terry with Kurt Zouma for the second half – the first time that he has substituted his captain in the Premier League – and Ramires thought that he had pulled Chelsea level five minutes in but the linesman raised his flag for a marginal offside as the Brazilian obliviously wheeled off in celebration.
Chelsea pressed higher up in the second period and could have restored parity after 70 minutes when the ball found its way to the feet of Eden Hazard in the box following a counterattack, but the Belgian fired straight at goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The visitors then fell further behind as Kompany outmuscled Branislav Ivanovic to double City’s advantage with a goal similar to the one that he scored at West Brom on Monday.
And the rout was complete five minutes from time – Fernandinho rifling home from the edge of the area as Chelsea’s defenders switched off.
Costa hit the post in stoppage time but even a goal would have done nothing to spoil City’s day.