Chelsea were thrashed 3-1 by Manchester City this evening at Stamford Bridge to drop to eighth in the Premier League.
Apart from a possible penalty call for Timo Werner early on, this was as an abject performance that has graced the hallowed turf in SW6 in many a decade.
Callum Hudson-Odoi gave the Blues a consolation goal deep into added time, but it failed to cover up what was a torrid opening first half, that only marginally improved in the second half.
Manchester City had six players missing due to Covid-19 but the game went ahead against Chelsea. City had their game against Everton game on Monday cancelled due to positive Covid results.
City therefore had an extra six days to prepare for the encounter. And their freshness paid dividends with three first half strikes.
Chelsea thought they had a clear penalty when Timo Werner when Rodri clipped the striker just inside the City penalty area. But nether the referee or VAR intervened.
That allowed City to regroup after an uncertain opening 10-minute spell.
They then had a great chance on 15 minutes to score when Kevin De Bruyne walked through the space between Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, but the Belgium midfielder sliced the ball past Edouard Mendy and also his right post.
But with increased possession by the visitors the tide was turning and resulted in the opening score.
Crisp passing saw German Gundogan turn and shoot past Mendy.
Chelsea collapsed on 20 minutes when De Bryune sliced the ball to Phil Foden who tucked home with a smart left footer to double the lead.
Then on 34 minutes following a Chelsea free kick, City when up the other end with Raheem Sterling racing clear. Having smacked the ball against the post, the ball fell to ex-Chelsea player De Bryune who stroked the ball home from six-yards to make it 3-0.
Gundogan had a great chance to make it 4-0 but his deft back heel inched wide of Mendy’s left post.
There were no changes by the Blues at half-time.
N’Golo Kante entered the ref’s book for a foul and misses the next league match against Fulham.
After a difficult start to the second half, The Blues got more of a grip of the game, resulting in Mateo Kovacic having a shot towards goal, but it was well wide of Steffen’s goal on 57 minutes.
Lampard finally made a substitution on 64 minutes – Ziyech for Hudson-Odoi on and Billy Gilmour for Kante.
The final replacement saw ineffectual Kovacic replaced by Kai Havertz on 78 minutes.
Deep into added time Hudson-Odoi was on the spot at the far post to clip home a fine Havertz cross but this was of little consolation.
The Blues next match is an FA Cup Third round tie, at the Bridge, next Sunday against Morecambe.
Chelsea, Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic
Subs, Kepa, Rudiger, Emerson, Jorginho, Gilmour, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Giroud
Man City; Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Foden, Bernardo, Sterling.
Subs, Carson, Aguero, Mendy, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Delap, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete.