Chelsea were outplayed completely as Sergio Aguero embarrassed the hosts with his seventh Manchester City hat-trick.
The Blues, whose season came to an end last month, are on the verge of a total collapse, showing no effort and desire to impress incoming boss Antonio Conte.
The current Italian manager, known for his ferocity, will have to showcase plenty of that on this basis after a dismal showing which ended with Thibaut Courtois being dismissed, the sixth goalkeeper in Premier League history to receive two red cards in the same season.
It leaves the Champions League a mathematical impossibility, and most certainly too the Europa League, as the Blues look at best to cling onto a top-1o finish.
It shows how far down Chelsea have come when Manchester City, a side with similar quality and aspirations, can walk over the reigning Premier League champions, having only lost just one of their last 17 home Premier League meetings against Manchester City.
This was Chelsea’s heaviest home defeat in the Premier League since losing 3-0 to Sunderland in November 2010, but it started in positive fashion.
A long ball to Costa saw the Spaniard in on goal, albeit with his back to goal, and when he fed Pedro the goal-bound shot had to be stopped by Otamendi on the goal-line.
Next, the returning striker did have the ball in the back of the net, after excellent play by Rahman, but his pass to Costa was a fraction too late as Costa, although finishing well, was deemed offside. It was a very tight call.
Loftus-Cheek was the only youngster to start today as Hiddink felt he could give Manchester City a real good go, and the Englishman was enjoying his role just behind Costa, finding the talisman on a fair few occasions but to no great avail.
He did have a pop at goal for himself, but fizzed one too close to Hart’s hands and though the goalkeeper clearly saved it, Mike Dean gave a goal-kick.
Gary Cahill volleyed wide from a corner as Chelsea dominated the first 25 minutes of play.
But that was it. From then on it was Manchester City, who were much more efficient in front of goal, clearly buoyed by their recent successes in getting through to the Champions League semi-finals.
Yaya Toure played a neat ball through to ex-Chelsea man Kevin de Bruyne and it tore Chelsea open down the middle, with neither Ivanovic or Cahill on show, and Mikel ball-watching in letting them through. Azpilicueta and Rahman were the last men and thankfully, along with Courtois, they smothered this attack out.
Nasri then was through on goal but again blocked by Courtois’ legs, but that was all the warning signs Chelsea were getting. Manchester City would make them pay at the next attempt.
From a Chelsea corner, the Citizens countered with pace with De Bruyne, and whilst his pass to Aguero looked a fraction too deep, the Argentinian cut back to slot past Courtois.
De Bruyne has now had a hand in 27 goals in all competitions for City this season — how silly it looks now for Chelsea to have got themselves rid of this prodigal talent.
The Blues have never lost at home in the league during Hiddink’s two spells in charge but that was about to change, via another counter-attack.
Costa was through on the other end but lost the ball, Nasri countered and fed Agueto to lift over the poorly-positioned Aguero. It was another soft goal to concede, and either shows a lack of concentration or a marked drop in ability from Chelsea’s back-line.
Things got better for the visitors, and for Aguero, as he would become the third opposing player to score a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
Fernandinho raced through and Courtois brought him down. The penalty was no doubt but the subsequent dismal looked harsh as Chelsea had two men back-tracking.
Regardless, Begovic’s first piece of action was to pick the ball up out of the net as Aguero sent him the wrong way.
Chelsea are heading the wrong way.
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Man of the Match
NOBODY: Everyone was completely and utterly outplayed as City ran riot. 0/10
Hiddink clinged onto his heroic achievement: “Chelsea are a difficult situation this season. We managed to get out of the relegation zone but Chelsea need to be in the first four places. We were knocking on the door but we didn’t create open chances. They outplayed us on 60-70 yard counters.”
Pellegrini knew the win rounded off a good week: “I am satisfied with the team, they played well in attacking and defending. When all the players are fit and playing together, it is another team. Tonight was a complete game.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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