Chelsea sink Man City to book FA Cup quarters away at Everton
Holly Thackeray | February 21, 2016
Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City
- Man City field five youths for full debuts
- Costa put Chelsea ahead in first-half
- City youngster Faupala bagged on bow to draw Sky Blues level
- Willian gave Blues lead again within minutes of re-start
- Cahill added third for Chelsea in 52nd minute
- Hazard free-kick continued rout
- Traore finished scoring to make it 5-1
Blues secure safe passage to quarter-final
Chelsea have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, after thumping five past a youthful Manchester City line-up to win 5-1 at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, now 10/3 joint-favourites (from 9/2) with Coral to lift the FA Cup, opened the scoring through Diego Costa before City struck back, but the Premier League champions proved lethal after the break, adding further goals from Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Bertrand Traore.
Headlines going into the game were all about City, who fielded five full debutants in their team, plus striking starlet Kelechi Iheanacho, yet the Sky Blues fledglings illustrated plenty of potential on the pitch despite the drubbing.
However, the absence of senior figures, to give stars a rest ahead of Champions League action, could prove costly should the Citizens fail to land silverware elsewhere…
Don’t forget to check out our round-up of the FA Cup quarter-final draw at the bottom of this article!
City’s fantastic five stand up to scrutiny
Despite surprise surrounding the Sky Blues’ team selection, the youngsters began their respective bows rather brightly, looking far from out of place in enemy territory, repaying back Manuel Pellegrini’s faith, at least for the early portion.
Frenchman David Faupala stood out first as the forward full of energy, testing Courtois early after weaving through Chelsea’s rearguard.
However, 12 minutes in they almost came undone as Spanish influence threatened to take hold at Stamford Bridge. Spain teammates and former Barcelona clubmates Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez exchanged a slick one-two, as the ex-Arsenal player deftly found his compatriot in City’s area. Yet, the post spoiled what would have otherwise been a brilliant team goal.
Fabregas soon after unleashed battling frontman and another fellow Spain star in Diego Costa, and though the striker did well to hold onto the ball in the box, he was eventually bundled off by young-gun Tosin Adarabioyo.
Spanish silk sees Blues dominate
Chelsea continued to grab the momentum with their fluid movement in the first 45, as Pedro turned provider, popping an instinctive pass to a free Fabregas, whose turn and finish fell comfortably for second choice City stopper Willy Caballero.
The Citizens post protector did look shaky, however, and Pedro proved unlucky again as the back-up goalie rushed out to intercept Baba Rahman’s lofted ball, leaving the Spaniard almost clear on goal, before the chance trickled and was ruled offside.
Catalan’s Pedro and Fabregas continued to be a nuisance, though Faupala and Iheanacho did provide briefly promising link-up at the other end.
Fabregas Costa Man City but Faupala fires back
Finally, around the 34th minute, Fabregas’ flashes of brilliance turned into something concrete as Chelsea took a short 1-0 lead at Stamford Bridge.
The Spanish schemer slipped a ball over the top to Eden Hazard, who duly dipped a cross across a City defence that were slow to react, allowing revived dangerman Costa to complete an all too easy stooping header.
However, it was the Blues that were then dealt a hammer blow, with Man City spurred on rather than shaken by their slip. And, sure enough, it was eager Iheanacho who laid fellow forward prodigy Faupala’s debut goal on a platter, though the youngster was helped by a deflection.
Pedro had a sublime chance to make it two for the Londoners, as attacking instigator Fabregas again picked his pal out, but Caballero shook off his earlier hesitancy with a decisive stop.
Chelsea continued to pour forward, but the Citizens held strong to see out the half.
Willian wizardy puts Blues back in front
It took just minutes of the second-half for Chelsea’s outstanding player of the season so far, Brazilian Willian, to make the difference.
In stark contrast to their neat possession play in the first 45, this time the capital club caught their guests on the counter, with Willian romping unchallenged up-field.
A quick exchange with assist-hungry Hazard followed, before Willian lashed home emphatically. There was no chance for the Citizens to respond this time, before the Blues consolidated their lead.
Centre half Cahill proved the unlikely scorer next to make it 3-1, his strike, after another deft Hazard pass, wriggling into the net far too easily for Caballero’s liking.
Veteran defender Martin Demichelis then rubbed salt into this young and promising City side’s wounds by hauling down Hazard. The under-fire Belgian’s resulting free-kick finish clearly caught Caballero off guard, with the goalie caught cold going the other way.
City save some blushes, but Traore bags last
Inconsistent Caballero was able to save some face for the Sky Blues, however, after Demichelis bundled into Chelsea youngster Traore to concede a spot kick.
Usual cool converter Oscar stepped up for spot-kick responsibilities, with a fifth strike in the offing, but Caballero this time guessed correctly to keep the scoreline at 4-1.
Chelsea’s future had the final say, however, as fifth goal always looked achievable, with attacking midfielder Traore finishing the scoring with a scrappy headed deflection.
FA Cup quarter-final draw
After the Chelsea triumph, the FA Cup quarter-final draw also provided some interesting talking points, with matches set to take place over the weekend of March 12th and 13th.
West Ham (10/1 outright) swept aside Blackburn Rovers 5-1 to continue their cracking cup run, and will now take their big game mentality to face one of Shrewsbury Town or troubled Manchester United (4/1), with the pair still to play on Monday.
In another tantalising match-up Everton, who defeated Bournemouth on Saturday will welcome Chelsea, fresh from their thrashing of Manchester City.
While, Championship team Reading host Crystal Palace (15/2), after Alan Pardew’s side squeezed past Tottenham, and one of holders Arsenal (10/3 to retain again) or Hull City will host Watford after their upcoming replay.
Here is the draw in full:
Reading v Crystal Palace
Everton v Chelsea
Arsenal/Hull City v Watford
Shrewsbury Town/Manchester United v West Ham United