Bernardo Silva 9/10 as Man City stroll to shield win vs. Chelsea
An absolutely fabulous 2017-18 does not seem to have dulled the spirit as City set about an experimental Chelsea side with vim and vigour. By the end, a master-class by Willy Caballero against his old teammates was the only thing hindering Man City from running up a cricket score as they settled for a 2-0 victory.
The sun-drenched stroll afforded Pep Guardiola the chance to blood some of the club's promising youngsters as the second half wound down in simple fashion.
Chances came and went in a second half that saw City floated through a Chelsea side that were always a step or two behind. That they were not all taken was immaterial on this occasion, but their perfectionist coach will be drumming it into them that profligacy of this nature will not be tolerated from next week onwards.
Manager Rating out of 10
8 -- Guardiola has built a side with an intriguing emphasis on left-footed players, which makes City's movement and passing very difficult to predict and, therefore, control.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Claudio Bravo, 6 -- Had his customary Bravo moments, as an innocuous high ball bounced over him and a spinning ricochet escaped his grasp, but Chelsea produced precious little to bother him.
DF Kyle Walker, 7 -- Quiet first half-hour against the inexperienced Callum Hudson-Odoi but the youngster stretched him more later on, a challenge to which he was more than equal to.
DF Aymeric Laporte, 7 -- Tidy and comfortable when pressed and composed and elegant bringing the ball out of defence. Taken off as a precaution on 86 minutes.
DF John Stones, 7 -- Brings sophistication and calmness to the central defence. Brilliant anticipation to break out and set up the second goal. Gave ball away needlessly to Willian late on.
DF Benjamin Mendy, 8 -- What a difference he makes to the left flank, bringing dynamism, speed and variety to his link play with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. Eager, polished and alert to the opportunity to cut in and feed runners inside him.
MF Phil Foden, 8 -- A marvellous 75 minutes from the youngster, setting up Sergio Aguero's first with exquisite awareness and taking advantage of a badly congested Chelsea midfield to thread passes through time and again. Continued to set up Aguero as the main striker failed to add to his two goals.
MF Fernandinho, 7 -- Kept things ticking over as usual. Gave a master-class to Jorginho on how to keep out of view but still influence the flow of the game.
MF Bernardo Silva, 9 -- So economical with the ball. Deftness of touch, breadth of vision, never-say-die chasing down of the opposition in possession and the ball glued to his left foot. Clearly a worthy successor when his namesake's time is up.
MF Leroy Sane, 6 -- Too fast for Chelsea defence early on but wasted his first chance. First to be removed, at half-time.
MF Riyad Mahrez, 7 -- Yet another left-footer to trouble Premier League defences this season. Plenty of promise but still to build understanding with team mates over when to break, leaving him caught offside on far too many occasions.
FW Sergio Aguero, 8 -- Has goals 200 and 201 already in the bag but 202 and 203 could also have been claimed as he was put clear time and again.
MF Ilkay Gundogan 7 -- On for Leroy Sane at half-time. Injected pace and tenacity to an already dominant midfield.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 -- Came on for Mahrez on 67 minutes to stretch a tiring Chelsea defence.
MF Brahim Diaz, NR -- 75th minute appearance for Phil Foden. Lively but profligate.
DF Vincent Kompany, NR -- On for Aguero.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, NR -- On for Aymeric Laporte, 86th minute.
MF Claudio Gomes, NR -- Replaced John Stones.