Manchester City, led by Pep Guardiola, easily defeats a Chelsea team that was underwhelming that afternoon.
The victory was secured by the home team’s first-half masterpiece, and the Sky Blues will face either Oxford United or Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.
Graham Potter is under even more pressure following recent bad performance as Chelsea is eliminated from the FA Cup at the first hurdle thanks to a first-half lesson from City.
Only three players from the starting lineup against Graham Potter’s team a few days prior remained after Pep Guardiola made significant roster adjustments. The Cityzens didn’t appear to be impacted by this because they were aggressive right away.
After Riyad Mahrez hit a memorable free kick, they quickly received the opener as a result of their pressure. The Algerian international scored a stunning goal into the top corner of the net after winning a foul about 25 yards from Kepa’s goal. This must have been pretty much the only area of the goal that the Chelsea goalkeeper was unable to defend.
As was to be expected, City did not stop at a single goal, and Guardiola’s team soon had the opportunity to go up two goals. Havertz initially escaped punishment for a handball in his box, but the red mist quickly appeared after the referee was instructed to consult the VAR.
Any uncertainty was immediately dispelled, and Julian Alvarez was given the spot-kick. He executed it flawlessly, firing past an outstretched Kepa arm that had made the correct guess. Alvarez, the World Cup champion from Argentina, continued the celebrations.
Guardiola wanted his team to increase their lead even if their opponents did not put any pressure on them, of course. His expectations were quickly fulfilled when Foden easily completed a strong move to make it three.
After dancing through Chelsea’s midfield and offloading, the Englishman moved into the penalty area where he waited for fellow countryman Kyle Walker to send in a low cross for him to head home past Kepa.
Chelsea then appeared to be struggling to respond before the halftime whistle, but their efforts were in fruitless as Potter’s team failed to put the City second keeper to any real stress. Before the London team took the field in the second half, Potter was left in the locker room to earn his keep.
After the break, the London team appeared to lack the urgency to keep the game alive as they sat back and took the pressure from the City.
Despite many substitutions by the Blues, the home team maintained its lead and avoided giving the ball to Chelsea’s feet at all costs. The visitors didn’t do much offensively in the second half, but their meager two corners were ineffective because Guardiola’s team was obviously superior.
Guardiola is never satisfied with the goals his team scores, as we have come to expect over the past few years. This was once again demonstrated when Mahrez confidently slammed home City’s fourth goal from the penalty spot after teammate Foden was roughhousingly hacked down by Koulibaly in the box.
This effectively ended the match and encouraged those Chelsea supporters who hadn’t already made up their minds to leave the stadium early.
With this win, City advances to the fourth round, where they will face either Premier League rivals Arsenal or League One team Oxford United. In either case, it seems to be a fantastic game.