By halftime, Manchester City were leading 3-0 and Chelsea had registered no shots on goal. In the second half, while City added another to their tally, Chelsea managed just one shot on target. It was as comprehensive a defeat as any. A 4-0 drubbing in the 3rd round of FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
And the Chelsea fans were reminded of what they had lost earlier this season. ‘We’ve got super Tommy (Thomas) Tuchel’, chanted the fans at the away end. The German manager had been sacked by the English Premier League club earlier in the 2022/23 season, only a season after he had managed to take the club to only their second Champions League title, beating the same team in the final as they faced on Sunday.
“Weve got Super Tommy Tuchel” chants from the away end 💀 pic.twitter.com/XvheKA4oIE
— CarefreeLewisG (@CarefreeLewisG) January 8, 2023
For City, Mahrez opened the scoring in the 23rd minute of the first half before Alvarez made it 2-0 from the spot kick. Seven minutes before the 45 minute mark Foden would triple the advantage for the hosts while Mahrez would score the second penalty for City.
Losing manager on the night, Graham Potter admitted post match that it was a painful defeat for the London club.
“The first half was painful and tough for us all,” the Chelsea manager said. “We were second best to a very, very good side. We are not in a great moment and even though it was a cagey first 20 minutes we couldn’t attack the backline well enough, we couldn’t attack as well as we would like. Manchester City are very good at stopping you doing that but at the same time we struggled.”
He further added, “In terms of the Premier League we have lost four matches – to Newcastle away, when we had nine players unavailable, we lost 1-0 to Arsenal, we lost on a bad day to Brighton and we lost to Manchester City. We have also drawn to Manchester United and Brentford so the results in a small space of time aren’t positive.”
Potter took over from Tuchel in September after a successful stint at Brighton, who currently sit two places and two points above Chelsea in the English Premier League standings.
Pep talk for Potter
While the English manager may be under immense pressure to push results at Chelsea, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has come in his support and urged Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to give Potter the time at helm.
“I would say to Todd Boehly, that it was a pleasure to meet him, so give him time,” Guardiola said post match on Sunday. “I know in the big clubs, results are important but I would say give him time. So, I think, the second-half is what he is. What he has done in Brighton was outstanding. All managers need time, he is right.”
The Spanish manager further added, “We need time every season. In Barcelona there was a reason because I had Messi there, I didn’t need two seasons: one was enough. To play against City when we are at this level in Carabao Cup or here is not easy for Graham, for Chelsea or for any team.”