Manchester City shook off the impact of a COVID outbreak in their ranks to outclass Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and put themselves firmly in the Premier League title mix on Sunday.
City manager Pep Guardiola had six players unavailable after positive tests but his team responded in scintillating fashion with goals by Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne dismantling Chelsea in 16 first-half minutes.
After that it felt like damage limitation for a subdued Chelsea side whose season is unravelling alarmingly after a strong start, although substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi did grab a stoppage-time consolation.
City’s vintage display lifted them to fifth in the table with 29 points, four behind joint leaders Liverpool and Manchester United having played one game less.
A fourth defeat in six league games leaves Chelsea in eighth place with 26 points having played two games more than City.