The Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Despite the tight turnaround after the World Cup, Manchester City’s attacking ruthlessness has not been blunted by fatigue or the English heat wave. Winning the Community Shield demonstrated that beyond any doubt on Sunday.
Three weeks after the World Cup finished, the Premier League champions opened the new season by collecting more silverware. Sergio Aguero scored twice — once in each half for his record-extending 200th and 201st goals for City — as F.A. Cup holder Chelsea was beaten 2-0 in the traditional curtain raiser to the English season at Wembley Stadium.
“The heat today was so tough,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “So demanding.”
While it has been a summer of continuity at City after a record 100-point Premier League haul, Chelsea has gone through more turmoil in recent weeks.
“Our preseason until now has been crazy,” Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said. “So we have to work.”
The former Napoli coach has had only a couple of weeks to work on his new Chelsea squad after the protracted firing of Antonio Conte, abandoning his fellow Italian’s preferred 3-4-2-1 formation for 4-3-3.
Although Conte won the F.A. Cup at Wembley in May, he paid the price for Chelsea’s slump from league winners to fifth place, leaving the 2012 Champions League winners out of Europe’s elite competition this year. City finished 30 points ahead of Chelsea.
City had already wrapped up its third Premier League title in six years when Aguero underwent surgery on his left knee in April. The striker was fit for the World Cup, but Argentina was eliminated in the round of 16, ensuring he left Russia two weeks before the tournament ended.
“He arrived [back at City] so sharp, so good,” Guardiola said. “With him and Gabriel [Jesus] we are good in that position.”
Aguero’s second goal against Chelsea completed a counterattack in the 58th minute. John Stones gained possession inside his own half, Ilkay Gundogan advanced with the ball and Bernardo Silva then threaded a pass through to Aguero, who netted his 201st goal.Speech