Three goals in 16 scintillating minutes from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne put the game way beyond the Blues, who were unable to exercise a meaningful right of reply in the second half. Callum Hudson-Odoi's finish in injury time proved to be scant conciliation.
We're scratching our heads for positives from this one, but the opening 10 minutes were packed with purpose and energy, although hopes of a win were soon dashed by Chelsea's ruthless visitors.
Chelsea's defending was nothing short of shocking, with all of Frank Lampard's back four a beat behind City's all-action, free-flowing football. Meanwhile, the midfield duo of N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic offered nowhere near enough protection to the beleaguered defence.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- On the face of it, Lampard certainly picked the right personnel to perhaps contain City, but he needs to take a huge portion of the blame for how his side dealt with the visitors when out of possession.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Edouard Mendy, 5 -- Questions may be asked of the keeper as a Foden shot beat him at his near post. Made one brilliant point-blank save to deny Rodri a fourth for City early in the second half.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 4 -- Caught out of position on more than one occasion, while Foden breezed past the Spaniard on his way to a half-chance for the visitors. A rough day for the veteran, as it was for Chelsea's entire back four.
DF Kurt Zouma, 5 -- The Frenchman's physical approach allowed him to assert himself against make-shift centre-forward Kevin De Bruyne in the early stages but the movement of the City frontline proved too much for him and his defensive colleagues.
DF Thiago Silva, 4 -- A lack of communication with Kante gave De Bruyne a huge early chance before the former PSG captain was easily rolled by Gundogan ahead of the City midfielder's opener.
DF Ben Chilwell, 6 -- Given a tough time out wide by the pacey Raheem Sterling and the combination play from the visiting front three gave the left-back plenty to think about. Going forward, the left-back was arguably his side's most threatening player.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 4 -- Lucky to escape punishment after needlessly gifting possession to City in dangerous territory early on. Like many of his colleagues, the Croatian was nowhere near good enough off the ball to protect his back four. Picked up a yellow card in the final 20 minutes for cynically hacking down the excellent De Bruyne, before being replaced by Kai Havertz six minutes later.
MF N'Golo Kante, 4 -- The midfielder failed to track the run of De Bruyne as the Belgian peeled into space for a great early chance for the visitors. Later had a poor pass swallowed up by the City defence, with the resulting counter-attack being clinically finished off by De Bruyne for 3-0. Booked in the second half and will miss the side's trip to Fulham through suspension.
MF Mason Mount, 6 -- Had a bright opening period but soon found himself drowned out by scores of City shirts in the defensive and midfield thirds.
MF Hakim Ziyech, 5 -- Failed to make the most of an indirect free kick when his strike was charged down by the City defence and there were a couple more sloppy moments with the ball at his feet. Replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 64th minute.
MF Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Dallied on the ball midway through the first half after playing a neat one-two with Werner when he really should have hit the ball first time. Booked for catching Joao Cancelo late in the first half.
FW Timo Werner, 5 -- The summer signing from RB Leipzig finally got his chance in his preferred central position but was feeding off scraps as City came through a sticky opening 10 minutes to control the ball and dominate the game. Not the sort of game for a player lacking in belief.
MF Billy Gilmour, 5 -- Gave the ball away immediately after coming on and couldn't jump-start the static Chelsea midfield.
FW Callum Hudson-Odoi, 6 -- Keen to impress in his short cameo and did well to get on the end of a Mason Mount cross to give his side some consolation.
FW Kai Havertz, N/R -- One of many Chelsea players who are bereft of confidence and ideas at the moment. Hopefully his late cross to assist Hudson-Odoi is a turning point.