Man City lay down huge marker as they smash Chelsea

Sergio Aguero was a constant thorn in Chelsea's side
Sergio Aguero was a constant thorn in Chelsea's side
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Manchester City crushed Chelsea 3-0 in a one-sided encounter and were not flattered by the margin of victory writes Leanne Daddia.

Five minutes into the second half Ramires had the ball in the back of the net only for the linesman's flag to be raised for offside but City appeared to be quite content to defend and let Chelsea come at them at this stage.

The win means City are already five points clear of Jose Mourinho's side after only two games of the season.

City had opened their Premier League campaign with a fine 3-0 win at West Brom while Chelsea had been held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Thibaut Courtois had been sent off against the Swans so summer signing Asmir Begovic came in for the suspended goalkeeper while Sergio Aguero replaced Wilfried Bony in the City side.

The tone for the match was set in the opening seconds when Aguero was sent free by David Silva only for his low shot to be kept out by Begovic, Jesus Navas firing the rebound across the face of goal.

In the fifth minute City piled forward again and Cesar Azpilicueta unconvincingly sliced a clearance over his own bar and away for a corner.

When Chelsea tried to respond, after Ramires' jinking run had been stopped, the ball trickled through to Diego Costa who fell to the ground under Eliaquin Mangala's challenge only for the referee to wave away the penalty appeals.

In the 15th minute there was almost a costly mix-up between Gary Cahill and Begovic until the keeper eventually dived on the ball and, two minutes later, the former Stoke City shot-stopper made a superb save low to his left to keep Aguero's powerful drive out.

Just 60 seconds later Begovic got down well to deny Aguero again as City pressed for an opening goal.

When the visitors launched a rare attack in the 21st minute Nemanja Matic headed Eden Hazard's cross high and wide before Aguero contrived to send the ball wide from five yards out after an excellent Aleksandar Kolarov cross.

The Argentinian could easily have had a hat-trick inside the opening 25 minutes but he finally broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when he combined well with Yaya Toure before clipping a low shot past Begovic and into the corner of the net.

Chelsea looked weak defensively on both flanks with Branislav Ivanovic a shadow of his usual self, and when Mourinho's side had the chance to hit back after Silva had tripped Hazard, Cesc Fabregas floated the resulting free-kick straight through to Joe Hart.

City almost doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time when Mangala got his head to Kolarov's superb free-kick only to flick the ball wide when he should really have scored.

Mourinho sprang a surprise at the break when he opted to bring on Kurt Zouma for John Terry and the change appeared to have an effect as Chelsea enjoyed their best spell of the match at the start of the second period.

Five minutes into the second half Ramires had the ball in the back of the net only for the linesman's flag to be raised for offside but City appeared to be quite content to defend and let Chelsea come at them at this stage.

Chelsea certainly upped their game in the second half but the only clear opening they created came in the 70th minute when Hart kept Hazard's shot out after City had been caught out when they had committed too many men forward.

City regained the initiative in the closing stages though and scored two more goals that their dominance warranted.

With 11 minutes left Vincent Kompany beat the hapless Ivanovic in the air and powered a header from Silva's corner past Begovic before, in the 85th minute, poor defending by Chelsea allowed Fernandinho to fire home from the edge of the area.

Costa hit the post with virtually the last kick of the match but that would have only been a consolation for the visitors who had been outclassed by City for long spells.

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