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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at The Etihad Stadium

Blues dumped out of FA Cup in miserable fashion with a 4-0 drubbing by Manchester City


By Paul Lagan at The Etihad Stadium

Man City 4 v Chelsea 0

FA Cup Third Round

It’s tough for a Chelsea fan at the moment.

Things aren’t helped by the 4-0 drubbing handed out on them by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon, that saw the west Londoners exit the FA Cup in miserable fashion.

The 7,500 travelling supporters certainly put in a shift for 90 minutes - never giving up their support, occasionally teasing the opposition on their lack of Champions Leagues and vocal in their deep-felt hurt at the loss of a great former striker and manager Gianluca Vialli.

Graham Potter under the former Chelsea regime would be packing his bags he unpacked four months ago.

But the Americans are giving him the chance to turn things around with the resources at his disposal.

In mitigation, there are 11 players on the treatment table before this match. Excuses? Perhaps.

But at least the DNA of the Potter style should be showing with the players he has.

Potter is good at halting a poor performance - his substitutions tend to bear that out.

But it’s the inability to get the ball to the forwards with any regularity, that is a source of concern.

The number of turnovers that puts them straight away under pressure of a counterattack needs to be eradicated.

They are a goal down before they know it.

City as expected started the brighter, forcing the west Londoners to defend deep.

However they were composed on the ball, and attempted to play their way out of trouble.

Lewis Hall, playing as left wingback missed a tackle on Riyad Mahrez who zipped along the byline before cutting the ball back. Thankfully for Chelsea Kepa was alert and smothered the ball.

City should have scored 19 minutes when Cole Palmer broke free on the left. With only Kepa to beat, he slid the ball to the goalkeeper’s right and into the side netting.

Hakim Ziyech demanded a penalty two minutes later, as did the travelling fans, but referee Robert Jones saw nothing wrong with the tackle by Aymeric Laporte.

But on 24 minutes all the positive work produced by Chelsea fell apart.

Mahrez broke free after Mateo Kovacic lost possession in midfield. The transition was fatal as Hall upended the winger 10 yards outside the Chelsea penalty area.

A couple of Chelsea coaches came to the touch line demanding the Blues cover the far end of the wall. But Mahrez had other ideas - he simply swept the ball over the wall at the near side, the ball continued to dip over Kepa’s desperate dive and it ended up in the back of the net for a fantastic goal.

VAR then intervened for a possible handball by Kai Hvertez. Jones went to the pitch-side monitor and quickly confirmed that the ball hit the striker.

Up stepped Julian Alvarez. He shot low to Kepa’s right. The stopper got his fingertips to it, but the pace was too fast and it was 2-0 to the home side on 29 minutes.

Kepa was equal to another Mahrez freekick on 36 minutes, tipping the ball over his crossbar for a corner.

No goal came from it, but the third come did come on 38 minutes. Chelsea simply lost posession of the ball once again and City caressed the ball from one side of the pitch before a Mahrez, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden combination, saw the youngster angle the ball home from close range.

Potter opted to make two changes at half-time - on for his debut was striker David Forfana and in came midfield Denis Zakaria. Off went Havertz and Kovacic.

A smart free kick by Conor Gallagher set up Mason Mount for a shot, was the best effort of the 55 minutes played by Chelsea sadly saw the ball take a slight deflection off Laporte for a corner.

Potter brought on Cesar Azpilicueta and Omari Hutchinson for Jorginho and Ziyech.

That made little difference other than to shore up the defensive element of the side - but at 3-0 down, it’s a bit like shutting the door after the horse had bolted.

But the increasingly impressive Carney Chukwuemeka got some minutes to display his talents as he replaced Mount on 73 minutes.

But it was business as usual for City as with seven minutes on the clock Foden was bundled over by Kalidou Koulibaly in the Chelsea area.

Up stepped Mahrez and he thumped the ball high and wide of Kepa, sending the keeper the wrong way in the process and smashing the back of the net to make it 4-0.

Game over.

Teams: Chelsea, Kepa, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chalobah, Mount, Ziyech, Gallagher, Koulibaly, Havertz, Humphrey’s, Hall

Sub: Bettinelli, Badiashile, Silva, Zakaria, Forfana, Azpilicueta,Chukwuemeka, Cucurella, Hutchinson

Man City, Ortega, Walker, Laporte, Rodri, Alvarez, Silva, Gomez, Akanji, Mahrez, Foden, Palmer

Subs, Ederson, Phillips, Stones, Ake, Cancelo, Gundogan, Haaland, De Bruyne, Lewis

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