Fulltime: Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea
The Premier League may be only two matches old, but already things look very different than they did at the start. After such a poor title defense last season, Manchester City have started the campaign with two 3-0 wins to go top of the table. And against the title holders today they were superb throughout the team. Incisive and silky going forward, they showed the discipline and intensity without the ball that was lacking on too many occasions last season.
Meanwhile, the champions sit in the bottom three after a sluggish start to the campaign. Chelsea got better after the interval but this was a long way from the type of performance Mourinho’s teams have so often displayed against their rivals. Lacking a cutting edge going forward, they were, as last week against Swansea, vulnerable at the back. It’s still incredibly early, but, as things, stand Mourinho has much more important issues to address than the distracting saga involving his medical staff. Ahead of the close of the transfer window, he will surely being putting pressure on those above him to revitalize a squad that looks to have taken a step back, especially with City suggesting that they have taken a big step forward.
Here's the highlights from the match:
89 mins: City almost toying with Chelsea now, passing the ball dangerously across the opposition penalty area, before Chelsea are finally able to clear.
Here’s the videos of City’s second and third goals, from Kompany and Fernandinho.
85 mins: Goal! Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea (Fernandinho)
An emphatic strike from Fernandinho to secure Manchester City an emphatic victory over the Premier League champions. The ball rolled across to him on the edge of the box and the Brazilian didn’t hesitate in blasting a fabulously clean strike past Begovic into the far side of the net.
83 mins: City make their final change, taking off the scorer of their opening goal, Aguero, and bringing on Wilfried Bony for the closing minutes. The Argentine has been exceptional in his first start of the season.
80 mins: Right before that goal, both teams made substitutions, with Martin Demichelis replacing Raheem Sterling for City and Radamel Falcao coming on for Willian for City.
79 mins: Goal! Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea (Vincent Kompany)
For the second week running Kompany powerfully heads in a goal, this time easily out-muscling Ivanovic at the near post to direct a corner into the net. Surely that’s game over and a massive three points for Manchester City and a huge blow for Chelsea.
78 mins: Kolarov, who has been excellent going forward all game, puts in another teasing cross that Begovic deflects away with his boot.
73 mins: Cuardado’s just sent a cross into the box, but it was slightly over-hit and with only Costa in the box for Chelsea, the attack breaks down.
70 mins: Best chance by far of the game for Chelsea. This time it’s the visitors that break well, with Costa leading the attack before squaring for Hazard in the center of the box. The Belgian looked primed to equalize but his low shot was well saved by Hart.
68 mins: While Chelsea have been better in this half, City are again looking dangerous on the break and right now look the more likely team to get the next goal, should one arrive. Aguero’s quick footwork is continuing to cause the Chelsea defense problems.
65 mins: City make their first change, with Samir Nasri coming on for Jesus Navas.
64 mins: Chelsea make their second substitution as Juan Cuadrado replaces Ramires. The Colombian has made little impact so far at Chelsea, but certainly provides more of a threat than the man he has replaced.
61 mins: City go back on the attack, but, after passing up one opportunity to shoot, Toure gets the ball back and shoots fairly tamely into the hands of Begovic. Looked for a second like he was ripe to repeat his superb goal against West Brom last week.
58 mins: Ivanovic puts in a really good cross from the right, but neither Willian nor Costa could get on the end of it.
56 mins: Chelsea have certainly begun the half with far more urgency going forward, and they’re pinning City back, but the visitors are still struggling to create a real chance.
54 mins: Willian’s free-kick deflects straight into the hands of Joe Hart, who has remarkably little to do so far.
50 mins: Ramires puts the ball into the net and runs off to celebrate, not realizing that the assistant referee had his flag up for offside.
48 mins: Raheem Sterling charges past Ivanovic down the left and the Serbian can only trip him to give away a free-kick and earn himself a yellow card. From the set-piece, Gary Cahill came dangerously close to turning the ball into his own net.
46 mins: Chelsea make a half-time substitution with Kurt Zouma, who was warming up during the first half, coming on to replace captain John Terry. It's the first time he’s ever been substituted by Mourinho in a Premier League game.
Halftime: Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea
A furious Diego Costa had to be restrained down the tunnel as the players went off for the interval, but it’s the lackluster performance of his team that Mourinho will be most concerned with. The Portuguese was indignant at the suggestion in his press conference that this week’s controversy off the pitch would impact his Chelsea squad, but this is certainly far from the resilient display we’ve come to expect from a Mourinho team away at a title rival.
Manchester City have been on top right from the opening whistle and, were it not for some fine saves from Asmir Begovic, the hosts could be far more than just a single goal to the good. City’s excellence going forward was finally rewarded when Aguero expertly found the net. And there’s been little since to suggest that an anemic Chelsea can get back into the contest. Mourinho will surely have to make some changes, with the workman like Ramires and Willian offering precious little in an attacking sense.
45+2 mins: The medical staff are back on after Diego Costa went down from an elbow into the head from Fernandinho. The Brazilian was given a yellow card, but there looked to be no malicious intent and little recklessness involved.
45 mins: A big, ironic cheer from the City fans as Chelsea’ medical staff come on to tend to Gary Cahill, who has received a bloody nose after Begovic clattered into him trying to get to that free-kick.
44 mins: It should be 2-0 to City. Begovic comes and fails to get to a free-kick, but from six yards out Mangala sent his header wide of the vacant goal. It wasn't easy, but the French defender has to hit the target there.
