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.”


Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal into Monte Carlo last eight

Updated 18 April 2019
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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal into Monte Carlo last eight

  • Medvedev eliminates 6th seed Tsitsipas in three sets

MONTE CARLO: Top seed Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in dominating wins to power into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.

Djokovic extended his winning streak against US players with a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Taylor Fritz.

The two-time tournament champion has now won nine in a row over Americans since losing at Wimbledon in 2016 to Sam Querrey.

“It was very challenging to play in these (windy) conditions,” Djokovic said. “Taylor just flattens the ball.

“We had five, six close games in the first set, I just managed to break his resistance midway through.

“After that, things went on my side and I felt more comfortable.

“This was one of these days where you just have to hang in there and try to put an extra ball back in the court — that was enough.”

Nadal repeated last year’s semifinal win over Grigor Dimitrov, beating the Bulgarian for the 12th time, 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m very, very happy, this is an important victory for me,” the second seed said after winning his 23rd consecutive set at the tournament.

“Grigor is a super talent and is very dangerous. It was a positive match for me.

“I had a good day, I can be happy with what I did on court.

“When you don’t play on clay for almost a year, every win is important for the confidence, especially as I’m coming back from injury.”

Spain’s 17-time Grand Slam champion started his clay season this week after missing a month with another knee problem and has title-holder points to defend here plus Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros.

The king of clay is bidding for a 12th trophy in the principality. His record at the event is a staggering 70-4.

Nadal spent almost an hour in securing the first set but picked up the pace in the second as he ran out the winner.

He next faces Guido Pella, who defeated Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

World No. 1 Djokovic will be playing his ninth quarterfinal here from 13 appearances at his home event.

Djokovic turned in a steady performance with a dozen winners and unforced errors, while his opponent committed nearly 30 unforced errors in 68 minutes.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 as Daniil Medvedev continued his run of form.

The Russian will next line up against Djokovic after losing to him in January in the Australian Open fourth round.

Tsitsipas was caught on the back foot facing three match points as he trailed 0-40 on his serve late in the second set. After saving the first two, the Greek botched the third to seal his exit after an hour and three-quarters.

Medvedev increased his leading total of ATP season match wins to 20 as a result after he beat Tsitsipas for the fourth time in as many attempts.

“This was a great achievement for me,” Medvedev said. “Everything was perfect today.

“Some wind came up in the second set and I could not get used to it. But in the third, I just worked to put every ball in the court.

“I was pleased to fight back after going a break down in the third set.”

The player who stands a career-high 14th credits his rising form to a renewed dedication to the sport.

“I’ve been working hard for the past 18 months —  since before the start of 2018. I’ve dedicated my life to tennis, which I did not do before,” Medvedev said.

“I had my best season last year — hopefully this year will be better.”

The Russian reached his first quarterfinal at the Masters 1000 level after winning his second match against a Top 10 opponent.

Tsitsipas, runner-up last season to Nadal in Toronto, suffered his eighth defeat of the season against 18 wins and will try and lift his game next week on the clay of Barcelona. 

Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego defeated Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-2, 7-5.