Riyad Mahrez ignited a 4nil blowout for Manchester City against struggling Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup, while Aston Villa suffered a crushing 2-1 loss to fourth-tier Stevenage on Sunday.
Following the humiliation of Premier League teams by lower-league opponents on Saturday, including Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, and Bournemouth, Unai Emery’s Villa was shaken by a two-goal flurry from Stevenage in the closing seconds.
Premier League winners City rarely experience such humiliation, and they got off to the best possible start at the Etihad Stadium as they easily dismissed Chelsea.
The City team that won 1-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League on Thursday had seven changes under Pep Guardiola.
However, City was still far too dynamic for a failing Chelsea team, as Mahrez scored twice, once on a late penalty and once on a fantastic free-kick and Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden also scored.
In the fourth round, either third-place Oxford or the league’s leaders in the Premier League, Arsenal, will visit City.
The west London club’s first FA Cup third-round loss since 1998 was another blow to a season that was already in danger of getting out of hand. City had previously eliminated Chelsea from the League Cup this season.
Although it is probably too soon for Chelsea manager Graham Potter to be worried about losing his job, the 47-year-old may be experiencing some insomnia as he struggles with his team’s appalling performance just four months after moving from Brighton to take Thomas Tuchel’s place.
Chelsea are in 10th place in the Premier League, 10 points off of the top four spots that the club’s American owners would have undoubtedly anticipated Potter to deliver, having won only three of their last 12 games overall.
The sound of Chelsea supporters screaming Tuchel’s name as they long for the German who guided them to Champions League victory in 2021 will scarcely have relieved Potter.
Given Chelsea’s position, it was puzzling that Potter decided to make six substitutions, starting both Lewis Hall and Bashir Humphreys, a fellow adolescent who made his debut.
When Mahrez drew a careless foul from Hall in the 23rd minute, he profited from Potter’s selection risk.
The Algerian winger, who had scored the game-winning goal against Chelsea on Thursday, this time bent a beautiful free kick from 25 yards into the top corner.
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.