@markbooth_mcfc picks out five conclusions from City’s FA Cup defeat to Chelsea…
Made in Manchester…
When Cameron Humphreys was introduced into the game with just over ten minutes to go, City had three Mancunians on the field in the shape of Tosin Adarabioyo, Brandon Barker and Humphreys.
Despite the result, it was a proud afternoon for the academy as Manuel Pellegrini named an XI featuring six teenagers and not one of them did anything to blot their copybooks against the reigning Premier League champions.
Indeed, England youth international defender Adarabioyo was named CityMatchday app users’ Man of the Match following an assured performance at the heart of the back four.
Catching the eye…
It wasn’t just the locally sourced talents who impressed for City at Stamford Bridge, both Aleix and Manu Garcia held their own against a Chelsea midfield with Champions League medals and hundreds of international caps.
Aleix made and completed more passes that anyone else in “ghost green” across the 90 minutes and showed he’s not shy of putting a tackle in when required.
His namesake Manu was one of City’s most impressive performers, too, putting in a real shift in an unfamiliar wide berth and producing a couple of clever touches to spring a resolute Chelsea defence.
David’s dream debut…
David Faupala made a real statement of intent when he first got on the ball three minutes into this FA Cup tie.
The ex-Lens striker nutmegged Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill, twisting them inside and out before forcing Thibault Courtois into a decent save.
Faupala’s debut goal might have been a little on the scrappy side but he’d earned a bit of a luck with a tireless centre forward’s display alongside the senior head in the front five (!), Kelechi Iheanacho.
The pair truly made it awkward for Cahill and Ivanovic in that excellent first half, snapping away at their heels every time the Blues’ defenders were on the ball.
Game of two halves…
City undoubtedly gave as good as they got for the first 45 minutes of this clash, equalising within two minutes of Diego Costa’s opening goal.
They were good value for being level against their more decorated opponents and supporters on social media were daring to dream that City’s young guns could at least force a replay.
However, Chelsea’s greater experience eventually told after the break and the jig was up in the 53rd minute when Cahill fired past Willy Caballero to make it 3-1.
On the bright side…
There’s no use in pretending that going out in the FA Cup is anything but a negative, however, it’s worth remembering now that City have stayed alive in four competitions longer than any of their English peers.
If the Blues had gone on to the last eight of the competition, it would have meant moving Premier League fixtures to later in the season and so perhaps, the silver lining to this defeat is a clearer schedule at season’s end.
Yesterday, we were able to rest all but a few of our frontline stars for Kiev and picked up no new injuries ahead of a pivotal week which ends with a Wembley final.
A tiny dollop of salve to the wounds at least!