Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion, beating Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
City were 4-0 up before half an hour, exposing the visitors defensive frailties to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.
Chelsea began the game by attempting to press high up the pitch but their tactics were undermined within the first five minutes, City taking the lead.
It was the recalled Kevin De Bruyne who began the move with a quick free kick which found Bernardo Silva and, with the Chelsea defence failing to react, crossed for Raheem Sterling to pounce and turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Sergio Aguero should have scored shortly afterwards but, after being set up by Silva, shot wide with the goal gaping.
However, Aguero and City weren't denied for long and he doubled City's lead on 13 minutes, Oleksandr Zinchenko losing possession but the ball fell to the Argentine who shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out.
All Chelsea's plans were in tatters and City continued to pour forward to test a stretched defence and were rewarded on 19 minutes, Aguero getting a rather more scruffy goal but again Chelsea failed to clear the ball from their own area.
With less than half an hour of the game gone it was 4-0 when Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger and shot home.
City made it five about 10 minutes into the second half, Aguero completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled to have brought Sterling down in the area and the striker made no mistake from the spot to compound Chelsea's misery.
City have a heavy fixture list in coming weeks, taking on Newport in the FA Cup, Schalke in the Champions League and Chelsea again in the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola made changes with those games in mind.
The game already won he took off Aguero and De Bruyne, replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez.
It looked as if City were winding down but Guardiola recently suggested the Premier League title race could come down to goal difference and City scored another before the end to be nine goals ahead of Liverpool, Sterling getting on the end of another excellent moving involving David Silva and Zinchenko.
That completed the scoring and City, having played a game more than Liverpool, are back above them at the top of the Premier League.
City are 8/11 to win the Premier League with Liverpool 6/5.
City are 13/8 to reach the final of the Champions League this season with Liverpool 4/1 and Manchester United 14/1.
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