Manchester City cantered past Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge with Pep Guardiola’s side showcasing their title credentials.
Who were the standout performers? And who had a stinker? Here are the ratings…
Edouard Mendy – 5
After being heralded as superhuman for keeping eight clean sheets in his first 11 matches, Mendy has now kept just one in his last seven. Managed to get a hand to both of City’s first two goals but it wasn’t enough. Much like many of his teammates, his confidence is evaporating by the week.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 4
Completely overrun when tasked with stopping City’s overloads down his side. Made to look like an ageing defender by the legs in the City attack. Offered almost nothing going the other way too, with poor crossing on show.
Thiago Silva – 5
Started with a good tempo in his passing and was pure class on the ball but was caught out by Gundogan’s clever turn and finish for the all-important first goal. He was always just half a yard short of getting there. The Thiago Silva of yesteryear probably would have got there.
Kurt Zouma – 5
Played with a lack of his usual aggression and his understanding with Silva looked way below the usual standards on show. Questions remain about his longevity playing in a side that have title ambitions.
Ben Chilwell – 4
Consistently caught out defensively with no protection offered for him with Raheem Sterling too strong and quick for him in one-on-one situations. Still looks a left winger trying to play full back.
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N’Golo Kante – 4
Unusually sloppy, especially his passing.
One thing you can usually guarantee from Kante is tenacity but even that was severely lacking and City took advantage. His performance was summed up by a poor pass when the last man that sent Sterling through on goal for City’s third. Also, booked for a foul on the England man, meaning he’ll miss the next game due to suspension. He looks like a rest would do him good. “He’s not quite what he was,” observed Gary Neville on co-commentary.
Mason Mount – 5
Still looked like a player making his way in the game in a performance full on inconsistency. And, perhaps we are all expecting too much of the 21-year-old. He needed more support from his experienced teammates.
Mateo Kovacic – 5
Like Mount, the game passed him by. He was picked to provide forceful runs and give City questions to answer but didn’t do his job, allowing the City midfield to run all over him.
Christian Pulisic – 6
Going through a crisis of confidence. Gone are the tricky and incisive runs of last season. Didn’t lack for endeavour but City’s defenders were one step ahead of his attempted creative play.
Timo Werner – 5
Given a chance to show his talents through the middle but looked lost. A few nice touches early on but he was forced to drop far too deep to get involved in the play. Chelsea missed the focal point that a Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham provides. It’s now 13 games without a goal for the German.
Hakim Ziyech – 5
A lot was expected on his return but he fell flat. His game is all about providing quality from wide areas but Chelsea rarely got him into dangerous positions. Should have tested the defensive capabilities of City full back Oleksandr Zinchenko more often.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7
Rarely trusted from the start by Frank Lampard but once again came on to prove a point that perhaps he should be first choice. Offered a good outlet, gave Zinchenko some defending to do and popped up with a late consolation goal.
Billy Gilmour – 5
A tough gig for the youngster to come on and affect the game when 3-0 down to Manchester City.
Kai Havertz – N/A
Zack Steffen – 7
Any early nerves on his Premier League debut wouldn’t have been helped by picking up a back-pass from Rodri in the early stages. However, Chelsea gave him an easy time of it, failing to register a shot on target until the 45th minute.
Ruben Dias – 7
Rock solid. Only a deflected Semi Ajayi goal for West Brom against City and Hudson-Odoi’s late consolation has passed his watch in his last seven appearances. This City team can now defend and he’s a big reason for that.
John Stones – 7
Rarely broke sweat, a surefire sign that the England defender is very much back to his best. Could have played in his club suit, such was the lack of pressure Chelsea put on him.
Joao Cancelo – 8
Rapidly developing into a key leader for Guardiola with his versatility and clever positioning making him hard to leave out when the teamsheets are named. Unlucky not to get his second assist of the season when sending through a wonderful pass to release De Bruyne on 15 minutes but the chance was fluffed.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7
Grabbed his opportunity with both hands. Despite playing just 12 minutes of Premier League football this season, the Ukrainian provided an intelligent outlet down the left, providing key passes in the build-up to both of City’s opening goals.
Rodri – 8
Kept busy in the early stages by the fluid Chelsea front three but answered every call with some impressive break up play to stop Werner and Pulisic in their tracks. No player gained possession back for his side more than the Spaniard (11).
Bernardo Silva – 7
Nice and tidy as always in midfield. Nothing flashy but from his deep position he kept providing the likes of De Bruyne and Foden with sublime service.
Ilkay Gundogan – 9
Drove City forward in a performance that defined what being a central midfielder is all about. Super clever with his passing and deadly with his attacking runs. And, when he needed to find the quality when the key chance came, he took it on 18 minutes, firing a wonderful strike into the bottom corner.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9
Surely Chelsea’s decision to sell De Bruyne for £18million in 2013 has to rate as one the great transfer mistakes.
He once again came back to haunt them, playing in a false nine, with a typically class performance, grabbing a goal and an assist. Indeed, among players to have previously made a Premier League appearance for Chelsea, De Bruyne has more goals vs the Blues than any other former player. His first-half effort was all about the quite brilliant first touch to set up an easy finish.
Phil Foden – 8
Sublime stuff from the youngster. Playing as part of the front three, it was a performance that will leave Azpilicueta waking up in cold sweats this evening. He toyed with him.
Foden was silky in possession and found the right pass at critical times in the match – as shown by his assist for the Gundogan opener and clinical finish for his goal. Guardiola’s embrace and appreciation of his performance when subbed on 86 minutes said it all.
Now the job Guardiola has on his hands is to make Foden an automatic starter in these big games.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Many thought he would play as the central striker but he popped up on the right and played with great quality, strength and speed. Probably should have scored when one-on-one with Mendy but his blushes were sparred by De Bruyne firing home the rebound.
Fernandino – 6
The game was won when he arrived on the scene. Kept things ticking over.
Sergio Aguero – N/A
Riyad Mahrez – N/A
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Chelsea now host Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday at 1.30pm, before going to Fulham on January 15 in the Premier League on Friday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 8pm.
Manchester City now go to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Football at 7.45pm, before hosting Birmingham City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday at 1.30pm.
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