City without mercy for Chelsea in the 32nd final

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London (AFP) – After having already won at Stamford Bridge (1-0) on Thursday in the league, Manchester City won even more easily (4-0) at home against Chelsea on Sunday in the 32nd final of the European Cup. England.

Finalists last season in the two national cups, the Blues had already been knocked out of the League Cup by the Citizens (2-0) and are therefore three defeats with an aggregate score of 7-0 this season.

But as much as the midweek display was encouraging for the combative but injury-stricken Londoners, the first half of this game was cataclysmic.

Without rhythm, without aggressiveness, without movement or idea, they could even almost be happy to be trailing only 3-0 at the break.

Riyad Mahrez, already a decisive scorer on Thursday, opened the scoring with a direct free kick from 24 meters in the top corner (23rd), before the recent world champion, Julian Alvarez, preferred to Erling Haaland for this match, transformed a penalty awarded with the help of the VAR for a handball by Kai Havertz (2-0, 30th).

A few minutes later, at the conclusion of a very nice collective action, Phil Foden drove the point home (3-0, 38th).

The second period was managed without fear and without any real rebellion from Chelsea, who made their case even worse by conceding a second penalty seven minutes from the end, scored by Mahrez (4-0, 85th).

Nine Premier League clubs on the mat

Qualified for the 16th which will be held in three weeks, City will have to wait until Monday evening to know their opponent who could again be a London team, since they will meet the winner of the match between Oxford United (D3) and the Premier League leaders, Arsenal.

The distress of Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta after his team’s debacle at Manchester City, January 8, 2023 © Oli SCARFF / AFP

Sunday was again a difficult day for the elite clubs, like Unai Emery’s team, Aston Villa, overthrown at home by the second in the 4th division Stevenage (2-1).

Leeds, meanwhile, had come very close to elimination by being led 2-0 in Cardiff (D2), before equalizing (90th +4) and snatching a game to replay.

Saturday’s matches were notably fatal in Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and especially Newcastle, released (2-1) by Sheffield Wednesday (D3), while the defending champion, Liverpool, will have to replay their match against Wolverhampton (2-2) , but in Molineux this time.

The winner will have the delicate mission of going to play in Brighton.

At least nine Premier League teams have been or will be eliminated as soon as they enter the competition.

The joy of Leeds United players after the equalizer signed Sonny Perkins (left) in Cardiff City, January 8, 2023
The joy of Leeds United players after the equalizer signed Sonny Perkins (left) in Cardiff City, January 8, 2023 © GEOFF CADDICK / AFP

In addition, the draw, carried out in the middle of the afternoon, was rather lenient with the other big teams, Manchester United receiving Reading, while Tottenham will move to Preston North End, two mid-table teams in D2.

The heroes of Wrexham, a Welsh club in the 5th division, who went to snatch a spectacular qualification (4-3) in Coventry (D2) on Saturday, inherited another Championship club, Sheffield United, but which they will welcome to the bubbling Racecourse Ground.