By DAVIDSON ABRAHAM, Middle East
Riyad Mahrez struck a set-piece brace (free kick and penalty) as Manchester City eased to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup third round. Three of the Man Citys’ goals in an incredibly one-sided encounter at the Etihad Stadium came in a space of 15 minutes late in the first half as Mahrez, Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden all found the back of the net.
Mahrez added a fourth with City’s second penalty of the afternoon five minutes from time. It was City’s second win over the out-of-form Chelsea in the space of four days and piled more pressure on their manager Graham Potter. After a run of just one win in seven games in all competitions, Chelsea supporters booed their side and were heard chanting the names of former owner Roman Abramovich and ex-manager Thomas Tuchel.
City have no such concerns, and as well as looking to dethrone Arsenal from the top of the Premier League table, City could now be hosting them in the fourth round if the Gunners can see off Oxford on Monday. City, who rested Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, effectively had the game wrapped up by half time. The sides made 13 changes between them from the teams that played each other on Thursday but it was soon apparent City boasted greater strength in depth.
Premier League Champions Manchester City are next in action when they play Southampton in the Carabao cup Quarterfinal before taking a short trip to Old Trafford to face city rivals Manchester United for the 189th Manchester Derby. Meanwhile Chelsea who are desperate to turn things around will play Fulham on Friday before playing Crystal Palace on Sunday.