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Mikel, Iheanacho Idle As Man City Beat Chelsea 3-0

Super Eagles’ midfielder, John Mikel Obi and youth international Kelechi Iheanacho were unused substitutes for Chelsea and Manchester city, respectively, as City hammered Chelsea 3-0 to shoot to top of the standings in the new English Premier League season.

Goals from striker Sergio Aguero (32nd min), Vincent Kompany (79th min) and Fernandinho (85th min) were all the hosts needed to cement their second successive victory and compound the woes of the defending champions, who have now picked just one point from two games.

Mikel, who sat out the whole game when Chelsea drew 2-2 at home to Swansea last weekend, was ignored once again by Mourinho, as the Portuguese opted to keep faith with his favourite Nemanja Matic in the defensive midfield position.

Mikel’s Nigerian compatriot and Chelsea teammate, Victor Moses, was not listed for yesterday’s game at the Etihad. Also, not unexpectedly though, Iheanacho was glued to the City bench throughout proceedings. And even when manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to rest first choice striker Aguero, it was on Wilfried Bony he beckoned.

Aguero made amends for a slew of early misses by exchanging passes with Yaya Toure, twisting inside his marker and placing a pinpoint shot inside the far post for the curtain raiser. Such was City’s dominance and attacking threat in the first half that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho substituted captain John Terry at halftime to shake up his team. A hungry-looking City kept the initiative, though. Kompany headed in David Silva’s corner in the 79th minute and Fernandinho drove in a third six minutes later for a victory that could have a big psychological effect in the title race.

-Oladipo Okubanjo

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