The 2-0 scoreline in Sunday's Community Shield belied the on-field dominance of the Manchester City. They defeated Chelsea 2-0 but it should have been a bigger winning margin.
Chelsea didn't show up, metaphorically speaking. It doesn't reflect well on Maurizio Sarri who could soon feel the pressure of the Blues hot seat. There was a disjointed pre-season feel to the Londoners.
No such rustiness existed in Pep Guardiola's well-oiled unit. The performance marked a continuation of the form exhibited in their 100-point season-winning turn.
Sergio Aguero, brushing aside Argentina World Cup woes, scored twice and was only denied a rare Community Shield hat-trick due to his compatriot Willy Caballero's outstanding save.
The English duo of John Stones and Kyle Walker, at the heart of City's defence, did not let their World cup efforts affect them at the least. Stones, in particular, was instrumental in the build-up to the second goal.
Chelsea would be happy only in a couple of players — Caballero pushed away his own World Cup howler to ensure his team did not get humiliated.
Gulf of a gap between the two sides
It was humbling nonetheless to see the gulf in difference between the two sides. Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Chelsea youngster lent some pizazz in the first half which it was sorely lacking.
The London-based team managed only one shot on goal till the end of the match. There they managed to intercept the Manchester back line only for a deflected effort at the end through a combination of several Chelsea players.
David Luiz showed the bad side of his defensive duties. The Brazilian was repeatedly caught off guard.
The strategy of playing a high line only led to creating gaps at the back. Those were gleefully exploited by Aguero and Benjamin Mendy.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery was in attendance at Wembley. His team will be playing host to Manchester City next Sunday. Like Maurizio Sarri, he would have also realized the immensity of encountering the defending champions.
No Community Shield winning team has gone on to win the league since Manchester United did so at the start of this decade.
Guardiola, who likes defying statistics, could very well break the streak.