Chelsea 5 – 1 Manchester City – Match Review

Chelsea 5 – 1 Manchester City – Match Review
Feb 21, 2016

Manchester City

Manchester City’s 2016 FA Cup run came to an end at Stamford Bridge, as a hard-working young side were ultimately outplayed by the reigning Premier League champions. 

An away game at Chelsea is never an easy task for any team, even more so with five of the starting 11 making their full first team débuts. Expectations weren’t very high amongst the large majority of City supporters, especially after two consecutive defeats against Premier League opposition. But on the other hand, there was nothing to lose for the six young players who were surely playing with a well known Latin aphorism, Carpé Diem (Seize the day), ringing in their heads.

Despite the magnitude of the occasion, City started very brightly and a moment of early unexpected magic from 19 year old Frenchman David Faupala almost gave City the lead. The débutante danced past several Chelsea players on his own before driving a strong shot towards goal, only for it to be parried away by the awaiting Thibaut Courtois who had narrowed the angle at his near post.

However in the 36th minute of the game, it became clear that the Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona had turned up today, as he was the main creator behind Chelsea’s opening goal. A neat volleyed pass through to Eden Hazard, splitting Manu Garcia and Zabaleta, allowed the Belgian to pick out a diving Diego Costa who nodded home from 5 yards, giving City’s Argentine goalkeeper absolutely no chance.

Many thought City’s youngsters would simply role over after going behind, but a swift reply brought them level just 94 seconds later. David Faupala begin the move as he fed a delightful ball in behind the Chelsea defence through to Kelechi Iheanacho, who intelligently squared the ball across goal for a simply tap in for Faupala from 2 yards out. The dream début for the Frenchman! But following the celebrations, referee Andre Marriner walked over to his linesman and began picking up several objects, later discovered to be coins, presumably thrown by Chelsea supporters in an attempt to injure some of City’s youth. Disgraceful scenes that have absolutely no place in football. However, more importantly, Manchester City were level and a proper FA Cup tie seemed to be on the cards.

Into the second half, and Chelsea came out fighting. A ball in behind from Hazard on the counter-attack found Brazilian winger Willian who slotted the ball into the far corner past the onrushing Caballero. The favourites were back in front, and with Manchester City’s young prospects slowly deteriorating through sheer tiredness, it became a huge uphill battle, despite only being a goal behind.

Goals from Gary Cahill and an Eden Hazard free kick soon followed as Chelsea put the tie to bed and lead the game 4-1. Many thought it would be five shortly after as Martin Demichelis conceded a penalty after shoulder-barging Bertrand Traoré to the floor, but a smart save from Willy Caballero denied Oscar from joining a Chelsea demolition. However, a fifth goal did arrive as Chelsea’s young striker Traoré saw a header loop over a poor Caballero and into the City net.

Despite the scoreline, there were some stand-out performances from some of Manchester City’s débutantes, most notably from 18 year old Tosin Adarabioyo who showed great defensive ability on many occasions. Aleix and Manu Garcia also showed great promise by putting large quantities of effort in throughout the game and not looking out of place against a strong Chelsea side. Focus now turns to a trip to Ukraine for Manchester City as they take on Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Player Ratings

Starting line up – Willy Caballero (4), Pablo Zabaleta (6), Tosin Adarabioyo (7), Martin Demichelis (3), Aleksander Kolarov (5), Manu Garcia (6), Aleix Garcia (6), Fernando (5), Bersant Celina (5), David Faupala (6), Kelechi Iheanacho (6)

Substitutes – Brandon Barker (5) and Cameron Humphreys-Grant (5)

Man of the Match – Throwing an 18 year old defender into a game of this magnitude against a strong Chelsea attacking line was always going to be a risk, but Tosin Adarabioyo thrived on the opportunity, throwing himself into tackles and headers as well as outpacing Diego Costa on one occasion – certainly something to admire. By improving his passing ability, Tosin has the ability to become an outstanding defender.

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