Caretaker Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not want to leave…
This was not so much a victory as an evisceration. This was not so much a defeat as a demolition. This was not so much three points as one very big point being made by the champions. If Liverpool, or Tottenham Hotspur, are to finish ahead of Manchester City it will be an exceptional achievement.
City returned to the top of the Premier League, with another Sergio Agüero hat-trick, which draws him level on 11 with Alan Shearer’s all-time record, and did so by destroying Chelsea. They humiliated them and their head coach, Maurizio Sarri – and that is dangerous territory for a club with Chelsea’s ambition and expectations.
It has been three games, nine points and 11 goals in a week for City. They brushed aside Arsenal and Everton but this was next level. This was something special; the best, Pep Guardiola said, since he has been at the club which is some statement given the heights they have scaled. He said it would be a final. He finished Chelsea.
It was also a result that kept Chelsea out of the top four, and actually pushed them down to sixth, for the first time this season but it also raises serious questions over where they are heading and whether Sarri will continue after this campaign. It was that brutal. Sarri-ball was deconstructed in 25 devastating minutes.
Whatever the excuses, the mitigation, the understandable arguments over giving Sarri time – and the players – to execute his precise brand of football, big teams do not get taken apart like this. They just do not; no matter how good City were and they were very, very good. It was beautiful.