Chelsea exit the FA Cup at the Fifth Round stage as Manchester City exacted revenge on the Blues thanks to goals by Jovetic and Nasri.
The Londoners, who had prevailed against the Citizens twice this campaign — 12 days ago and in October — were found wanting against a resurgent Manchester City side who limited Chelsea to just 44% possession, three shots and NONE on target.
It meant it was an easy day for Costel Pantilimon, as Kompany frequently stopped Hazard and Chelsea attacks before it reached the very last man.
The same could not be said for Chelsea, however. David Luiz, who excelled in a midfield role in the same fixture at the start of the month, was frequently behind play and were it not for some good Cech saves and heroic Gary Cahill blocks, the Blues could have taken a real drubbing at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City’s intentions were evident right from the off. Yaya Toure’s powerful drive could only be parried by Cech, right into the path of Jovetic. The Blues could count themselves lucky to see the forward graze the top of the crossbar with his shot.
But it was second time lucky for City, who just one minute later, was 1-0 up. Jovetic, this time, managed to hit the right side of the woodwork, finding Cech’s far corner and the post helped the ball in.
Hazard showed some good flicks, and Eto’o nearly pounced on some hesitant City defending, but it was City. Dzeko was a whisker away from doubling the lead before the end of the half, but City were even more intent after the restart. Nasri doubled the home side’s lead minutes after coming on, latching back onto David Silva’s pass, although the Spaniard was in an offside position.
That substitution by Pellegrini proved to be inspired; Mourinho’s introductions of Salah, Torres and Oscar were totally unfruitful.
It means that Chelsea now look to march onto their Premier League charge, whilst Manchester City will be full of confidence going into Tuesday’s mouth-watering tie against Barcelona.
Man of the Match
GARY CAHILL: No Chelsea man performed well, but it one Chelsea player had to be singled out, it must be Gary Cahill. The centre-back was a huge doubt for this match but looked up for it more than any other player, throwing his body on the line as per. Despite not being 100% fit, it was a big showing of commitment. It was a shame it was David Luiz, and not John Terry, who was his defensive partner. 6/10
Jose Mourinho was very understanding of the threat City pose at home: “City played much better than us and deserved to win. Give credit to my players because today proved that to win twice against City and to win here is very difficult to do. Credit for what my team did two weeks ago. [But today] they were the best team and they won.”
Pellegrini was pleased with his side’s reaction from the defeat 12 days ago: “Today the team played very well in all senses. Chelsea didn’t have any chances to shoot at our goal and we played well defensively and in attack against, and I repeat, a very good team.”