Manchester City have barely turned the page on Chelsea FC and already they are set to face off in the Carabao Cup away to Southampton. Sky Blue News helps put a bow on the victory against the West London Blues before turning our attention to the Saints.
Kyle Walker body language guides Pep Guardiola in Man City win over Chelsea - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening news
For a team accused recently of being too slow in possession, getting your fastest player to charge into the box for an assist is certainly a way of changing the narrative. That extra dimension to City’s attack doesn’t have to be used every time but is another very useful way of unlocking defences.
Even more significant than his role in the third goal was Walker’s attitude. Committed throughout, there was a jump and roar to the crowd as he celebrated Julian Alvarez’s penalty goal to put 2-0 up.
It gave City a goal cushion but there will be far bigger games for the team this season, yet Walker celebrated as if he were in a final. That is exactly the kind of hunger that Guardiola referenced after the match as the behaviour he wants to see from his players.
Speaking at the training ground this week, the England right-back spoke about City’s Carabao Cup win in 2017 as a pivotal moment in his career realising that he was good enough to win trophies. “I had been there and kind of just participated in them because teams that I played with or played for, we never knew really how to really have that winning mentality,” he said.
This was the second meeting in four days between the two sides, and if Thursday’s meeting at Stamford Bridge was a tight, tense affair, this third-round tie was anything but as City ripped into their opponents in a devasting first half that saw the blues go into the break with a three-goal advantage.
The blues look ominous in front of goal, while keeping Chelsea firmly at bay. City were at the visitors wherever possible, snapping at the heels of the London side when not in possession and mopping up any loose balls, turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
Foden, who kept his place in the side despite an abject performance on Thursday, showed the home fans exactly why Guardiola retained his faith, being a threat in attack and proving to be a handful on the left wing, along with Sergio Gomez, who took advantage of Chelsea’s lack of ambition to play further up the field than a left-back should.
Man City set to push through deal for Argentina youngster Maximo Perrone THIS WEEK in £6.5m move from Velez Sarsfield... with midfielder to join after South American U20 Championship - Simon James and Lewis Browning - Mail Online
He is expected to feature in the U20 Championship, which gets underway on January 19 and runs until February 12.
Should he make the move to the Etihad, he would follow in the footsteps of forward Julian Alvarez, who also moved from Argentina where he was playing for River Plate.
Alvarez has already made an impact at Man City, scoring as recently as Sunday against Chelsea, and also played his part in helping Argentina lift the World Cup in Qatar.
Mahrez has been at his mesmeric, creative best since the resumption of action following the World Cup and also found the target in last month’s 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool which was City’s first competitive game following the Qatar showpiece.
For his part, the 31-year-old believes settling back into a regular rhythm of games with the matches coming thick and fast has only proved beneficial.
But with a packed schedule continuing this week with Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final at Southampton followed by Saturday’s Manchester derby trip to Old Trafford, Mahrez also says City are training their focus purely on the next task in hand.
“I didn’t go to the World Cup, I trained for a bit in Abu Dhabi, and we came back here and trained more,” Mahrez reflected.
Fatigue- In the long term, the most important thing that might have come out of the match for City was rest. The ability for Pep to cruise to an easy win while leaving Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Ederson, and İlkay Gündoğan on the bench could prove crucial as the chase for silverware heats up over the next few months.
The Rivalry- I heard it mentioned during the match at Stamford Bridge that Man City v Chelsea had become the signature fixture of the Premier League in the 21st Century. That was said to highlight how uneven a match it had become. Chelsea won the biggest match the two sides have ever played in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final, but since they’ve lost 5 consecutive matches to City by an aggregate of 9-0.
Kalvin Phillips to make full Manchester City debut this week as Pep Guardiola rotates - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
This week presents the ideal opportunity for the 27 year-old to get much-needed minutes under his belt, as Manchester City travel to the south coast to take on Nathan Jones’ Southampton.
According to the Mail, Kalvin Phillips is in line to make his full Manchester City debut on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s side take on Southampton in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, and while the City boss has not decided on his team for the contest, he is mindful of offering defensive midfield mainstay, Rodri a rest.
The relentless game time since the start of the season, both for club and country, heightened for Rodri in recent days, with the Spain international replaced during the closing stages of the Premier League meeting against Chelsea with cramp.
And finally... SERGIO!! SERGIO!! SERGIO!!
The former Manchester City forward was forced to retire in 2021, following medical advice, just five games into his Camp Nou career.
Aguero was withdrawn in Barcelona’s clash with Alaves in October 2021, after complaining of chest discomfort and breathing issues, during the game.
He was late diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia, and opted to call time on his incredible career earlier than expected, less than six months after signing for Barcelona.
After a period away from the game, Aguero joined the Argentina squad in their wild 2022 World Cup celebrations last month, and hinted at a possible return to the pitch.
Sergio Aguero is set for a very unexpected return for 'different' Barcelona side this month https://t.co/areNOh66fq— Football España (@footballespana_) January 9, 2023
There you have it. Stay with us here at Botter and Blue as we get ready for the Carabao Cup Quarterfinal against Southampton.