41 mins: Chelsea with one of their best moments of the match as Hazard finds Ramires in the box, but the Brazilian was easily robbed by Mangala before Cesc Fabregas fired a shot wide.
Here's a video of that marvelous goal by Aguero to give City the lead:
35 mins: The contrast in the tempo of the two teams has been readily apparent so far, with City attacking at pace, while Chelsea have been happy for a slow, methodical buildup that simply holds possession. But having gone behind Chelsea will surely have to inject more urgency into their play.
32 mins: Goal! Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea (Aguero)
City display more of the quick interplay that has characterized their fine start to the match, with Silva again at the heart of it before Aguero and Toure link up on the edge of the box. After his lightning footwork befuddles the Chelsea defense and opened up space, the Argentina striker this time finally beats Begovic with a precise low effort into the corner of the net.
30 mins: City searching for a breakthrough again as Navas drills in a low cross that Azpilicueta turns behind for a corner. Chelsea clear it and go on a counter-attack of their own, which sees Ivanovic and Willian have shots blocked by City defenders.
26 mins: Chelsea perhaps beginning to settle into this match, doing a better job of holing possession and of getting it back when they lose it.
21 mins: Another sight of goal for Aguero. A Kolarov cross from the left evades Begovic and John Terry, but, on the stretch, Aguero could only direct his volley wide of the target.
20 mins: Chelsea’s first effort on the opposition goal sees Nemanja Matic head harmlessly over the crossbar at the near post.
17 mins: Begovic with an even better save! It’s a similar shot from Aguero, but this time his effort is first-time after a cross from the right, requiring Begovic to rapidly get down low to his left. The former Stoke City goalkeeper is almost single-handedly keeping Chelsea on level terms in the early stages.
15 mins: City and Aguero go close to an opening goal once again. Another fine City move culminates with Aguero spinning in the box to open space for a shot that he fired low at goal, but Begovic again came up with a good save.
13 mins: Manchester City are playing some really nice stuff going forward, with David Silva, just as last week, displaying some delightfully silky touches.
9 mins: Another dangerous moment for City going forward. Aguero just unable to stretch far enough to get his boot on a wicked free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov.
7 mins: Diego Costa with a hollow appeal for a penalty after going down under seemingly little contact from Eliaquim Mangala.
5 mins: City again causing Chelsea problems breaking quickly. Cesar Azpilicueta has to conceded a corner, which comes to nothing.
2 mins: One interesting tactical note for Chelsea is that Willian is playing in the middle, with Ramires out on the right. Perhaps that’s a move by Mourinho to try and ensure Branislav Ivanovic is not troubled by Raheem Sterling in the same way he was by Swansea’s Jefferson Montero a week ago.
1 min: City so close to going in front inside the first 30 seconds! David Silva split the Chelsea defense wide open to find Sergio Aguero, but Asmir Begovic, making his first Premier League start for Chelsea, came up with a huge save with his left leg. Jesus Navas then fizzed a shot wide of the far post.
1 min: And Chelsea kick off to get the match between last season's top two underway!
10:53 a.m. EDT: A record crowd at the Etihad of 55,000 is expected today, with this being the first match to take place in front of the expanded south stand.
10:45 a.m. EDT: There’s one significant piece of team news for each club ahead of the heavyweight Premier League matchup. Hosts Manchester City welcome last season’s top scorer Sergio Aguero into their starting lineup for the first time this campaign, with the Argentina striker now seemingly fully fit after recovering from his exertions at the Copa America. Chelsea expectedly make a move to defensively-reinforce their midfield. Ramires comes in alongside Nemanja Matic, with Cesc Fabregas pushing further forward. Oscar drops out, as always looked likely, although Jose Mourinho has said the decision was made because of an injury to the Brazilian creator.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) August 16, 2015
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 16, 2015
Preview: Manchester City and Chelsea will look to state an early case for their championship credentials when the two leading favorites for the Premier League title go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. While just the second week of the season, the encounter presents an opportunity for City to gain an unexpected five-point advantage over the defending champions.
After relinquishing their crown last season, Manuel Pellegrini’s side made a fine start to the current campaign when brushing West Brom aside 3-0 on Monday night. As well as a delightful showing by David Silva, Yaya Toure made a strong statement about his ability to rebound from a poor second half to last season. And captain Vincent Kompany, who also failed to produce his best for much of last term, showcased an emotional reaction after scoring the third goal to signal that he and City mean business this time around.
It was a very different start to the season for Chelsea. The London side could only draw 2-2 at home to Swansea and also had goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off. But the real furor was to come after the match, when manager Jose Mourinho continued his criticism of his medical staff for running onto the field to assist Eden Hazard and thus forcing Chelsea to temporarily go down to nine men late in the contest. Club doctor Eva Carneiro and first-team physio Jon Fearn were subsequently told they wouldn’t be on the bench for Sunday’s encounter and the foreseeable future, bringing widespread condemnation from the medical profession.
As well as dealing with the fallout from that saga, Chelsea will have to do without the suspended Courtois in Manchester, meaning that summer signing Asmir Begovic will start his first game for the club. City, meanwhile, will again be without midfield duo Fabian Delph and Fernando, but could have Sergio Aguero back in the starting lineup.
Follow live updates and video highlights from the match here from 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday.