On Sunday morning, Chelsea fans started the day wondering which side will turn up for the big game at the Etihad. Chelsea’s manager, Maurizio Sarri, had already admitted that the opposition, Manchester City, were the best side in Europe, and to have any chance of competing against them, his side needed to be on their best.
Unfortunately for him, the side that turned up was not only tame, but it was also shambolic with its defending. With a quarter of the game gone, Chelsea were four goals down with City putting their visitors to the sword. If there was any hope of even a faint second-half revival, it was swiftly put to bed by Sergio Aguero’s 11th hattrick of his Premier League career. The scoreline at the end didn’t flatter Manchester City, and that tells you something about how dominant they were.
It also goes to show why this City team, under the leadership of Pep Guardiola, is arguably the best team in Europe. This team might have been built by oil money, but what they do on the pitch is absolutely phenomenal. This is a big-six side they defeated 6-0 — making it the worst Premier League loss for Chelsea — and they will only go from strength to strength from here.
Although Liverpool is on the heels of City, and although Jurgen Klopp has built a formidable team himself at Anfield, Manchester City will eventually win the Premier League again this season. I am convinced of this fact after City’s showing yesterday. Not that this current Liverpool side doesn’t have it what it takes to win, but Manchester City are simply unstoppable.
When the pressure becomes intense, I expect Liverpool to buckle. Their phenomenal run in the Champions League was halted in the final last season, and their downfall was of their own making. This Liverpool team is not quite so papery, but having never won the league title in the Premier League era, I don’t expect them to beat a team with the caliber of City to win it. Sorry, Liverpool fans, but it is the truth.
35-2 – In 2019, Manchester City have won their seven matches in all competitions at the Etihad by an aggregate score of 35-2. Fortress. pic.twitter.com/hCapNIr4IG
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 10, 2019
The only thing stopping this Manchester City team from immortality is their performance in Europe. For some reason, and that is perhaps down to their history of being a minnow club for the best part of the last century, City do not feel entirely comfortable in European competition. For them to actually become one of the best teams to have graced the game, they need to win the treble, and there is no reason they cannot do it if they can carry their Premier League form into the Champions League.
For now, however, whether or not one likes City or how they finance themselves, there is no shame in admitting that Pep Guardiola’s team is on a different plane, and as good as Liverpool has been for the entirety of the season, they stand no chance for another season.
At the end of the game yesterday, Manchester City played “One Step Beyond” at the Etihad — the same song that Chelsea play after winning games at Stamford Bridge. If that doesn’t tell you the confidence of City at the moment, wait until it happens to yet another team this season.