MANCHESTER CITY 3 CHELSEA 0
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho bemoaned a “fake” scoreline after finishing the most difficult week of his second spell at the club with a galling defeat by Premier League title rivals Manchester City.
An early goal from striker Sergio Aguero was compounded by late efforts from captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Fernandinho as City landed a juddering early blow in the battle for top-flight supremacy.
It came after a turbulent few days for Mourinho, who faced a barrage of criticism for removing club doctor Eva Carneiro from the bench following a row in last week’s 2-2 home draw against Swansea.
“The best team in the first half won the game,” he said. “The best team in the second half was Chelsea, for sure. If the 1-0 was a doubtful result at minute 70-75, the 3-0 is completely fake because at 1-0 Chelsea was the better team in the whole second half.”
The Blues boss was also forced to explain why he substituted captain John Terry for the first time in his 197 Premier League games in charge after just 45 minutes of yesterday’s contest.
“The point was not to bring John out but to bring [Kurt] Zouma in,” added Mourinho, who also confirmed the signing of Ghana left-back Baba Rahman from German side Augsburg.
“I’m the one that plays John every game, made him captain, brought him back from a difficult situation with other managers. I’m the one who has the right to look at the game and say I want Zouma on the pitch.”
Victory by the same scoreline with which City steam-rolled West Brom in their season opener sent them top after two games, and left Chelsea 16th with just one point.
Only a series of superb early saves from reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, in for the suspended Thibaut Courtois, prevented Aguero from putting rampant City ahead before the 32nd minute.
When he did, the Argentina star showed a deft touch to turn England defender Gary Cahill inside the penalty area and place the ball past Begovic and into the bottom-left corner.
City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala almost made it two before half-time but headed wide, in an incident that saw Begovic collide with Cahill and brought Chelsea’s revamped medical team off the bench – to ironic cheers.
Mourinho’s side stemmed the tide after the break without seriously testing City keeper Joe Hart, but the second goal – Kompany’s header from a corner – felt decisive. There was still time for Fernandinho to rifle a third, after playmaker David Silva had tackled Blues right-back Branislav Ivanovic, and install City as the new favourites for Chelsea’s crown.
“I am very satisfied because it is not easy to beat the champions,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini. “In the first half we deserved at least three or four goals. Our team played better and 3-0 is the minimum we deserved.”