Chelsea 6 Manchester City 0: Roman's resurgent empire razes City to ruins

If this didn't please Roman Abramovich, then nothing will, but he seemed to like it as cameras caught him making that half-smile of his. The Chelsea owner saw his club's biggest Premier League win in 10 years – since beating Barnsley 6-0 away in August 1997 – while it was Manchester City's worst defeat in the top flight since losing by the same score at Liverpool in October 1995. They also lost 5-0 against Arsenal in October 2000. City fans must be worried they still have one more game this month.

To emphasise how bad a day this was in all aspects for the visitors, it was Sven Goran Eriksson's worst defeat as a manager since a 5-1 European Cup-Winners' Cup quarter-final against Arsenal in early 1980 when he was in charge of IFK Gothenburg, something which the Swede remembered surprisingly quickly for something that happened 27 years ago. City, however, will want to forget this result as soon as possible. Eriksson promised normal service, which has taken them to the top four of the Premier League, will be resumed promptly.

This was a sharp reminder that while City have come a long way this season, thoughts of the Champions League should be put on hold. As Eriksson himself said, much more of this and they will not even be in the same division as Chelsea next season.

This was the Londoners' best performance under the fledgling managerial era of Avram Grant but, in truth, it was made easy for them. City never appeared set up to combat Chelsea's formation or their increasingly successful attempts to play slick, flowing football that is easy on the eye. It is still a "process" in the making, according to Grant, but he sees that success lies in this way of football.

Only two league defeats so far for City this campaign should have meant a far closer game but some serious flaws were revealed in defence and midfield, as they were unpicked by Frank Lampard's dominance of the latter and Didier Drogba's control of the former.

Eriksson bemoaned his players' failure to defend as a team, but when you have a striker like Giorgios Samaras who barely plays like one, you can hardly expect him to be competent in other areas. In central midfield, Dietmar Hamann and Michael Johnson, at opposite ends of the age and experience range, failed to put any pressure on the ball when Lampard or John Obi Mikel received it, and then duly backed off, ceding ground into the bargain.

Once the first goal went in, when Lampard found Michael Essien, City panicked and the pattern for the afternoon had been set. That first strike saw Essien slip inside the visitors' left-back Javier Garrido and the Spaniard endured a horrendous game. Time after time, Joe Cole, Essien, or Juliano Belletti, up from his right-back berth, attacked the Spaniard, and five goals were scored from where he should have been. This did not escape Eriksson's attention, even if he refused to single out any guilty parties. He did not need to. When City were forced to back-track, Garrido was so often out of position that Chelsea had at least one man over. At this level, it was an embarrassing performance.

Lampard was involved in three of the goals, his best moment coming when he bent a pass behind Micah Richards and into the path of Drogba for the second strike. That was particularly sweet,as he had just been booked after an altercation that Richards initiated.

Lampard, currently a substitute for England, acknowledged his performances have recently slipped. "I've dropped below the standards I want to set," he said. "What player doesn't? When you get to the top there are people waiting for you to come down. I've had that but it doesn't bother me. I've got nothing to prove."

Here he proved he can still control a game and when his second-half shot was saved, Drogba seized on the rebound. The Ivorian then set up Cole, whose first touch took him away from City's back four and then Salomon Kalou moved past Garrido for the fifth. And that Abramovich smile may just as easily have been for Andrei Shevchenko's first league goal this season as for the overall performance.

Goals: Essien (17) 1-0; Drogba (31) 2-0; Drogba (56) 3-0; J Cole (60) 4-0; Kalou (75) 5-0; Shevchenko (90) 6-0

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Belletti, Alex, Carvalho, Ferreira; Essien, Lampard, Mikel; J Cole (Shevchenko, 67), Drogba (Pizarro, 80), Kalou. Substitutes not used: Cudicini (gk), Makelele, Ben Haim.

Manchester City (4-4-1-1): Hart; Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Garrido; Ireland (Vassell, 63), Hamann (Ball, 66), Johnson, Petrov; Elano (Bianchi, 73); Samaras. Substitutes not used: Isaksson (gk), Onuoha.

Referee: M Riley (Yorkshire).

Booked: Chelsea Essien, Lampard; Manchester City Richards, Johnson.

Man of the match: Lampard.

Attendance: 41,832.

Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit