Man City player ratings gallery - Two players score 9/10 in 2-0 win over Chelsea, but one earns 4/10
Manchester City progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez.
Manchester City earned a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday night which ensured they progressed to the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
It was a game decided at the start of the second half with goals from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez in what was a relatively flat affair at the Etihad. In the opening half an hour, there was no shortage of chances, although few managed to seriously test the two goalkeepers.
Jack Grealish fizzed an early shot wide, Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick sailed just over the crossbar, while Alvarez failed to get his shot on target after a quick turn and finish inside the box. As for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic twice forced saves from Stefan Ortega Moreno, although both were stops the German would be expected to make.
But the half ended with good chances for both sides. Grealish’s curling effort from the corner of the box forced a save from Edouard Mendy, while Ortega Moreno denied Lewis Hall with a reaction save using his feet when really the youngster should have scored.
But City started the second period excellently, with Grealish twice seeing shots on target kept out by Mendy, which produced a rueful from the winger smile in response to the Chelsea keeper’s excellent display. But he could do nothing to prevent Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick, which hit the back of the net on 53 minutes. The Senegalese was evidently frustrated by the wall, with Armando Broja turning his head rather than stopping Mahrez’s strike.
And within minutes it was 2-0. Again Mahrez was central to proceedings, and he excellently controlled the ball in the box before firing in a shot that was saved by Mendy, but Alvarez reacted quickest and poked in the rebound.
Hall, who had some bright moments on the left for Chelsea, should have done better with a shot inside the box on his right foot, but Ortega Moreno managed to keep it out with a smart stop.
It proved to be one of the last chances of note, although Pulisic fired a shot wide late on. He also thought he’d netted in the 90th minute, following up after Sergio Gomez nearly netted an own-goal and then Sterling’s shot was saved by Ortega Moreno. But the referee’s assistant raised his flag after Pulisic tapped the ball into the net, in the last moment of significance in the game.
Here’s how we rated the players.