City fans are waking up on Sunday morning with their team back on top of the Premier League following a superb display at Stamford Bridge.
Kevin De Bruyne’s brilliant finish with twenty minutes to go was enough to see-off Champions Chelsea on their home turf as well as extend the Blues’ run of straight league victories to five.
Here’s what the media thought of the performance.
“Perhaps the most alarming thought for the other teams with aspirations of winning the Premier League is that Manchester City could produce this show of strength, passing the ball so elegantly and comprehensively outplaying the reigning champions, without even being able to call upon the player who is one goal short of establishing himself as their joint all-time record scorer.”
That was the Guardian’s opening gambit on City’s Stamford Bridge show with Daniel Taylor at his lyrical best to describe how Pep Guardiola’s set went about their work on Saturday evening. He continues:
“The winning goal was another outstanding addition to the Belgian’s portfolio, aided and abetted by David Silva’s enduring brilliance, the penetrative qualities of Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling in the wide positions and the emergence of Gabriel Jesus as a player who can trouble the most accomplished defences. The celebrations at the end made it clear Guardiola and his players considered this more than just an ordinary victory.
“It was true that City played with greater energy but, more than anything, they exuded the confidence of a side that had scored 16 times without reply in their last three league fixtures. They were quickly into their rhythm, using the full width of the pitch, with Sané and Sterling under instructions to cling to the touchline and push back the two Chelsea wing-backs. Silva seemed to be at the heart of everything and Fernandinho, a player who does not get a sliver of the credit he deserves, had another fine game.
“It was rare to see Chelsea being given this treatment on their own ground and when the goal arrived from De Bruyne’s left foot, midway through the second half, it was the culmination of a ten-minute spell when City had at least four opportunities to take the lead. De Bruyne’s one-two with Jesus was quick and incisive. As soon as De Bruyne moved on to the return pass, it was clear he was going to let fly. Twenty yards out, it was a beauty and City had the goal that propelled them back to the top of the league. They are going to take some shifting.”
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney saw it like this:
“A mere 1-0, but still so much more than that, Kevin De Bruyne continued his step-up as a truly top-class player this season, as Manchester City continued their strides forward as the team that now looks likeliest to top the table come the campaign’s end. Champions Chelsea weren’t so much beaten as dismissed, and given the type of properly serious lesson in the Premier League that they haven’t endured since this time last season, when they lost successive games to Liverpool and Arsenal.”
“In subjecting them to that, City also claimed the kind of momentum-propelling big victory that so often eluded them last season just when they seemed on the brink of something, and all because De Bruyne so elegantly yet so forcefully eluded the Chelsea defence. No one could get close to him in terms of performance, and the net effect of all that was that as well as having one player on a higher level, City always looked like they had one more player on the pitch. They were that good, and outmanoeuvred and outplayed Chelsea that much.
Guardiola got it very right, as Antonio Conte for once got it very wrong, a complete inversion of last season’s supremely intense matches between the two sides that Chelsea claimed six points from.
That’s the BBC’s Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty’s opening line as he continues to laud the Blues’ display:
“Kevin de Bruyne’s spectacular 67th-minute winner against his former club, a rising left-foot drive from outside the area, gave Pep Guardiola’s side a victory their dominance deserved and saw them leapfrog back over arch-rivals Manchester United.
“Guardiola’s men coped with Aguero’s absence superbly, and threatened to score long before De Bruyne finally broke the deadlock, with Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois making a brilliant reflex save from Fernandinho’s header before the break.
“City have swept aside their past three Premier League opponents in a blaze of spectacular attacking football, scoring 16 goals without reply as Liverpool, Watford and Crystal Palace were thrashed 5-0, 6-0 and 5-0 respectively.
“The visit to Chelsea was a different challenge making different demands of Pep Guardiola’s side – but they proved more than equal to the task.
“Chelsea were never going to crumble under the weight of City’s attacks, or be overawed by the attacking riches they could offer, even in the absence of leading scorer Aguero.
“City were going to require patience and perseverance, as well as the reserves of talent at Guardiola’s disposal, to get the job done at Stamford Bridge.
“City, with John Stones brave and solid as well as classy at the heart of defence, repelled the best a leggy Chelsea could offer and excelled at both ends of the pitch.”