Match Report

City ensure FA Cup progress with confident victory over Chelsea

DEADLY DUO: Foden celebrates with Alvarez.
FA Cup
FA Cup
Sun 8 Jan
Riyad Mahrez 
(23', 85'),  

Julián Álvarez 

Phil Foden 

View highlights
City ensured progress through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup – and a clash with either Oxford or Arsenal – after seeing off Chelsea 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Riyad Mahrez (2), Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden sent us through to the next stage of the competition.

Mahrez opened the scoring on 23 minutes with a 25-yard free-kick he won himself before World Cup winner Alvarez doubled the lead from the penalty spot on 30 minutes as he drilled it low and left past Kepa.

City scored a majestic team goal on 38 minutes that had the Etihad in raptures.

Rodri floated an inch-perfect ball into Mahrez on the right, who fed the onrushing Kyle Walker. Our skipper for the day then centred for Foden who made no mistake with a clinical finish.

Mahrez completed the scoring on 84 minutes after firing home from the spot, after Foden had been upended.


There was a feeling of deja-vu in the air for this FA Cup Third Round encounter as we faced Chelsea once again after meeting them in our last Premier League game as well as being our opponents at the same stage of the Carabao Cup.

We won both of those encounters – and it was a third victory this afternoon as we defeated them once again.

The foundation of the win was very much built on an imperious opening 45 minutes, which saw us go in 3-0 at the break.

The first chance of the game came on 19 minutes and it was starlet forward Cole Palmer who had it. He fired wide of goal after being played in wonderfully by Aymeric Laporte.

It wasn’t long, though, before City opened the scoring and it was the in-form Mahrez who scored it.

He earned a free-kick 25 yards out and then picked himself up to fire home beautifully into the top right hand corner on 23 minutes, giving Kepa absolutely no chance.

VAR was called into action just before the hour mark as the video referee checked what looked to be a Kai Havertz handball in the box.

Robert Jones pointed to the spot and Alvarez, fresh from his win in Qatar 2022, despatched it into the bottom left hand corner to double our advantage.

Pep Guardiola’s team then really started clicking through the proverbial gears with some delightful and inspiring football.

If the first two goals were impressive, they saved the best for next with a sumptuous team goal to make it 3-0 on 38 minutes.

Rodri floated a ball into Mahrez on the right who clipped it into the path of an onrushing Kyle Walker, who, in turn, centred to Foden to fire confidentially home.

It could actually have been four at the break with Alvarez just unable to reach a fine ball into the box from the left as he stretched to connect.

Chelsea rung the changes as the second half resumed with Denis Zakaria and David Fofana entering the action in place of Havertz and Mateo Kovacic.

Mason Mount called Stefan Ortega Moreno into action on 55 minutes as he expertly tipped the forward’s shot wide of his right hand post.

Guardiola made changes on 58 minutes as Kalvin Phillips and Joao Cancelo replaced Rodri and Sergio Gomez - followed swiftly by Graham Potter bringing on Cesar Azpilicueta and Omari Hutchinson for Jorginho and Hakim Ziyech on 62 minutes.

What followed was a quieter spell of action as City probed for another opening.

Mahrez thought he’s scored his second as his shot just flashed past the post on 73 minutes.

Carney Chukwuemeka was introduced for Mount on 73 minutes as the Blues looked to inject freshness into their side.

Foden earned us a penalty on 84 minutes after being bundled over by Kalidou Koulibaly - and Mahrez made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick.

That ended the scoring but there were big cheers as the final whistle blew after our supporters hailed another top display.


The moment of the match here was undoubtedly our third goal – it truly was a thing of beauty.

Rodri played the ball wide right to Riyad Mahrez, who found Kyle Walker charging forward beside him.

After receiving the ball, our right-back pulled it back first time and Phil Foden, waiting eight yards out, calmly slotted it home.

It was a truly immaculate move – and a joy to witness.


Our victory over the Blues set up a Fourth Round FA Cup encounter with either Oxford United or Arsenal.

The Us face the Gunners at the Kassam Stadium this Monday, with a 20:00 (UK time) kick-off.

The draw was made before this game kicked off.

BBC presenter Mark Chapman hosted the draw, with ex-England international Emile Heskey and former City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley picking out the numbers.

We were ball No.4 and were picked out first followed by ball No.16.

The match against either Oxford or Arsenal will be played between Friday 27 January and Monday 30 January.


It may have been a battle during the 90 minutes but, before the game kicked off, there was unity between City and Chelsea.

The players, staff and fans all rose to applaud the memory of former Blues striker and manager, Gianluca Vialli, who died this week at the age of just 58.

Vialli joined Chelsea on a free transfer in 1996 and became player-manager in 1997/98.

He led Chelsea to victory in the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup that season, followed by the 1999/00 FA Cup.

Seeing all four sides of the Etihad clapping in unison was an inspiring moment of togetherness from the two rival clubs.


Riyad Mahrez was voted star player for his performance in the 4-0 win over Chelsea.

And, no wonder given his two-goal display to ensure FA Cup progress against the Blues.

He scored the first – a brilliant dipping free-kick that gave goalkeeper Kepa no chance and also bagged the last – a precise penalty.

But, more than that, he was a constant menace to Graham Potter’s side as he drove forward with electrifying skills down the flank throughout the 90 minutes.

His brace was thoroughly deserved!


CITY XI: Ortega Moreno, Walker (c), Laporte, Akanji, Gomez (Cancelo 58’), Rodrigo (Phillips 58’), Silva (Lewis 86’), Palmer, Mahrez, Foden, Alvarez

Unused subs: Ederson, Stones, Ake, Gündogan, Haaland, De Bruyne

CHELSEA XI: Kepa, Humphreys, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Hall, Jorginho ©( Azpilicueta 62’), Kovacic (Fofana 46’), Ziyech (Hutchinson 62’, Gallagher, Mount (Chukwuemeka 73’), Havertz (Zakaria 46’)

Unused subs: Bettinelli, Badiashile, Cucurella, Thiago Silva


"Really good from the first minute to the end.

"We make an incredibly intense game against a top side.

"The last game we played against them was three days ago.

"So into the next round. Next competition. Happy to still be there."


"To have played the way we played and to score four goals and keep a clean sheet, it was a good day for us.

"It was good to be fair [his free kick]. I think someone touched it a little bit so it made it faster.

"It was good to start with. After that we played very good."


"We played very well.

"A four goal difference, we're happy with the result. Now we focus on the next games coming in the future.

"I'm happy that Riyad [Mahrez] let me take that penalty kick. I'm happy that I contributed and that we won.

"Now we focus on the future."


We’re through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.

We will face either Oxford United or Arsenal at that stage, with our opponents decided on Monday when they face each other at 20:00 (UK time)

The match will be played between Friday 27 January and Monday 30 January.


We’re up for the cup again in our next game but this time it’s the Carabao variety.

We’ve got a trip to Southampton in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, with that match taking place on Wednesday 11 January, kick-off 20:00 (UK).

Then it's three Premier League games in nine days – the Manchester derby at Old Trafford (Saturday 14 January, kick-off 12:30), before home matches against Tottenham (Thursday 19 January, kick-off 20:00) and Wolves (Sunday 22 January, 14:00).

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