Mens Team

Sensational Sterling and brilliant Bernardo

Sensational Sterling and brilliant Bernardo
Five more topics for discussion after Sunday's thrashing of Chelsea...

1 Sensational Sterling

Has Raheem Sterling ever played better in a City shirt?

The England winger has produced many excellent performances for City since joining the Club, but against Chelsea he was simply superb.

He scored the first, was involved in the fourth, won the penalty for the second and scored the sixth.

READ: Aguero hits new heights

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It was the sort of display that smacked of a young player maturing into a great player with plenty more to come.

And that pace… wow.

                        QUICK FIRE : Raheem sterling wheels away after firing City into an early lead.
QUICK FIRE : Raheem sterling wheels away after firing City into an early lead.

2 Bernardo a PFA Player of the Year contender?

There’s a long way to go this season and how the title race pans out will no doubt have a huge bearing on who wins the PFA prizes at the end of the campaign.

Whether Bernardo Silva is shortlisted or not won’t be known for a couple of months, but City fans will insist he should be up for English football’s most prestigious individual honour.

Bernardo has it all.

                        BLUES BROTHERS : Bernardo and Raheem
BLUES BROTHERS : Bernardo and Raheem

Jaw-dropping skill, control and technique that is breath-taking at times and the vision of a genius.

Yet, for those enviable assets, it is Bernardo’s ceaseless work ethic that has made him so popular among the supporters.

Against Chelsea he never gave Eden Hazard a moment’s rest and worked from start to finish defending from the front.

He’s done it all season and his performance in the 2-1 win over Liverpool last month showed why he is now one of the Premier League’s best players.

He is a fantastic asset to have for any manager and when Pep asks, ‘How could I drop him?’, it’s easy to understand why.

All that plus he’s a humble, much-loved team-mate as well.

Could he win the PFA vote in May? If the Blues go on and successfully defend the Premier League title, he would surely have to be in with a great chance.

3 A fine week's work…

The perfect end to the near-perfect week.

Nine days ago, City had three games in eight days to play.

WATCH: City 6-0 Chelsea: Extended highlights

Many called it a pivotal week in the Blues’ season with tough-looking fixtures against Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea.

Fast forward to full time against Chelsea and City have not only completed that tricky run of fixtures, we absolutely smashed it.

Three wins, nine points and 11 goals scored, one conceded – it’s hard to imagine a better response to the loss at Newcastle.

4 Pep’s tactical masterclass

If you beat City under Pep Guardiola, the next match-up should be treated with extreme caution.

Chelsea’s 2-0 win over the Blues at Stamford Bridge in early December clearly hurt and was the start of a minor blip that allowed Liverpool to pull clear at the top.

But having assessed what went wrong in that game, City were ready for the return at the Etihad and determined to settle a score.

                        THE THINKER : Pep always has a plan....
THE THINKER : Pep always has a plan....

Chelsea were not so much beaten, more torn apart as Pep’s plan prevented the visitors from building from the back.

The end result was Chelsea’s heaviest Premier League defeat ever and City’s biggest win over the West Londoners.

The only caveat is, as Pep pointed out after the game, the Carabao Cup final in two weeks’ time just a whole lot harder because Chelsea will be fired up and gunning for revenge at Wembley.

5 Ice Cold Oleks

Oleksandr Zinchenko was something of a surprise choice at left-back yesterday with Pep trying various options to the injured Benjamin Mendy.

A surprise only because he has mainly featured in cup competitions, but it was massive nod of approval that he was pitched in against an attacking line up that had Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain, Pedro and Willian could have easily played, too.

He may lack Premier League experience, but the Ukrainian didn’t let down his manager during a hugely impressive 90 minutes.

                        PITCH PERFECT : A solid display from Oleksandr Zinchenko helps keep a clean sheet.
PITCH PERFECT : A solid display from Oleksandr Zinchenko helps keep a clean sheet.

Zinchenko paved the way for Sergio Aguero’s first goal and it was his half-cleared cross that Ilkay Gundogan swept home to put City out of sight and 4-0 up.

And he also set up Sterling’s second with yet another intelligent run and cross to put the icing on the cake.

Zinchenko is still only 22 and has a growing army of admirers among the City fans and, after that display, no doubt his manager as well.

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