Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola masterminded a win over Chelsea for the second time in 72 hours, granting the Sky Blues safe passage to the FA Cup fourth round thanks to a resounding 4-0 victory and dumping the visitors out at the third-round stage for the first time in 25 years, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
Chelsea fans that made the trek up to Manchester may have been left frustrated by a cagey opening 20 minutes, but things got decidedly worse for them once the contest opened up. The first warning shot was fired when Cole Palmer found the side-netting after latching onto a through ball, but the opener came minutes later via a stunning Riyad Mahrez free-kick – his seventh goal of the season and fifth in cup competitions.
Momentum built quickly at Etihad Stadium and Graham Potter began to fear the worst when referee Robert Jones jogged to the pitchside monitor to get a closer look at Kai Havertz’s blatant handball. On a rare start, Julián Álvarez stepped up to the spot, and despite Kepa Arrizabalaga’s best efforts to psych out the World Cup winner, he snuck it in off the upright. As the interval closed in, City approached their rampant best and a scintillating team goal saw Phil Foden tap in Kyle Walker’s cross to put daylight between the sides before Chelsea trudged off the pitch without so much as a first-half shot on goal.
City slipped into cruise control after the break but Potter’s pep talk did at least see Chelsea manufacture a shot at goal, with Mason Mount flashing his effort wide after a quick free-kick. It was the hosts who had the final word, however, as Kalidou Koulibaly’s clumsy challenge saw another penalty awarded. Won by Foden and blasted in by Mahrez, the Blues were sent back to the drawing board in ruthless fashion.
The result puts a buoyant City on an FA Cup collision course with either Arsenal or Oxford United as their undefeated streak stretches to five. Chelsea, meanwhile, drew a blank against Sunday’s opponents for the fifth game running and their last goal against the Cityzens remains Havertz’s winner in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final.