Manchester City sent a real message to the Premier League as they left Stamford Bridge with an emphatic 1-0 win over Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea on Saturday.
City's high press gave them control early on, but despite dominating the stats sheet, they struggled to test Edouard Mendy in goal. They passed Chelsea to death but failed to have a shot on target in the first half.
Despite their struggles in front of goal, the first half was all City. They pressed Chelsea with real intent and stopped them from putting together a run of passes, which made for an ugly first 45 for the Blues.
City finally made their well-deserved breakthrough seven minutes after the break as Gabriel Jesus' strike took a wicked deflection and trickled past Mendy. The Brazilian could've had another soon after, only to be thwarted by a goal-line clearance from Thiago Silva.
Chelsea did have the ball in the back of the net straight after, but Romelu Lukaku's effort was waved off for a clear offside. They did at least try to attack in the second half, but the gulf in quality was consistently evident.
Jack Grealish could have scored twice, only for Mendy to thwart him both times, so City ended up having to settle for a 1-0 win that could have easily been five or six.
Chelsea player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Edouard Mendy (GK) - 7/10 - Comfortable claiming crosses and corners but didn't have much else to do. Made two excellent saves from Grealish in the second half.
Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) - 7/10 - Shifted to RWB to replace James and was absolutely excellent in defence, but his unwillingness to take a risk with his passing left fans and team-mates furious.
Andreas Christensen (CB) - 7/10 - Chelsea's best defender yet again. Dominant in the air and always alert to sniff out danger. Really impressive.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) - 7/10 - More than happy to clatter through a man if it meant he would win the ball.
Reece James (RM) - N/A - Picked up an early ankle injury and was forced off on the half-hour mark because of it.
Jorginho (CM) - 4/10 - Struggled defensively and could not pull the strings in possession because of City's high press. Caught out for the opener.
N'Golo Kante (CM) - 5/10 - Made some excellent interceptions but even he looked overwhelmed a little too often. Taken off at the hour mark.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) - 5/10 - The only Chelsea midfielder capable of advancing possession but didn't get the chance to until after the goal. Too little too late.
Marcos Alonso (LM) - 3/10 - Only really good for his attacking but didn't get to do any of that. No fatal mistakes in defence but looked very shaky throughout.
Timo Werner (ST) - 4/10 - Offered an outlet with his pace but was barely involved at all. Put in a real shift but was swarmed by defenders almost immediately.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) - 3/10 - So disappointing. Really poor work as a target man, but was justifiably left apoplectic when passes weren't coming his way. Starved of service.
Thiago Silva (CB) - 7/10 - Showed his experience and class to deal with a lot of City's threats. An excellent goal-line clearance to deny Jesus' second.
Kai Havertz (AM) - 6/10 - Massively offside when he set up Lukaku's 'goal' but at least he was trying to make something happen. Much-needed energy.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) - 6/10 - Replaced Jorginho in midfield and offered some drive forwards without much end product.
Man City player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Ederson (GK) - 7/10 - Might as well have been another centre-back. Great awareness to rush off his line to stop Werner's runs.
Kyle Walker (RB) - 8/10 - Excellent pace to cover in defence and a consistent menace going forward. Was absolutely everywhere.
Ruben Dias (CB) - 7/10 - Wasn't particularly tested defensively but was so impressive with his passing.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) - 8/10 - Happy to get physical with Lukaku or agile against Werner. Kept both quiet with real ease.
Joao Cancelo (LB) - 8/10 - Played more like a left winger. Was excellent with his passing but did not forget his defensive duties in the rare moments he was needed.
Rodri (DM) - 7/10 - Had very little defending to do so was able to help overload the midfield.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) - 6/10 - Surprisingly quiet in a game which saw City dominate possession.
Bernardo Silva (CM) - 8/10 - Really impressive. Aggressive in the press (and in the tackle) and will have caused nightmares for Chelsea's back line.
Gabriel Jesus (RW) - 7/10 - Probably not the right man to be running at Alonso but managed to get his goal when he came central.
Phil Foden (ST) - 7/10 - Some superb pressing and made a few mazy runs, but never looked like threatening Chelsea's back line with his passing.
Jack Grealish (LW) - 8/10 - Hounded Azpilicueta and Christensen and recovered possession well. Linked up very well with Cancelo.
Riyad Mahrez (AM) - N/A - Brought on late for De Bruyne.
Fernandinho (CM) - N/A - An even-later replacement for Foden.
Raheem Sterling (LW) - N/A - Came on for Grealish alongside Fernandinho.