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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

City dominant as they thrash Chelsea 4-0 in FA Cup edging out the Blues

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, orchestrated a victory against Chelsea for the second time in as many days, ensuring the Sky Blues' advancement to the FA Cup fourth round with a convincing 4-0 victory and eliminating the visitors at the third-round stage for the first time in 25 years.

The cagey first 20 minutes of the match may have disappointed Chelsea supporters who traveled to Manchester, but things quickly got worse for them once play began. After latching onto a through pass, Cole Palmer struck the first warning shot, but minutes later, a spectacular Riyad Mahrez free-kick, his seventh of the year and fifth in cup competitions, gave the game its first goal.

At Etihad Stadium, tension immediately rose, and when referee Robert Jones hurried to the pitchside monitor to take a closer look at Kai Havertz's flagrant handball, Graham Potter started to fear the worst. Julián Alvarez took the penalty kick on a rare occasion, and despite Kepa Arrizabalaga's best efforts to frighten the World Cup winner, he managed to sneak it in off the upright. Before Chelsea dragged off the field without so much as a first-half attempt on goal, City reached their rampant best as the half loomed. Phil Foden tapped in Kyle Walker's cross for an exhilarating team goal to put daylight between the teams.

After the break, City was in cruise control, but Potter's motivational speech did at least enable Chelsea to create a shot on goal, with Mason Mount flashing his effort wide following a fast free-kick. However, the hosts ultimately prevailed as Kalidou Koulibaly's poor challenge resulted in another penalty. The Blues were mercilessly put back to the drawing board after Foden and Mahrez scored goals.

As a result, City's undefeated streak now stands at five games, putting them on a collision course with either Oxford United or Arsenal for the FA Cup. Chelsea, on the other hand, drew a blank for the sixth time in a row against their opponents on Sunday, and their lone score against the Cityzens still stands as Havertz's game-winning goal in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final.

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