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Chelsea v City: Talking Points

There were plenty of talking points from Saturday's 3-0 win over Chelsea - we look at five of them in detail

1 Have City hit peak form?

You could argue that the Blues had hit top form at exactly the right stage of the campaign - but with Leicester so far in front, it could also be said that had City been playing like this six weeks ago, the race for the title might have been much more interesting.

The Blues have earned a reputation over the past five years as very strong finishers, twice racing from behind to snatch the title first from United, then Liverpool. Even the most optimistic City fan wouldn't expect that to happen this time around, but with the Reds and West Ham snapping at our heels, it's crucial the victories keep coming.

So dominant and slick were the Blues at Chelsea that the many voices in the media who are suggesting Real Madrid will coast into the Champions League final might want to watch what City are capable of when firing on all cylinders. And that was without David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling...

2 De Bruyne masterclass

Kevin De Bruyne said he had nothing to prove to Chelsea and, of course, he was right. How could he make an impression if he only made three Premier League starts?

He showed his former employers what they were missing when he played for Wolfsburg and won the Bundesliga Player of the Year and his form at City has been a revelation.

The quiet awe at Stamford Bridge was due to Chelsea fans wondering how they could have let this player go. There was no jeering, no shouts of ‘Chelsea reject’, just respect for the Belgian’s stellar talents.

They don’t need telling how good KDB is – but they perhaps needed to see it in the flesh. Had he been substituted late on, chances are he would have had warm applause from all corners of Stamford Bridge.

3 Zaba frustration

It wasn’t hard to understand why Pablo Zabaleta was disappointed at being substituted midway through the second-half but it’s also understandable and prudent that he was.

Zaba could well have finished the game without any further issues but he could have been booked for the challenge he made moments earlier and chances are, with the crowd on his back, any minor infringement in the time that remained would have resulted in an early bath.

First team chances have been harder to come by this season for the Blues’ Argentine cult hero, but had City been reduced in number with 25 minutes or so remaining, it might have given the hosts the lift they needed to find a way back into the game.

Don’t be surprised if Zaba starts against Newcastle – if only for the boss to underline it was a safety precaution and nothing more.

4 Seamless Samir

Samir Nasri limped off towards the end of the game and he will be assessed by medical staff over the next few days.

Hopefully, he will be available again quickly because he his return has reminded everyone what a class act he is.

Nasri glides around the pitch, knitting together play, finding pockets of space and creating chances. On another day, he’d have had two goals and two assists to his name – as it was his sublime pass to set Sergio Aguero through proved a pivotal moment in the game. 

A very welcome return and City have won nine of the 10 Premier League games he’s taken part in this season. Coincidence? Not a chance.

5 Super Serg

What can said about Sergio that’s not already been said one hundred times?

His hat-trick at Stamford Bridge made it nine goals in 13 games against Chelsea – proof that Kun is no flat track bully. He’s scores against the best defences in the world on a regular basis and deserves to be talked of as the best striker in the Premier League and one of the best in the world.

Now just one goal behind Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, as former City winger-turned-pundit Trevor Sinclair said on Match of the Day – another 20+ goal haul for Aguero and again no mention in the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. 

Men's Team

Pellegrini hails 'complete' City performance

Manager Manuel Pellegrini praised City’s ‘complete’ performance after Sergio Aguero’s stunning hat-trick sunk Chelsea.

The Argentine’s 97th, 98th and 99th City goals lit up a superb display from Pellegrini’s side, whose unbeaten run stretched to five games.

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Aguero hat-trick destroys Chelsea

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We can go to Chelsea with confidence, says Clichy

Gael Clichy believes Champions League semi-final qualification has given City a lift ahead of their trip to Chelsea.

Gael Clichy believes Champions League semi-final qualification has given City a lift ahead of their trip to Chelsea.