Sergio Aguero was hailed as “the best striker in the Premier League” after his hattrick punished Chelsea in a 3-0 win for Manchester City.
Saturday’s win at Stamford Bridge capped an excellent week for City, who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Aguero took his season’s league tally to 21 goals with strikes in the 32nd and 54th minutes and an 80th-minute penalty after Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off for upending Fernandinho.
And coach Manuel Pellegrini says: “I am sure he is the best striker in the league, he makes a difference playing every game.”
Equally influential in the victory was midfielder Kevin de Bruyne who produced the sort of performance that has left many questioning why Chelsea let the Belgian leave without having had the chance to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.
De Bruyne’s return from injury has played a significant part in City’s recent improved form and he was at the hub of most of their attacks, linking superbly with Aguero for the first two goals.
First, De Bruyne broke from a Chelsea corner to allow the Argentine to cut inside and open the scoring.
Then De Bruyne produced another telling thrust from his own half to again feed Aguero, via Samir Nasri, as City ripped through Chelsea with a series of clinical attacks.
Meanwhile, Blues defender Gary Cahill says his teammates must show “more pride” in their remaining Premier League fixtures – even if they don’t have anything to play for.
The Blues title defence has been a disaster and Cahill believes that has had an impact on his team.
He says: “We are not used to it and sometimes that produces performances like that.
“But we should have more pride in ourselves to go out and give a performance and at least run around and try to get close to people.
“It is unbelievably disappointing.
“I thought we got what we deserved. At times in that game we were rubbish and lacked the desire to get a result and they [City] had it and they punished us for it.”