Sergio Aguero on fire as Chelsea routed 6-0 by Manchester City for biggest loss in 28 years

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero scored a second hattrick in the Premier League as the Sky Blues smashed Chelsea 6-0. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Sergio Aguero on fire as Chelsea routed 6-0 by Manchester City for biggest loss in 28 years

  • Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick for the second successive weekend
  • City regained top spot from Liverpool in their title defense

MANCHESTER: Chelsea were handed their heaviest loss in 28 years on Sunday when Manchester City routed Maurizio Sarri’s side 6-0 in the Premier League.
The meeting of the last two champions was a complete mismatch as Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick for the second successive weekend.
City regained top spot from Liverpool in their title defense as 2017 champions Chelsea ended the weekend by dropping out of the Champions League places into sixth.
Raheem Sterling scored twice — City’s opener in the fourth minute and the sixth in the 80th — and Ilkay Gundogan also netted.
It was Chelsea’s third consecutive away loss in the league, following a 2-0 collapse at Arsenal and 4-0 humiliation against Bournemouth.
And Sarri completing his first season in charge is now far from certain.
“I don’t know, you have to ask the club,” said Sarri, who was hired after leaving Napoli. “I am worried about my team, I am worried about the performance but my job is always at risk so I am not worried about the club — you have to ask the club.
“I didn’t see my football (against City). At the beginning (of the season) it worked. So now we need only to understand the reasons why at the moment it isn’t working ... It is not easy. At the beginning, we played better away than at home. Now we are playing better at home than away.”
Chelsea had not lost by six goals or more since April 1991 — a year before the inception of the Premier League — when Nottingham Forest beat the west London club 7-0.
Chelsea were un-picked after only four minutes at the Etihad Stadium. With a cleverly taken free-kick down the right, Kevin De Bruyne released Bernardo Silva, who cut back for Sterling to strike into the net.
“I think we started well then we conceded the goal after four minutes in a stupid way,” Sarri said. “In that moment, we needed to stay in the match and we were not able to because we made a lot of mistakes against the wrong opponents.”
The match also saw a mistake by Aguero.
Aguero should have doubled the lead almost immediately but remarkably missed from close range. Silva had weaved through the area to set up a gilt-edged opportunity but the Argentina forward uncharacteristically poked wide.
Manager Pep Guardiola sank to his knees in frustration but he was soon celebrating as Aguero made amends in sensational fashion. The striker played a one-two with Oleksandr Zinchenko outside the area and then unleashed a powerful shot that flew in from 25 yards (meters) in the 13th minute.
“Out of nothing,” Sterling said, “he can put the ball in the top corner and players like this, you have got to cherish.”
Aguero’s second was gifted to him six minutes later. David Luiz headed clear but Ross Barkley inexplicably headed back into the danger area. Aguero was lurking in the six-yard box and punished the former Everton midfielder with a sharp turn and shot.
Chelsea hardly had time to take stock before the visitors conceded again, with Gundogan slotting home in the 25th with a neat shot from the edge after a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger.
City eased off for the remainder of the first half, and Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain even managed to test goalkeeper Ederson with a sharp volley.
Although Aguero headed against the crossbar early in the second half, he only had to wait until the 56th to seal his 15th City hat trick — and a record-equaling 11th in the Premier League with Alan Shearer. Sterling was brought down in the box by Cesar Azpilicueta and Aguero stepped up and sent Kepa Arrizabalaga the wrong way from the spot.
There seemed to be no let-up from City with De Bruyne firing a free kick at Arrizabalaga and Aguero shooting into the side-netting.
Sterling wrapped up a brilliant afternoon’s work after substitute David Silva opened up the Chelsea defense yet again and Zinchenko picked out the winger to tap in from close range.
“Something is changing,” Sarri said. “At the moment I am not able to see the reason but I have to work for this because my target is to play my football, not to change to another football because at the moment we are playing another football.”


Petra Kvitova makes her point with semifinal against Hsieh Su-wei next up

Updated 21 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova makes her point with semifinal against Hsieh Su-wei next up

  • World No. 4 looked close to her best as she demolished Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 at the Aviation Club.
  • Czech set to face Hsieh Su-wei in tough last-four battle.

LONDON: Petra Kvitova has been her own worst critic so far this week, but even she allowed herself a smile after the Czech finally illustrated she is a contender for the the title.
The world No. 4 beat Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 with the sort of display that was the polar opposite of her sluggish, flat displays earlier in the week.
Coming into the quarterfinal Kvitova looked anything but possible champion material. She was taken all the way by both Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady and admitted all was not well with her game.


On Center Court against Kuzmova, however, the 28-year-old looked more like the player who reached last month’s Australian Open final and a two-time Wimbledon champion. And after she had wrapped up the match, completed in just 62 minutes, Kvitova admitted she was finally feeling in good form.
“I am pleased. Definitely more than those two matches before,” she said.
“I didn’t give her any, like, time to do her job, maybe turn the match on her way.”
Having spent more than five hours on court in the first two rounds there was was finally some urgency about Kvitova. She admitted she came into the tournament undercooked and arrived in the last-eight tired. But against Kuzmova she dominated from the start and once she secured the first set — breaking in the decisive 10th game — there was only going to be one winner.
“Yeah, I was up pretty quickly, but I lost those games (in the first set),” Kvitova said.
“It was about that game when she was serving for five-all. She played the two double-faults. From that game, I think I was really fired up. “Even in the first game of the second set, I was already facing breakpoints again, which I didn’t want to. But it was probably the key game of the second set.”
Kvitova said she felt her game was on the rise again after losing the Australian Open final to Naomi Osaka and winning just one match a week later in Russia.
“Today was the first day of the better days on the court,” she said.
“It’s been tough since I came from Australia and St. Petersburg.
“I’m glad that it’s on the way up.”


Next up for her is a semifinal clash against Hsieh Su-wei. The world No. 31 from Taiwan won the last six games to beat fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Kvitova has won all four of her meetings against Hsieh, most recently at the Sydney International in January. But that will count for little and on current form Hsieh looks like she will take some beating, having staged a remarkable fightback to beat another Czech.
Pliskova had looked in command serving for the set at 5-1 and then 5-3.
The persistent Hsieh kept up the pressure, narrowing the gap and levelling with a second straight break at five-all.
Hsieh then held for 6-5 and clinched the upset a game later on a second match point after two hours.
“I’m so excited, I was screaming like a baby when I won,” Hsieh said. “It was a tough comeback.”
“She had a lot of aces (nine), I’m just happy I was able to make it back.”