Chelsea thrashed a youthful looking Manchester City 5-1 at Stamford Bridge to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini chose to prioritise the Champions League over the FA Cup by fielding several youth team players and they weren’t a match for Chelsea.
Diego Costa opened the scoring for Chelsea on 35 minutes but City immediately hit back through David Faupala, one of five full debutants in City’s starting line-up, to equalize just 94 seconds later. City’s youthful squad performed well in the first half and went in at half-time 1-1. However, Chelsea quickly took control in the second half and three minutes after the break, Willian finished off a brilliant counter-attacking move to put Chelsea back in front.
Chelsea sealed their place in the next round five minutes later as Cahill pounced on a deflected Hazard cross and powered his shot underneath Caballero, who perhaps should have done better with the shot. Hazard soon added a fourth in the 67th minute with a well placed free-kick. Oscar missed a penalty to extend their lead when his effort was well saved by Cabellero, however Chelsea soon got their fifth goal as substitute Bertrand Traore’s looping header in the 89th minute found its way into the net. Here we will rate the performances of the Chelsea players.
Thibaut Courtois – 7/10
The goalkeeper will be disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet, but it was great work from City to equalize soon after Chelsea scored, but otherwise Courtois wasn’t tested too often.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7/10
Playing at right-back again, Azpilicueta had a good game. He wasn’t often tested defensively, but when he was, he stood his ground and made some good runs down the flank.
Branislav Ivanovic – 7/10
At times Ivanovic has looked more comfortable playing at centre-back and he had another good game in the position.
Gary Cahill – 8/10
The England international looked to have injured himself in the first half, but he carried on, performed well defensively and managed to get a goal – a good day at the office for Cahill.
Baba Rahman – 7/10
Rahman again had a good game and looks to be an important player for Chelsea’s future.
John Obi Mikel – 7/10
The midfielder looks like a different player under Guus Hiddink. He had another good performance at the base of midfield and received a standing ovation from the Chelsea fans when he was substituted.
Cesc Fabregas – 9/10
Fabregas today looked like the player from his Barcelona days and he had a field day. He was solid as a rock in midfield while playing some magnificent passes and cutting open the City defence.
Willian – 8/10
Chelsea’s best player of the season finished off a great counter-attacking goal to seal Chelsea’s win. His performances this season have always been consistent, no matter how the rest of the team were playing.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
Hazard scored a brilliant free-kick and made some runs which reminded us of the Hazard from last season.
Pedro – 8/10
Pedro is starting a good run of form and should have scored the opening goal when his shot hit the post but it was another good performance from the Spaniard.
Diego Costa – 7/10
Costa did well to score the opening goal and made an important contribution to the team.