Comfortable Man City beat Chelsea to win first silverware of the season
London, August 5, 2018 (AltAfrica)-A brace from Sergio Aguero, 13 and 38 minutes ensure Premier League current champion, Manchester City picked up from where they ended last season to win Community Shield contest against Chelsea at Wembley
It was meant to be an afternoon where Maurizio Sarri could show that Chelsea had significantly progressed from the Antonio Conte side which was embarrassed at Manchester City in March, but it was not to be.
Instead it was same-old City and same-old stars as Sergio Aguero bagged his 200th and 201st goals for the club while Chelsea dearly missed N’Golo Kante in midfield and, following an impressive pre-season, new arrival Jorginho struggled to make his mark.
The champions picked up where they left off last season, ferociously pressing Sarri’s side with chances falling to both new signing Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane in the opening minutes.
Augero, whose future has always been uncertain under Guardiola, looked to be enjoying himself leading the line ahead of Mahrez and Sane flashed two half chances wide of former teammate Willy Caballero in the Chelsea goal, as he went in search of his 200th in a sky blue shirt.
It wasn’t too long, though, before he became the first ever Manchester City player to reach that landmark. After a splitting ball from Aymeric Laporte found Phil Foden (via a flick from the impressive Bernardo Silva) the young midfielder found his stride, taking advantage of a weak Chelsea midfield in the absence of N’Golo Kante before shifting the ball to Aguero, who opened his body and drilled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
It took Chelsea until 25 minutes to at least threaten a reply, with Alvaro Morata’s wayward strike their first on goal of the afternoon, before Callum Hudson-Odoi followed suit firing one over the bar from range after the drinks break.
On the left of Sarri’s front three, 17-year-old Hudson-Odoi was providing the only concern for Guardiola’s back line, constantly looking to cut in across Kyle Walker to find a short or a pass, finding the Blues’ first shot on target after half an hour.
Despite his best efforts Chelsea remained toothless in attack, with little falling for Morata. Though Claudio Bravo did his best to get the Londoners level, misjudging the bounce of the ball before clambering back to his near post to deny Morata.
A half-time change from Guardiola saw the masked Ilkay Gundogan replacing Leroy Sane which, in turn, pushed Silva out wide and Foden further forward, something which should have borne fruit when Aguero was played through one-on-one with Caballero, only to give the keeper far more time than was needed before hitting the side netting.
There was no mistake just minutes later, though, when a charge through the non-existent Chelsea midfield from Gundogan had City looking dangerous again. The German found Silva who slotted a fine ball through to Aguero who made no mistake this time around.
Sarri responded introducing Willian and Danny Drinkwater: the former getting a warm reception from fans desperate he remains in west London; the latter playing for a future in west London.
From there the changes began to roll on. Jesus replaced Mahrez while Tammy Abraham – back at Chelsea following his spell with Swansea last season – took the place of Morata, who very much looks to still be in the frustrating mould from last term.
The changes made little difference with City still looking every bit as slick, their opposition every bit as ineffective, and Aguero would have had his third if it weren’t for Caballero standing firm against a rasping volley.
Chelsea did, at least, look more intent on doing something than that embarrassment at the Etihad back in March, but with no change in fortune to point to it appears ‘Sarri-ball’ will take a little longer to arrive.
For Guardiola and his City side, frankly, they remain remarkable and did more than enough here to strike some fear into Arsenal manager Unai Emery, watching on from the Wembley stands, ahead of their Premier League meeting in a week’s time