81 min An excellent cross from Hudson-Odoi is headed wide at the far post by the flying Pulisic. It wasnâ€™t an easy chance on the run.
76 min Werner tries to run Stones, who guides him out of play with the minimum of fuss. His unexpected revival is a really nice story.
76 min â€œWhilst acknowledging that I have no expertise on the use of colloquial terms by Uruguayans,â€ begins Stefan Volkmann, â€œGermain Ottâ€™s comments seem to lead to the conclusion that we should treat the use of the same (or very similar) term by individuals of the same nationality differently because of the (apparently clear) different intent behind the use of that term. That is problematic when it comes to uniform application.â€
75 min Fernandinho replaces Ilkay Gundogan, whose masterful first goal started it all. Heâ€™s such an admirable player, a poster boy for unobtrusive excellence.
74 min There was a spell at the start of the second half when it looked like Chelsea were about to give up, but they have played with decent intent since then. Frank Lampard will be pleased with that if nothing else today.
72 min â€œEvening Rob,â€ says Tom Atkins. â€œThe PLâ€™s three young club â€˜legendsâ€™ currently managing (I always thought that was a bit of a stretch for Arteta, but what the hell) seem to be swapping roles quite a bit. One is flavour of the month (currently Solskjaer), the juryâ€™s out on one (Arteta) and one is a charlatan stealing a living (Lampard). Might it not be the case that theyâ€™re all talented but flawed coaches still learning at the top level and the game is more interesting for having the three of them there?â€
You havenâ€™t grasped how social media works, have you?
71 min De Bruyne shrieks with pain after a foul from Kovacic, who is booked.
70 min John Stones floors Werner with a fair ball-and-man tackle, and then looks down at him with contempt. What on earth has happened to John Stones? Heâ€™s turning into Al Capone.
69 min City break two on two. De Bruyne finds Sterling, who charges past Thiago Silva in the area but is tackled by the last man Zouma.
67 min â€œAre there any really creative midfields at the moment other than Cityâ€™s?â€ says Richard Hirst. â€œLiverpool and Man Utd largely depend on the quality of their forwards, and their full backs in Liverpoolâ€™s case.â€
Leicesterâ€™s is good â€“ Tielemans can do everything, Ndidi is decent on the ball and Maddison is a hub of creativity. I like Villaâ€™s too, and Leeds of course. Thatâ€™s a different type of creativity. It also depends on your definition of midfield: are you only counting Nos 6 and 8, or do you include No10 as well? You could argue Bruno Fernandes is a one-man creative midfield.
66 min Mendy dives bravely at the feet of De Bruyne, who was galumphing onto a return pass from Sterling. Cityâ€™s front three – Foden, De Bruyne and Sterling – have been entirely magnificent. Sergio/Gabriel/Ferran/Riyad Who?!?!?!?!?!
64 min Two changes for City: Billy Gilmoure and Callum Hudson-Odoi replace Hakim Ziyech and Nâ€™Golo Kante, who had a harrowing afternoon.
62 min Sterling turns on the halfway line, moves forward and feeds a pass into the unmarked De Bruyne just outside the D. He tries to shape a curler into the far corner but gets far too much on it. That also came after a never-ending City passing move.
61 min Gundogan plays the ball across the area to Bernardo Silva, whose shot is blocked by Chilwell. I think there 20-30 passes in that move.
59 min â€œFor all of Chelseaâ€™s spending, if their midfield is Kante, Kovacic and Mount against Man City, sorry but they are doomed,â€ says Yash Gupta. â€œHas their midfield provided any protection and most important of all have they made any passes in central area, I know City have been really good(and they are really terrifying right now), Has Lampard done anything to stop it? Iâ€™m not sure.â€
As with other young managers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mikel Arteta, I donâ€™t think he should really be judged until the end of his second full season. But there are a few worrying signs.
58 min Good play from Kovacic, who walks through Rodri and slices a left-footed shot wide from 20 yards.
57 min Chelsea are having a lot of the ball. City donâ€™t really mind that; they have been devastating on the break today.
56 min A good cross from Mount on the left bobbles invitingly across the six-yard box. The only player in there was Zinchenko, who watched it out for a goalkick.
55 min â€œRob,â€ says GermÃ¡n Ott. â€œI am Uruguayan and would like to tell Rick that penalising Cavani for his tweet was like penalising a British person for ageism for addressing a friend as â€˜old manâ€™ or â€˜old chapâ€™. Negro, negrito, are often used as terms of endearment in this part of the world â€“ they can be used to offend, too, but this was clearly not the intent here. I am sure that Cavani could not get over the reaction over his â€“ in his view â€“ totally banal greeting to a friend. BTW, the SuÃ¡rez-Evra incident is different, SuÃ¡rez meant to rattle Evra, his defence was disingenuous and he was rightly punished.â€
54 min The corner is angled sharply towards Foden, who volleys wide of the near post.
54 min: Good save from Mendy! De Bruyne clips the free-kick to the far post, where Rodri gets away from Ziyech and Mount to thump a header towards goal. Mendy reacts well to dive to his right and push it over the bar.
