Manchester City handed out total humiliation to Premier League champions Chelsea with a 3-0 hammering at the Etihad on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero should have scored in the first minute but he finally found a way past an inspired Asmir Begovic to give the hosts a slender lead following a one-sided opening half.
Captain Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho then added gloss to the scoreline in the final quarter as the last season’s runners-up established an early five-point lead over Jose Mourinho’s side.
With Thibaut Courtois serving out a one-match ban, all eyes were on Begovic as the ex-Stoke City goalkeeper was handed his first start in a Chelsea shirt.
Less than 60 seconds elapsed before he was given something to do, as fit-again Aguero latched on to David Silva’s through ball, but Begovic pulled off a smart save to deny the Argentine.
Manuel Pellegrini vowed to attack the Premier League champions, and the Chilean made good on his word as the hosts began laying siege to Chelsea.
Begovic – one of two keepers to earn a clean sheet at Eastlands last term – pulled off two more big saves on 17 minutes to keep out Aguero in what shaped up to be an intriguing personal duel.
Given an extended summer break after helping Argentina to the Copa America final, Aguero displayed further sign of rust by poking wide of the mark, but it proved a sign of things to come.
On 32 minutes, the Sky Blues yielded tangible reward for their dominance when the diminutive striker combined with Yaya Toure before slotting beyond Begovic.
Ramires dragged his effort harmlessly wide of goal in the closing stages, before Eliaquim Mangala could, and perhaps should, have doubled the lead when his close-range header flew past the post.
The 15-minute interval did little to dampen the intensity, and Chelsea reminded their hosts of the tenuous nature of a one-goal lead early on in the half when Ramires’s goal was ruled out for offside.
It took the best part of 71 minutes, but Chelsea registered a shot on target when the quiet Diego Costa drove away from Kompany before playing in Eden Hazard, who fired straight at Joe Hart.
City then secured the points, with Kompany heading home Silva’s corner on 79 minutes, before Fernandinho’s fierce drive five minutes later wrapped up a resounding victory.