The polarization between two managers and their clubs was never more prominent than in the aftermath of Manchester City’s stylish 3-0 demolition of Chelsea.
It was a day that saw the Premier League champions lose more than the three points on offer.
They lost their composure on the field but, more tellingly, thanks to the antics of Jose Mourinho and the official Chelsea website, they lost their dignity and defiled the name of their club.
City, in sharp contrast, served up a feast of incisive attacking intent, overwhelming the opposition, while the usually understated Manuel Pellegrini displayed animated pitch-side passion – much to the delight of a record 54,331 Etihad crowd.
The magnificently extended 3rd tier of the South Stand symbolised City’s towering performance which left Jose babbling away, as if en-route to the Chelsea Pensioners’ Home for the Bewildered.
What other conclusion are we supposed to draw from a creature who labelled the 3-0 drubbing as ‘a fake result’ and claimed his half time tactical substitution of Chelsea skipper John Terry, was ‘proven right’ when his team haemorrhaged two goals in JT’s absence.
Moanrinho said he was ‘…happy with the 2nd half’ asserting that Chelsea totally controlled City. If shipping two goals and scoring none is The Special One’s idea of ‘control’ then long may it continue.
In a laughable showcase of his worst personal traits, the Portuguese prat spat out his post-match observations amid a fog of graceless self delusion.
Those gathered in City Square, along with millions of households and bars around the globe, will surely be clamouring for this year’s must-have Christmas DVD – ‘Comedy King Joking Jose does Stand Up’ – it certainly caused wild amusement among the locals.
Even funnier was to come in the shape of an incredible match report on the official Chelsea website, one which could have come from any best-selling North Korean propagandist.
It starts: ‘A Ramires goal incorrectly ruled out for offside with Man City a goal ahead changed the complexion of this early-season Premier League fixture.’
Other ‘nuggets’ include:
‘We dominated after the interval and after Ramires’s goal was disallowed, Hazard drew a fine stop from Joe Hart. Two late City goals, from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho, added some gloss to a final scoreline which did not accurately reflect the bigger picture…’
‘Before the break, Diego Costa was on the receiving end of a brutish aerial challenged from Fernandinho who followed his skipper into the book…’
‘On the other side of the pitch, Mangala resorted to WWE-style tactics to stop the ever-dangerous Diego Costa getting free down the right…’
It concludes: ‘Diego Costa hit the post in time added on and Hart was in the right place to block Hazard’s follow-up effort. It epitomised what had been a game of very fine margins.’
Such a hilarious and ridiculous interpretation of events at the Etihad has even been derided by the mainstream sports press, those not normally given to criticising the great unwashed of Stamford Bridge.
And while City’s sublime skills, with goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho help stuff it right up Maureen’s fundament, the Etihad faithful created a wall of noise to accompany the dismantling of these most unwelcome of visitors.
It wasn’t without humour, especially when the Chelsea medics entered the fray – fresh from the controversial demotion of the rather palatable Dr Eva Carneiro.
‘You’re getting sacked in the morning…’ along with ‘Where’s your doctor gone?’ and chants of ‘Eva Eva Eva’ echoed around the enhanced acoustics at the Etihad, as City fans revelled in Mourinho’s obvious discomfort.
Only the heroics of reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic kept Chelsea in touch after three superb saves from an insatiable Sergio Aguero. The Superstar striker finally breached the Bosnian’s defences, steering the ball home after wriggling free from a posse of Royal Blue shirts.
Jose was right when he grunted about a ‘fake result’ – in all honesty 6-0 would have been a fairer reflection. City were always One Step Beyond their opponents.
The superlatives had flowed following the Monday Night Massacre of WBA, but disposing of the notorious West End bus parkers and their acidic manager, was always going to be the litmus test of Pellegrini’s early season progress.
Referee Martin Atkinson was arguably Chelsea’s most effective asset, applying one set of rules to City, and another to the Londoners for large parts of the contest.
Bookable offences came and went for the first third of the match before Atkinson showed yellow to Captain Kompany for clipping the dirtiest of the great unwashed, Diego Costa.
The repugnant Brazilian-turned-Spaniard was unrelenting with his sneaky fouls and snide behaviour but, as is usually the case, Kompany and Mangala weren’t fazed.
Bloodied and bandaged by a yellow card collision with Fernandinho, Costa sought to intimidate City’s indefatigable midfield dynamo as the teams walked off at the interval.
Dino bided his time and let his feet do the talking, smashing a sizzling strike past Begovic in the 85th minute to ice the win, courtesy of a David Silva assist.
Just six minutes earlier, the rejuvenated Kompany had powered a deft header beyond Begovic from Silva’s first assist of the day, virtually killing off Chelsea hopes of a thoroughly undeserved draw.
The result, and the manner in which it was achieved, bodes well for Pellegrini and a new captivating style of swift tika-taka-with-teeth play.
With the transfer window remaining open for another fortnight, City are now moving quickly to secure more of the ‘high quality’ players promised by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
Bundesliga Player of The Year Kevin De Bruyne appeared to be saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to the Wolfsburg fans, when he was substituted in the 75th minute of the 2-1 opening day win over Frankfurt – but in a shock development the Belgian international has declared he’s staying in Germany.
This could see City switch their attentions to Barcelona’s Pedro, who with a buy-out clause of £22m, would be less than half the price of De Bruyne’s nigh on £50m valuation.
It’s an unexpected jolt to City’s transfer plans but Pedro has been a potential Plan B for a few weeks as the De Bruyne saga dragged on. There’s even fresh rumours of trying to resurrect a deal that all City fans would love – Isco from Real Madrid.
First up should be Valencia’s highly rated centre back, Nicolas Otamendi, for a reported £31.4m. The 27-year old Argentine was being lined up by Real Madrid as Sergio Ramos’ replacement, had he moved to Manchester United.
The Spanish star put paid to any moist moments in Trafford Borough when he signed a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier today.
Otamendi is believed to be undergoing a medical in Manchester this evening before signing for City.
Earlier reports of Eliaquim Mangala going to Valencia on a season long loan have proved unfounded, so City now have a wealth of talent at the heart of the defence.
Alex Sandro – FC Porto’s 24-year old Brazilian left wing back – is believed to be the last City target. A deal – possibly involving a Portuguese return for City defensive midfielder Fernando – is on the cards. Juventus are also keen on Sandro and City may miss out.
If Pellegrini and City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain can complete the trio of deals it will make City an even more formidable Premier League force – one that could begin to trouble Europe’s elite.
Goals and glory would turn an already ecstatic Etihad into a veritable ‘House of Fun’, although Jose might not see it that way.
He’s still coming to terms with both his and his club’s Embarrassment!
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu