Manchester City faced a pretty humiliating defeat at Stamford Bridge, as they took their foot off the gas against a rejuvenated Chelsea team.
The Blues were flying throughout the second half and walked away with a comfortable victory and a massive confidence boost after drubbing a severely weakened Pellegrini XI that would not have looked out of place in the bottom half of the PL… alongside Chelsea.
Guus Hiddink’s splendid record as Chelsea boss has continued and the goal for Eden Hazard can only be a positive for the remainder of their campaign and the FA Cup is clearly their only chance of silverware after their poor first leg result in the Champions League.
City’s youngsters worked hard and showed their talent, but they were no match for a Chelsea side at full strength and Pep Guardiola will have been watching on with concern ahead of his arrival this summer.
John Obi Mikel consolidated his position in the team with another impressive performance, whilst the Blues gave more minutes to Baba Rahman at left-back, too.
Here are FIVE things we learned from an ordinary evening’s entertainment.
Willy Caballero, despite being a favourite of Manuel Pellegrini, gave another poor performance against Chelsea and was certainly at fault for the third goal. Caballero embarrassed himself for Chelsea’s fifth, too.
Cahill’s effort went straight through the keeper and as good as sealed the victory for Chelsea.
Guardiola will ask a lot of his keepers and he will certainly want a player who can compete with Hart.
After having a quiet season until the last week or two, Pedro has begun to show flashes of the brilliance we saw at Barcelona.
The Spaniard’s darting runs caused constant problems for the City defence and he looks to be on his way to his best.
With all the youth in their XI, it was always going to be a huge test for City, but the majority of their youngsters performed very well and they showed great spirit to equalise so quickly after going behind in the first half.
Iheanacho is the shining light of the cohort and he was a constant threat.
City gave Fabregas the freedom of the midfield and the Spaniard was back to his tempo dictating best as he dissected the City defence on numerous occasions.
A delicate pass set up Chelsea’s first clear chance of the game, where Pedro hit the post, and Fabregas dominated throughout the match as he was rightly given the Man of the Match award.
Pellegrini’s pre-game rant about the scheduling of this fixture should serve as a wake-up call to the Football Association.
Other countries are happy to change schedules to help their clubs in European football, but the FA continue to be held hostage by the TV companies. If there is no change in approach, their competitions will suffer.