The 31-year-old former Arsenal star was handed a surprise start against Jose Mourinho's men.
As soon as the Manchester City boss named the former Arsenal right-back in his starting line-up ahead of Pablo Zabaleta, it was guaranteed to create headlines.
Since leaving Arsenal, Sagna has struggled to oust Zabaleta from his natural habitat – the starting berth at right-back – and it is no wonder considering the Argentine’s quality.
In one of, if not the, biggest games of Manchester City’s season, however, Pellegrini named Sagna as his first-choice right-back.
How did he fare against Chelsea? There are two ways of looking at it…
Awful defending, why are Sagna and Navas giving Hazard that amount of space? Need to be tracking a player of his quality! #mcfc— Andy Partington (@ANDYMCFC21) January 31, 2015
Good game so far...but Sagna and Fernando are weak links...Zabaleta and Lampard on second half? #MCFC— John MCFC Downes (@DownesyMCFC) January 31, 2015
Above is a selection of reaction from Manchester City fans after Chelsea scored to go 1-0 up against the Premier League champions.
The former Arsenal defender was indeed blamed for not tracking Eden Hazard well enough as the Blues threatened to end the day eight points clear of Pellegrini’s men.
Come full-time, however…
Superb performance city. Disappointed with a draw. Only one team wanted to win that game. Sagna and Milner superb #mcfc— Chris Ivison (@IvisonChris) January 31, 2015
As much as navas annoys me I thought he was good tonight. Also thought sagna had a good game. Surprised he started. #mcfc— Robbo (@Robbo4MCFC) January 31, 2015
Indeed, after the game, Manchester City supporters seemed to be singing from a different hymn sheet.
Overall, Sagna’s performance appears to have been received with much praise. His best in a City shirt so far? Quite possibly.
So back to the question in hand: did Pellegrini pull off a masterstroke by starting the former Arsenal man against Chelsea? One costly moment of weakness but an otherwise strong display: it’s certainly up for debate…