Dubai: What a difference a few days make. Manchester City had to battle for all three points when they visited Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. But tonight in the FA Cup, Pep Guardiola’s side brushed the Blues aside with ease to book their spot in the fourth round.
City cruised to a 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium to pile on the misery on Graham Potter. Chelsea were desperately poor and could have been beaten by a far bigger margin. Last Thursday they made it difficult for City and went down by a solitary goal. However, they were missing key personnel and fielded a patched up side. They found themselves 3-0 down at half time and never looked like getting back in the game.
This was a stroll in the park for City who took the lead thanks to a stunning free kick from Riyad Mahrez before Argentinian World Cup winner Julian Alvarez added the scored from the spot after Kai Havertz handled. Phil Foden grabbed the third after a slick move and City were awarded another penalty when Kalidou Koulibaly fouled Foden in the box and Mahrez smashed home. It was a chastening day for Potter’s side and it didn’t help matters that their travelling support chanted the name of previous coach Thomas Tuchel.
The pressure is mounting on the former Brighton boss. He started well enough but it appears that the wheels have fallen off. Chelsea lacked a cutting edge and looked devoid of ideas. There didn’t appear to be a gameplan and they lost battles all over the pitch.
They might be a team in transition but this display was abject under any circumstances. They had injuries to contend with but they still had players with plenty of experience such as Mateo Kovacic, Koulibaly, Havertz, Mason Mount, Jorginho, Hakim Ziyech and keeper Kepa.
Their season looks to be over as they have now been knocked out of both domestic cups and are 10 points off the Champions League places in the Premier League. They face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 but if they play like this they will also be knocked out there. It would be hard for Potter to remain in the job if that happens.