Photo: Phil Foden swept home Manchester City's second goal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as they brushed aside Chelsea 3-1 in the English Premier League. (Getty Images)
Manchester City mounted a staggering siege on Stamford Bridge with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Sunday. A contest many imagined would be exciting from one end to the other turned out to be rather a one-sided game in the end.
Frank Lampard's decision to keep Olivier Giroud on the bench was quite alarming, to say the least. Guardiola inevitably had to give goalkeeper Zack Steffen a league debut because of Ederson's absence while a few other key members were also out due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.
Off to an unsettled start, both teams struggled to find their groove early on in the game. However, City struck first with a rocketed strike from Ilkay Gundogan in the 18th minute from just inside the 18-yard box to break the deadlock. The Citizens dominated the rest of play onwards with smooth slick passes and pressing the opposition into shambles.
Three minutes later Phil Foden doubled City's lead off the end of Kevin De Bruyne's low cross at the front post. Foden, with the most delicate touch, astutely sweep his effort past Mendy to make it 2-0.
Kevin De Bruyne was on the end of a counter-attack he initiated from inside his own half for the Sky Blue's third, scoring from close range after Sterling's curled shot ricocheted off the post.
Gundogan almost had a brace when his deft backheel effort skewed wide of the target from an attempted assist from Foden. Eight minutes into the second half, City were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Sterling. De Bruyne's delivery into the box saw a direct header from Rodri saved astoundingly by Mendy, denying Guardiola's men a fourth goal.
Second half substitute Callum Hudson-Odi scored Chelsea's consolation goal in added time when he fired home at the back post to ensure that Pep's men did not leave the Bridge with a clean sheet. This was City's first time winning three consecutive games since the start of this season.
This victory pushes Manchester City into fifth (5th) position, just four (4) points shy of leaders Liverpool, who are tied with Manchester United on thirty-three (33) points but lead on goal difference. Chelsea now sits in eighth (8th) place on twenty-six points (26), winning only one (1) of their last five (5) league games.
Chelsea's performance on Sunday is a shadow of their showings at the start of this season. They lacked the creativity, awareness, and a sense of direction displayed in previous successful games. A culmination of results like this could see Frank Lampard's departure from Stamford Bridge if he doesn't find back the path to winning ways.