Pep Guardiola's side made light work of Chelsea despite their ongoing issues off the pitch with respect to COVID-19 cases. City were without the likes of Ederson, Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus, but a rampant spell in the first-half was enough to put secure the three points against Chelsea.
The Blues did not react to the Manchester side's intense pressing and rapid turnover, conceding twice in the space of three minutes after initially beginning the game well. Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden were the goalscorers, following which Kevin de Bruyne tripled Manchester City's lead in the 34th minute.
Callum Hudson-Odoi's goal came as a scant consolation as Chelsea ended the evening 3-1.
Neville felt that Chelsea's full-backs Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta struggled to deal with Foden and Raheem Sterling and their midfield trio failed to turn up as well.
At half-time with Manchester City up by three goals, Neville said (via Metro):
"I have to say the midfield of Kante, Mount and Kovacic have been nowhere near good enough. It's been nowhere near good enough in these last 20 minutes. They've allowed Manchester City to get a real grip on this game. The full-backs, Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta, have really struggled but it's that midfield that has really failed to get a grip."
Chelsea's tired midfield was no match for Manchester City on Sunday
Mount failing to put a foot in when Gundogan was taking aim summed up Chelsea's lethargic defending. Kante also gave the ball away when Chelsea were attacking through a set-piece. It set Sterling free and eventually led to the third goal.
Chelsea have now slipped to eighth in the table, less than a month after they were at the top of the Premier League. The likes of Mount and Kante have barely received any rest, with the duo featuring against Aston Villa and Arsenal prior to the game against City.
However, it's not just the trio that must be blamed. The likes of Jorginho and Kai Havertz have also failed to step up when called upon in recent weeks.
Published 04 Jan 2021, 17:36 IST