Man City send Premier League title warning as Lampard clings to Chelsea job
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City slickers destroyed Chelsea to leave Frank Lampard clinging to his job at Stamford Bridge.
The capital might be in lockdown again, but City ran riot from start to finish to hand the Blues a footballing lesson in their own backyard.
To be frank, this was like watching men against boys as City pummelled their hosts into submission before half time with a stunning performance that warned the rest of the Premier League they want their title back.
The Blues have now won just one of their last six league games to plummet down the table – as Lampard continues to play Russian roulette with his future.
No wonder owner Roman Abramovich doesn't bother coming to West London these days, if this is the tripe being served up.
But he might make an exception if things don't improve soon, because his relationship with Lampard is now being tested to the limit.
The Blues might have boasted a formidable home record, but Lampard had seen his side take four points from a possible 15 available before this.
He made five changes to the team that drew with Aston Villa a week ago and recalled Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and Mateo Kovacic in a bid to shake up his lacklustre troops. It wasn't going to work though.
Guardiola had problems of the different kind following an outbreak of Covid-19 in his squad's bubble that had deprived him of five players at Stamford Bridge.
Ederson was one of them, meaning Guardola had to hand a league debut to Zak Steffen in goal – and just his fifth appearance for the English giants.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Phil Foden also returned, with Sergio Aguero having to settle for a place on the bench alongside Covidiot Benjamin Mendy, where Guardiola could keep an eye on him in the wake of his idiotic behaviour in breaking the lockdown rules on New Year's Eve.
Guardiola deployed Kevin De Bruyne in the middle of his front three and Lampard's men just couldn't handle him.
He ran them ragged from the start and when City pounced twice within 180 seconds midway through the first half, the contest was over after 21 minutes.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring after taking a subtle pass from Foden and smashing a clinical shot past Mendy to make it 1-0.
The hosts hadn't even had time to digest the problem before it got twice as bad, when De Bruyne picked out Foden, who beat Mendy with a flicked finish inside the near post to expose the Blues' defence once again.
Guardiola's men were ruthless while the hosts were toothless – and City made it 3-0 before half time with a goal that summed up how naive Lampard's men were.
N'Golo Kante conceded possession just inside his own half, allowing the unmarked Raheem Sterling to race clear from halfway and when his shot came back off the post, De Bruyne drilled home the loose ball.
It was just the second time in Premier League history the Blues had conceded three in a home game.
Lampard took a kick at the nearest hoarding, knowing the rest of his night was all about damage limitation. How his flops won the second half 1-0 thanks to Callum Hudson-Odoi's injury time consolation goal is anyone's guess.
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