Sergio Aguero was Manchester City’s hat-trick hero again as they returned to the top of the Premier League in scintillating style by outclassing Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.
The rout started after four minutes when Chelsea were caught napping by Kevin De Bruyne’s quick free-kick which left Raheem Sterling to fire in at the far post before Aguero, who had already missed an open goal, curled a magnificent right-foot finish past the stretching Kepa Arrizabalaga from 25 yards.
Chelsea’s embarrassment was symbolised by Ross Barkley’s inexplicable header straight to the feet of Aguero to poach his second and Ilkay Gundogan capped that early blitz with a low drive.
Aguero completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after 56 minutes following Cesar Azpilicueta’s foul on Sterling, his 15th treble for City and a record-equalling 11th in the Premier League, an honour he shares with Alan Shearer.
It was also his second in successive home games after his hat-trick in the 3-1 win against Arsenal.
Sterling then piled on the agony for Chelsea with the sixth, turning in from six yards after David Silva’s threaded pass released Oleksandr Zinchenko down the left.
It was Chelsea’s worst defeat since they lost 7-0 at Nottingham Forest in April 1991.
Meanwhile, Tottenham ensured they remain in contention in the Premier League title race as Mauricio Pochettino’s side earned victory against Leicester at Wembley.
Spurs had to weather a late Foxes fightback to remain third in the table after 26 games, but reduced the deficit to leaders Liverpool – who beat Bournemouth on Saturday – to five points.
Christian Eriksen provided a pin-point cross to set up Davinson Sanchez’s first Tottenham goal after 33 minutes, before producing a moment of quality to double the hosts’ advantage from the edge of the area in the second half.
The Dane’s strike came just three minutes after omitted Leicester striker Jamie Vardy emerged from the bench in dramatic fashion to take a penalty on the hour mark – only to be denied by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Vardy made a demonstrable difference to Leicester’s attack and converted from Ricardo Pereira’s low cross to set up a tense finish, before the in-form Son Heung-min made sure of a home win in stoppage time.
It’s a fourth consecutive league win for Tottenham who remain in touch with Liverpool and Manchester City at the summit with 12 league games remaining.