Man City player ratings gallery vs Chelsea - One scores 9/10 as six get 8/10 in 4-0 FA Cup win
Goals from Riyad Mahrez (2), Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden ensured Manchester City easily beat Chelsea on Sunday.
Manchester City progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday after a comfortable 4-0 win over Chelsea.
Goals from Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden in the first half ensured the second period was a relatively meaningless affair, with City nonchalantly keeping the ball until Mahrez netted a late fourth from the bench. It was a slow opening quarter to the tie at the Etihad, with a Cole Palmer shot, which was saved by the feet of Kepa Arrizabalaga, the only chance of note in the early exchanges.
But on 23 minutes, Mahrez grabbed the game’s first goal, as he did in midweek at Stamford Bridge. His opener on Thursday was a simple tap-in, but the strike in the FA Cup was anything but. From around 25 yards out the winger curled a sublime free-kick beyond Arrizabalaga and into the back of the net.
Soon after it was 2-0, as Alvarez converted from the penalty spot after Kai Havertz’s outstretched arm made contact with the ball inside the box, giving Robert Jones little choice following a pitchside monitor review. Alvarez calmly slotted the ball to Arrizabalaga’s right, although the goalkeeper did get a slight touch on the ball.
City were enjoying themselves now, and Alvarez and Mahrez forced saves from Arrizabalaga, before the hosts made it three not long before the break. Foden administered the final touch to a fantastic free-flowing move that started on the right, switched to left and ended up back down the right before it was crossed in to City’s no.47 for a first-time finish.
The second period proved to be a relatively straightforward affair for Pep Guardiola’s side, with the best chance of the early stages falling to Mahrez, who curled just wide from distance. As for Chelsea, Mason Mount and Omar Hutchinson both had efforts that failed to hit the target, on a day to forget for the London club.
In the final minutes of the game, Foden won a penalty after he was tripped clumsily in the area by Kalidou Koulibaly. Mahrez, the game’s outstanding player, stepped up and powerfully blasted it into the roof of the net.
Here’s how we rated the players...