Our Resident City Reporter Harry Newton assesses the team’s off day against an on-form Chelsea
Diego Costa, 34th minute.
David Faupala, 36th minute.
Willian, 47th minute.
Gary Cahill, 52nd minute.
Edin Hazard, 66th minute.
Bertrand Traoré , 88th minute
If this game was a song: MGMT – Kids
This game saw City field a lot of teenagers! Tosin Adarabioyo, Cameron Humphreys, Aleix García, Manu García, Bersant Celina, Brandon Barker, and David Faupala all featured. Despite the headline, all these players impressed to some extent. Only a few moments of inexperience let the side down, which can be expected for such a young team. In the first half the youngsters didn’t even look remotely out of their depth. The future is bright!
13th minute: Pedro hits the post early on, after Cesc Fàbregas turned on the style to beat the offside trap.
34th minute: GOAL. Fàbregas was at it again, as he played through Hazard, who sent a looping ball in for Costa to head in.
36th minute: GOAL. Faupala equalizes after a 1-2 with Iheanacho opened up the Chelsea defense and he tapped in from two yards for a well deserved goal.
40th minute: A great reaction save from Willy Caballero keeps Pedro’s header at bay.
47th minute: GOAL. Willian runs through the City midfield in a quick counter-attack to lay off to Hazard. Hazard returns the favour and Willian breaks the offside trap to score and set the tone for the second half.
52nd minute: GOAL. The ball drops to Cahill after a Chelsea attack and he hits it hard through Caballero and into the net.
66th minute: GOAL. Hazard sends Caballero the wrong way with a free kick and puts the ball in the far corner of the goal.
69th minute: SUBSTITUTIONS. Pedro and Costa make way for Traoré and Oscar.
73rd minute: PENALTY. In a strange refereeing decision, Chelsea were awarded a penalty on behalf of a Martín Demichelis foul. The harsh decision was met with karma as Cabellero saved Oscar’s penalty.
89th minute: GOAL. Traoré makes it five with a looping header that confused the City defence and keeper to go in off the woodwork.
Stat of the Game
City ended the game with three Mancunians on the pitch: Tosin Adarabioyo, Cameron Humphreys, and Brandon Barker.
Saturday saw West Brom’s firey left back/winger Chris Brunt pelted by a coin from his very own fans. The fan threw the coin in frustration at Brunt and then were met by his fiery response! West Brom’s own fans turned against the fan that threw the coin, as this is something that young children will watch and replicate themselves. The fear as soon as this act had happened was that this could catch on around the game and other idiots would feel it is an acceptable thing to do. Fast forward to Sunday’s match between Chelsea and Manchester City, and it seems the fears have come to fruition.
As City scored their equalizer, some Chelsea fans pelted the celebrating players with coins. This is a bad example to other fans, an act of idiocy, and an even more disgusting thing to do when you consider that the players they were aiming these coins at were aged 17-19.
Football fans have often been brandished as a bad example through the decades due to violence and disrespectful chanting, but it seemed to have relaxed in Britain over the last five to ten years. Hopefully, this is a slight blip in the relationship between fans and players, and the guilty fans will be given a ban from football grounds in an attempt to combat the football hooligan stereotype.
You’ve gotta be Hiddink me?
Chelsea have spent most of this season playing dismal football that has seen them slump down the Premier League table. The City fans reminded the Chelsea fans of this during the game by labelling them in chants as ‘the worst Champions ever.’ Despite this, Chelsea decided that today was the day they would turn back up to the party! Bad luck for City eh? Fàbregas, Costa, and Hazard woke up from their slumber and turned on the style that we were so used to last season, and gave City’s youngsters a baptism of fire. This is an experience that City’s unexperienced players will remember forever and learn from, as some of Chelsea’s quick passing play was beautiful, and the space that Fàbregas found himself in at some points was nothing short of excellent. It seems that whatever Guus Hiddink has done to his Chelsea side has worked wonders, as he won his sixth FA Cup game out of six. The 5-1 score line is a little bit generous to the London side nonetheless, as City put up a good fight, especially in the first half.
Quote of the Presser
Guus Hiddink on coin throwing: “We condemn it and I condemn it strongly. Those people must not come into stadiums.”
Much of City’s team made their debut against Chelsea in this FA Cup tie, or were adding to their one or two appearances. Despite this, they did not seem fazed at all! Errors from experienced players today seemed to cost City, as the youngsters turned up with little fear. Every now and then the inexperience crept in, however this could be expected against a side of high calibre. Let’s take a closer look at each of the youngsters and their game…
Tosin Adarabioyo,—The England U18 player impressed the most out of all the youngsters, as he slotted straight into the back four and didn’t look out of place. He will be disappointed at conceding five goals, however he made a few fantastic blocks and strong challenges. Early in the first half a moment stood out where he battled with Diego Costa when the Spaniard looked like he would storm through any defender to score.
A.García—Watching the communication between Garcia and Fernando throughout the game was fascinating, as it was evident that the young midfielder was learning a lot from the experience. As a defensive midfielder he played well, and occasionally we saw an added side to his game where he showed skill and an attacking sense. Looks like he could be good enough to make it with a little more time.
M.García—He helped Zabaleta out defensively down the wing, and this was effective in the first half. He had a few surges forward that looked dangerous, however seemed to run out of energy in the second half. This is expected against Chelsea, when the London team were in such a motivated mood, so he shouldn’t let his head drop. 6/10
Bersant Celina—Had a great run-out against Leicester a couple weeks back, as he set up Sergio Agüero for a goal. This game, however, City mainly attacked down the other wing and he didn’t see much of the ball. Showed signs of promise however and has time on his side. 6/10
David Faupala—This French striker’s first half was fantastic alongside Kelechi Iheanacho! He was closing down Chelsea’s back four quickly and throwing himself into challenges defensively and further up the pitch. Early on in the first half he cleverly got the ball past Cahill and Branislav Ivanović using a cheeky nutmeg in the process, to pull off a superb shot that Thibaut Courtois had to save! Didn’t look out of his depth, but City’s attacking threat slowed down in the second half.
Brandon Barker—When the Englishman made his entrance to the game, Chelsea were already out of reach. However, he still showed what he had to offer with showed glimpses of talent down the left wing! As soon as he came on he created a couple of chances and it looked like City may be able to salvage a less heavy score line. Alas, it was not enough.
Cameron Humphreys—Wasn’t on the pitch for too long, however this lad is definitely one to keep an eye out for, as he got his chance at only 17!
Men of the Match
After a dismal first half of the season, the Spaniard is finally starting to display the kind of form that he showed last season! This game saw him pop up in pockets of space all over the field and pinging balls around that any team would have struggled against—never mind such a young team! A classy display from the midfielder sees him as Man of the Match far above any other player on the field.
It may seem odd to choose a centre-back for Man of the Match after a 5-1 defeat, but this young lad can hold his head high after his display! The experienced and usually reliable Demichelis was having an off day, but Adarabioyo was on hand to help the back four through the game and gain crucial experience on the way. His positioning play was fantastic, and despite his slight stature, he was strong on and off the ball. Don’t be surprised if we see this young lad again this season.
Will it be worth it?
City fielded a lesser team in this match in order to accommodate for the Champions League in midweek. Pellegrini said that his 13 man squad weren’t fit enough to play both games at full strength, so he sacrificed his first team players today for the youngsters. If City lose in midweek this may make this decision look strange, so fingers crossed for the game against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League this week!