Pep Guardiola’s men clinched a fifth title in six seasons on Saturday when second-placed Arsenal were beaten 1-0 at Nottingham Forest.
That gave Guardiola the luxury of resting most of his star names with one eye on the FA Cup and Champions League finals next month as City go for the treble.
The strength of City’s squad was exemplified by Julian Alvarez, who has spent most of the season as Erling Haaland’s understudy, scoring his 17th goal of the campaign to extend the English champions’ unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 games.
But a festive afternoon for City was marred at fulltime as thousands of fans spilt onto the pitch despite pleas from the club to remain in the stands.
Guardiola made nine changes in all from the side that thrashed Real Madrid 4-0 in midweek.
The youthful hosts were still too sharp for the beleaguered visitors early on and took the lead on 12 minutes.
Alvarez continued his stunning season for club and country as the Argentine World Cup winner swept home Cole Palmer’s pass.
Palmer made the most of a rare Premier League start and was unlucky not to double City’s lead when his goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Trevoh Chalobah.
Defeat confirmed that Chelsea will end a miserable campaign in the bottom half and a familiar lack of cutting edge in front of goal showed why the Blues have struggled under three different managers this season.
Raheem Sterling should have marked his return to the Etihad with at least one goal but was denied by a fine save by Stefan Ortega when one-on-one with the German goalkeeper.
Moments later Conor Gallagher headed onto the post with just Ortega to beat. (AFP)