Manchester City laid down a real marker early on in this year’s title race as they dispatched champions Chelsea 3-0 at the new look Etihad stadium. Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho rounded off a perfect day for the hosts, a day which moved them five clear of Chelsea with only two games played.
City, playing in front of a record 54,432 after the extended South Stand, made the most of Mourinho’s side's lack of confidence after their disappointing performance in their opening day home draw to Swansea.
Pellegrini’s side were quick out of the blocks and were almost ahead within 30 seconds of kick-off. David Silva found himself already exposing the Chelsea back line and threaded a beautiful through-ball for the returning Sergio Aguero, but the Argentine shot straight at stand-in keeper Asmir Begovic when one-on-one.
Aguero continued to create chances but continued to be kept out by the Bosnian, who made two sharp saves as Aguero’s sustained pressure was causing Terry and Cahill problems. After a glaring miss, last season’s top scorer finally got his goal, wriggling away from three Chelsea defenders before coolly passing the ball past Begovic in to the bottom corner.
The opposing star striker Diego Costa was at the forefront of controversy directly before the half-time whistle. The bad boy of the Premier League was met with a jumping elbow from Fernandinho which earned the Brazilian a yellow card, although Costa’s persistence to chase the offender down the tunnel didn’t sit well with the Manchester City faithful.
Mourinho reacted to his side’s poor showing in the first half by surprisingly bringing on young Kurt Zouma for captain John Terry; the latter had not been subbed since 2013 and never under the management of Mourinho.
The visitors gradually started to get a foothold in the game after City flew out of the blocks again in the second half, and were very unfortunate not to be level after Ramires, who appeared to be onside following a through ball from Cesc Fabregas, poked the ball past Hart to equalize - however he was called back by the offside flag.
City were again let off after a flowing Chelsea counter ended in Eden Hazard beautifully dummying a couple of City defenders to hit his effort from 8 yards straight at Joe Hart, the only action the England no.1 really had all game.
Time ticked on and City extended their lead just after the introduction of Falcao as Mourinho moved to two strikers. David Silva’s corner was met by the head of skipper Vincent Kompany, who out-muscled Branislav Ivanovic to double his side's lead and his goal tally for the season after scoring against West Bromwich.
Chelsea were wide open and Fernandinho made it three after more sloppy play from Ivanovic in his own third, Silva again the architect prodding the ball to Fernandinho who struck fiercely past the helpless Begovic to send the fans home happy.