Chelsea huff and puff but are finally blown over by City to be dumped out of League Cup
By Paul Lagan at Etihad Stadium
Manchester City 2 v Chelsea 0
Chelsea crashed out of the Carabao Cup and frankly they looked a if they were glad of it.
Two early second half goals by City’s Riyad Mahrez, and Julian Alvarez were enough to see off the challenge of the west Londoners.
Both goalkeepers were in fine form, Mendy in particular, although the few chances Chelsea produced, Stefan Ortega was more than equal to.
The opening 10 minutes saw a slew of chances for the home side as they pegged Chelsea back to the edge of their penalty area.
Some last-gasp challenges and some wayward shooting prevented City from taking what would have been a deserved lead.
Incredibly Chelsea should have taken the lead after 12 minutes. Ruben Loftus-Cheek did brilliantly on the right, swing the ball to Hakim Ziyech. His first time ball fell invitenly to Christian Pulisic, but his close range shot appeared to be going wide but took a deflection off Ruben Dias, which then saw goalkeeper Ortega do well to parry away for a corner,
Pulisic raced 60 yards, cutting thorough the City midfield and defence, but his curling, right-footer on the edge of the area was on target, but was again parried away by Ortega for a corner on 24 minutes.
Quite how Alvarez failed to finish Chelsea off on 29 minutes is anyone’s guess, but he somehow squeezed the ball past Mendy but also past his right post too.
Mendy produced an excellent tip away for a corner of his own, on 42 minutes, seeing off Jack Grealish’s inch-perfect right-footed curler.
Lewis Hall, making his second appearance for the Blues had a great chance to snatch the lead for Chelsea with a minute left of the half. Another quick counter-attack involving Pulisic and Hall, saw the youngster grab the ball inside the City area. He tricked Dias and with only Ortega to beat, then tried a low, right-footer.
Not for the first time Ortega guessed correctly and smothered the goal-scoring chance.
There were no changes by Chelsea at half-time, nor City.
The home side started the second where they left off the first pummelling the Chelsea defence - Mendy, thankfully for them was in fine fettle, saving twice from Grealish’s low drives.
But the breakthrough came on 54 minutes.
Threvoh Chalobah produced a needless challenge on the edge of his area. Up stepped Mahrez who clipped the resultant freekick over the Chelsea wall and it nestled into the back of Mendy’s net with the Senegal stopper looking bemused.
Chelsea responded in kind, but from a corner, Ziyech could only hammer his left footer high and wide of Ortega’s goal.
Number two was soon to follow. After Chelsea gave away possession just outside the City area, the home side broke quickly, The ball was soon deep into the Chelsea half, before Alvarez whipped a long looping ball across the pitch to Mahrez. The winger brilliantly trapped the ball in one movement before driving the ball across the six-yard box, where Alvarez followed up and slotted home from close range.
Chelsea thought they had a goal back on 64 minutes but Hall’s goal-bound right-footer was once again tipped round his post by Ortega.
Head coach Graham Potter decided now was the time to make changes and he made a quadruple substitution on 65 minutes - on came Cesar Azpilicueta, Raheem Sterling and midfielders Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount.
Off went, Broja, Ziyech, Zakaria and Chalobah.
Hall’s night ended on 76 minutes when he was replaced by Kai Havertz.
Chelsea thought they pulled on back late on, but it was as as clear as possible that Mount was offside.
And that was it.
Up next for Chelsea is a trip to Newcastle on Saturday at 5.30pm.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Kovacic, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Broja, Zakaria, Ziyech, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Hall
Subs; Bettinelli,Silva, Aubameyang, Sterling, Mount, Gallagher, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Hutchinson
Man City, Ortega, Dias, Gundogan, Grealish, Laporte, Rodri, Alvarez, Mahrez, Gomez, Palmer, Lewis
Subs: Ederson, Phillips, Stones, Ake, Haaland, De Bruyne, Silva, Akanji, Foden
Referee: Simon Hooper