How do you follow up a near-perfect domestic season? Premier League champions Manchester City certainly set about it the right way in the Community Shield on Sunday, putting Chelsea to the sword in a 2-0 victory that could easily have been more emphatic.
Dead-eye Sergio Aguero brought up his 200th goal for the club in the process of scoring his double, while Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden were just two more stand-outs for Pep Guardiola’s men.
There were some worrying performances from a Chelsea perspective and, given that Maurizio Sarri has barely been at the club for three weeks, it seems that the Italian has a long road ahead of him to imprint his philosophy.
Check out our Man City ratings below:
MAN CITY (4-2-3-1)
Claudio Bravo – One comedy moment when he let the ball sail over his head. A reminder of just how crucial that Ederson buy was. 6
Kyle Walker – Young Hudson-Odoi got very little joy down his flank, as the England defender forced him to cut back inside. Solid return. 7
John Stones – Could this be the season he finally establishes himself as top dog in Pep’s eyes? Wonderful interception sparked Aguero’s second. 7
Aymeric Laporte – Was deceived by one Morata run but apart from that, snuffed out an in truth anemic Chelsea attack. 6
Benjamin Mendy – Gets a bonus point for looking so sturdy after a horror injury robbed him of almost an entire season. The attacking will come. 7
Phil Foden – The ‘Stockport Iniesta’ showed Andres-esque verve. He set up the opener and Aguero should have done better with another exquisite through ball. 8
Fernandinho – A little sluggish on his return from Brazil duty though fared better than the man who was meant to replace him in Jorginho. 6
Bernardo Silva – He could prove the most important Silva for City this year. His assist in the second-half counter aside, he sliced Jorginho to ribbons. 9
Riyad Mahrez – By no means near his best but City’s record signing flashed enough to show he should settle very nicely into a Sky Blue shirt. 6
Leroy Sane – Given he had the entire summer off the German was strangely subdued. Needs to buck up ideas with Mahrez and Sterling for competition. 5
Sergio Aguero – There’s no one you’d rather have on the end of a counter-attack. Two clinical goals, missed chance for a third. 8
Ilkay Gundogan (45′) – Bernardo went wide to replace the ineffectual Sane and Gundogan helped smother the Chelsea midfield further. 7
Gabriel Jesus (68′) – Lively in the last 10 minutes. But is he really Pep’s favoured striking option over Aguero? 6
Brahim Diaz (76′) – Showed Chelsea defence a blur of feet before hitting side netting. Had a further chance blocked. Another promising talent. 7
Vincent Kompany (80′) – Offered a few crunching tackles before hoisting the trophy aloft. First of many? 6
Summer signing Riyad Mahrez and exciting youngster Phil Foden start for Manchester City against Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley (kick-off 18:00 UAE).
Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champions swept all before them last season as they set records for goals scored and points amassed.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss also hands starts to Benjamin Mendy, who spent almost his entire first season in England injured last term, while Claudio Bravo starts ahead of Ederson in goal.
City take on Chelsea, last season’s FA Cup winners, in English football’s traditional top flight curtain raiser.
Chelsaea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was included in the starting line-up as new boss Maurizio Sarri named his first competitive team to take on Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Hudson-Odoi, who has shot through the youth ranks of Chelsea and starred in England’s win at last year’s Under-17 World Cup, has impressed in pre-season and has been handed his chance with Willian and Eden Hazard late back from the World Cup.
Hudson-Odoi will line up in a front three including Pedro and Alvaro Morata, while Ross Barkley is another man to get his chance for the Blues after making just four appearances since his move from Everton a year ago.
New signing Jorginho, who has followed Sarri from Napoli, will also take to Wembley from the start.