With the sun beating down on Wembley Stadium and the air as cumbersome as trying to carry all the empty 17,000 seats with one arm…the following observations are mine and mine alone.
There were a lot of empty seats which were probably justified with the hangover of the World Cup still looming over our heads.
A headache was also felt by the starting lineups of both teams. A few star-studded names left off the team sheets including such as Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and David Silva.
Even with those stars out of the game for Manchester City their play was not devoid of quality at all. All positions played well despite a few scares from the ever-entertaining Claudio Bravo the defense never seemed to be in any trouble against a blunt Chelsea attack.
A few special mentions in the Manchester City side that gave us a scintillating display which replicates the form that had many on the edge of their seats all of last season.
Firstly Sergio Aguero who scored the brace that gave his team the win. His movement was as dynamic as ever. He got himself into a lot of scoring opportunities which I believe if this were a regular season game he would have taken those chances and got a much-deserved hat-trick.
Bernado Silva was also on great form with his eye for a pass, execution of through balls and spatial awareness were outstanding. I would not be surprised to see him in the Manchester City starting line-up more this year as a natural replacement for his namesake David Silva.
Phil Foden should also get a nod popping up with a great drive forward and awareness to pick out Aguero for his first goal. Hopefully, he can find a place in the team even if it is as a sub to get his career for the Premier League champions underway.
Chelsea, on the other hand, looked disjointed and uninterested. New manager Maurizio Sarri hasn’t had a lot of time to work with his quad and can be forgiven for losing to a team that seems destined to walk away with the Premiership next season (again!).
Willy Caballero despite conceding two goals had a solid game making a few good saves to keep the score respectable. Callum Hudson-Odoi after his initial 30 minutes of finding his feet seemed to grow in stature and looked the most likely going forward to create a chance. Odoi had a real baptism of fire coming up against Kyle Walker debatably one of the best right backs in the world.
The rest of the Chelsea players seemed off the pace. Marcus Alonso was still playing wing back and forgot his defensive duties in a back four system to leave space behind Chelsea’s defense to concede their second.
David Luiz looked off the pace after not playing much last season. Alvaro Morata seemed lost up top by himself, but he was not given the service needed to make an impact. Unfortunately, worst of all for Chelsea is new signing Jorginho did not look up to scratch either. He was slow on the ball, was dispossessed several times and seemingly not up to some the physical battles against the Manchester City midfield.
Going forward and only five days left until the Premier League kicks off, again Chelsea need some work IE reinforcements is a must. Plus, they must keep their star players to have any chance of making a serious challenge. Whereas Manchester City seems to be carrying on their unstoppable form from last season’s record-breaking campaign.
City to win the league? Chelsea, to miss out on Champions league again? Only time will tell.
Many thanks go to Michael Drury, the article’s author.