53 min Sterling beats Kante for the umpteenth time tonight; Kante fouls him and is booked. Thereâ€™s an intensity and purpose to Cityâ€™s attacking play that we havenâ€™t seen this season. They have been quite wonderful.
51 min Chelsea are all over the show. Rodri wins the ball high up the field and City have a four-on-three break. He finds Foden, whose low cross is too far in front of Sterling.
50 min Foden moves into space down the left and picks out De Bruyne in the D. He sweeps a left-footed shot is saved a little awkwardly to his left by Mendy. The worry for Chelsea is that this could get a lot worse.
47 min â€œThis has been a difficult season for the professional pundits and all of us amateur MBM wannabe pundits,â€ says Mary Waltz. â€œFor the last three years the race for the top has been a choice of two teams and it has been so easy to make early predictions on who will win and who needs to be tossed onto the heap of pundit oblivion. This year every week seems to take last weekâ€™s pronouncements and turn them on their head. In other words, we have a glorious multi-team chase that makes all of us look stupid. Itâ€™s great.â€
It is, but I donâ€™t think itâ€™ll last. This used to be quite common â€“ a free-for-all with unlikely challengers until Christmas, then a sprint to the line from the best two or three teams. Look at this, for example. Villa finished sixth that season, 24 points off the top, and Middlesbrough ended up in ninth.
Half time: Chelsea 0-3 Man City
After a slow start, Manchester City produced their best performances in at least 18 months to give Chelsea a fearful chasing. Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and the majestic Kevin De Bruyne scored high-class goals, and it could have been more.
45+2 min A looping header from the off-balance Azpilicueta is easily saved by Steffen. Not since Richie Richardson stood at the non-strikerâ€™s end for most of Brian Laraâ€™s 277 at Sydney has a sporting participant had such a good viewing experience.
45 min â€œHi Rob,â€ says Thomas Nolan. â€œWeâ€™ve all heard of no-look passes in football (and you guys have even done a Joy of Six on them) but that Foden goal was a no-look shot and a thing of beauty – the gap he had to sneak it in on the near post was practically non-existent and he had to use the element of surprise to get it past Mendy. Itâ€™s so beautiful when footballers improvise like that with just pure instinct. A truly gorgeous goal (and this is coming from a United fan).â€
Another thing I liked about Fodenâ€™s goal is that he lifted it just enough to beat Mendyâ€™s dive. It might have been by chance, but Iâ€™m more convinced than ever that footballers calculate these things in a split-second.
44 min: Sheer delightful football from City! This is pure pleasure. Sterling scurries away from Kante on the halfway line and moves the ball left to De Bruyne. He plays in the overlapping Foden, who crosses low towards Gundogan at the near post. Itâ€™s slightly behind him, so Gundogan improvises another flick behind the front leg. This one drifts a few yards wide of the far post. That would have been a(nother) beautiful goal.
41 min â€œIn this intensive season (with only a few weeks pre-season too) hunger appears to be more important than ever,â€ says Gary Naylor. â€œA handful of kids really keen to play for Arsenal look a lot better than some teammates with bigger reputations, and I suspect Chelsea could do with some real desire to play in amongst their ranks. Iâ€™m not being critical – itâ€™s human nature and thereâ€™s mitigation – but just a marginal increase in passivity, physical or mental, and youâ€™re found out.â€
Are you suggesting a surprise recall for Chopper Harris?
37 min Almost a fourth goal! Bernardo Silva lifts a long cross to Foden, who mistimes a looping header over a bar. Chelsea are being humiliated. But this is less about them and more about City, who have been staggeringly good in the last 20 minutes.
The third goal came from a Chelsea free-kick. It was headed clear towards the halfway line, where the last man Kante tried to hook the ball back into the City area. It only went as far as De Bruyne, who used his head in more ways than one to nod it firmly back towards the halfway line and put Sterling through on goal. Kante chased after him all the way to the edge of the area, but Sterling just about stayed in front of him and tried to go round Mendy.
Mendy did well to scramble across and stop Sterling from shooting, so Sterling turned back inside to look for support and waited what felt like an age to find the right pass. Nothing was on, so he whipped a shot that clattered off the inside of the far post. It rebounded to De Bruyne, who had made a 70-yard run to back up the play, just in case. He killed an awkward ball perfectly on the stretch and sidefooted it crisply into the net. He is a truly sensational footballer.
GOAL! Chelsea 0-3 Man City (De Bruyne 34)
Oh my goodness, City are on fire!
33 min â€œHi Rob,â€ says Rick Harris. â€œI must say I agree with Tim Walsh that players who break Covid lockdown rules should receive an automatic three-game ban. In my eyes this behaviour is far more serious than Edinson Cavani using a word in a social media post that some non-Latin people find offensive. He appears to have made a genuine mistake whereas the various players caught breaking the rules about people from different households meeting up canâ€™t claim they were ignorant of the rules.â€
It does feel pretty arbitrary, I agree. But there are plenty of people who feel what Cavani did was worse. Iâ€™m not sure what the answer is, except maybe moving to a digital retreat on the Kerguelen Islands.