Manchester City are beginning to stamp their authority on the Premier League title race. While they still sit three points behind Liverpool in the table, Pep Guardiola’s side are beginning to rediscover the mojo that saw them claim 100 points last season. Last weekend, City brushed Arsenal aside 3-1 and followed that result up with a 2-0 win away at Everton in midweek.
But they certainly saved their best for Sunday evening, recording a mammoth 6-0 victory over Chelsea at the Etihad. Maurizio Sarri’s side arrived in Manchester on the back of a 5-0 thumping of Huddersfield, but they were torn to shreds by Guardiola’s men. Sergio Aguero (3), Raheem Sterling (2) and Ilkay Gundogan scored the goals in probably the most incredible first 90 minutes of the season so far.
And at half-time, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher did not hold back in the Sky Sports studio when he was asked to analyse Sarri’s team. Alongside an equally bewildered Graeme Souness, Carragher delivered the ultimate insult to the Blues – by comparing them to Arsenal in big games. Carragher says: “The worst thing I can say is it looks like he’s turned Chelsea into Arsenal.”
As every football fan will know, the Gunners’ away record against the ‘big six’ is utterly woeful. However, Arsenal put up way more of a fight that Chelsea when they visited the Etihad, but were simply outdone by Aguero’s predatory instincts – as a lot of teams are. A lot questions will now be aimed at Sarri and whether his unique playing style can deliver trophies in the English game.
Not since 1991 have Chelsea conceded six or more goals in a top-flight league match, but a mauling in Manchester followed a beating in Bournemouth. Sarriball has become Sorryball, as Maurizio Sarri strives to oversee a football revolution at Stamford Bridge, building a possession-based team out of a counter-attacking side.
While his philosophy will take time to be administered correctly and consistently at Stamford Bridge, his reluctance to ever adapt is surely concerning for the club. Sarri champions high-pressing, slick, possession football but he is struggling to get his ideas across in west London right now.
In the 6-0 thrashing at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, the Blues did follow their manager’s footballing philosophy, but they were still humiliated as they made countless individual and team defensive errors. Chelsea face a number of tough tests in the coming weeks, including two Europa League ties against Malmo, an FA Cup tie with Manchester United and the Carabao Cup final versus City.