It’s on to the FA Cup Fourth Round for Manchester City after 4-0 romp against Chelsea FC. It was a match where City were in complete control throughout. Let’s take a look at the storylines moving up and moving down after an easy Sunday at the Etihad.
Riyad Rising- Winter Riyad is back. After starting the season on some uneven form, City’s Algerian Ace appears to be firing once again. And it’s right on schedule as well. With the fixtures coming thick and fast, Mahrez has scored 5 goals in City’s last 7 matches in all competitions.
Spider Sense- Julian Alvarez made his return to the starting lineup in place of Erling Haaland. La Araña scored the first of two penalties won by City to double the lead at 30 minutes. Despite an attempt at distraction from Kepa Arrizabalaga, Julian smiled, placed the ball on the spot, and slotted the shot in the lower left corner, just off the hand of the Chelsea keeper.
Actual Fullbacks- Something we haven’t seen much of late. A right-back and a left-back who are both playing their natural role. Kyle Walker captained the side and made his impact up and down the right side of the pitch. Sergio Gómez was not as heavily involved at times but made the plays he needed to and played with the instincts of a true left-back.
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.
There you have it Cityzens. What were your biggest trends from the match? Let us know in the comments.