Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City: Blues cruise past Citizens' youngsters with inspired second-half display

Goals from Diego Costa, Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and substitute Bertrand Traore helped the Blues to a very convincing 5-1 home victory over City - who quite clearly rested key players ahead of a tricky schedule.

Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City: Blues cruise past Citizens' youngsters with inspired second-half display
Picture source: Getty Images
Chelsea
5 1
Manchester City
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Rahman, Fabregas, Mikel ('82 Matic), Pedro (Oscar '70), Willian, Hazard, Costa ('70 Traore)
Manchester City: Caballero, Zabaleta, Adarabioyo, Demichelis, Kolarov, Garcia Alonso, Garcia Serrano, Fernando ('78 Humphreys), Celina ('53 Barker), Iheanacho, Faupala
SCORE: 1-0 D Costa (35), D Faupala (37) 1-1, Willian (48) 2-1, G Cahill (53) 3-1, E Hazard (67) 4-1, B Traore (89) 5-1

Chelsea progressed into the quarter-finals of this year's FA Cup with a very convincing 5-1 home victory over Manchester City - after an inspired second-half display.

It was a baptism of fire as manager Manuel Pellegrini issued five EDS players their first senior starts; centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, Kosovan attacking midfielder Bersant Celina, Spanish midfield duo of Aleix and Manu García as well as French forward David Faupala. Guus Hiddink meanwhile, used the same line-up that fell to a 2-1 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League tie earlier in the week. 

Encouraging start to proceedings

A quiet opening with City starting brightly, David Faupala managed to create a chance out of seemingly nothing - having twisted and turned his way past the Chelsea backline, testing Thibaut Courtois inside the area. On the 12-minute mark, Pedro Rodríguez worked his way into the City area, his dinked effort striking the far post with Chelsea enjoying a good spell of possession. The hosts made good of it, link-up play between Pedro and Cesc Fábregas keeping the centre-back pairing of Adarabioyo and Martin Demichelis awake, but little end product meant the scores remained level. 

City were firm, stood their ground and were clearly holding their line with disclipine. Chelsea occasionally managed to break through, but second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero was equal to the chances created, or the offside trap was effective in doing its job. Upon 35 minutes however, Eden Hazard's floated cross found Diego Costa in the six-yard area unmarked leaving the Spaniard to cooly head past Caballero. 

City didn't waste anytime, within less than a minute Kelechi Iheanacho played a neat one-two with David Faupala, the Frenchman slotting home from close-range to seal his first senior goal. The match grew with more intensity in the final third, Pedro again testing Caballero from point-blank range, but the Argentine did well to parry away to safety. The first-half's action was capped off by a Chelsea corner-kick, which was easily cleared by the Citizens.

A much different second 45

Unchanged at the half-time interval, Chelsea regained the lead within three minutes of the restart. Hazard was allowed time and space to open up the City backline all too easily, leaving Willian to slot home clinically, rifling into the bottom left-hand corner. They made it two in quick succession soon afterwards, as a loose ball which bobbled away from a corner found centre-back Gary Cahill - who volleyed through a sea of City players to beat Caballero from range.

Mancunian and talented winger Brandon Barker was introduced shortly after the hour mark to make his first-team debut, replacing Celina. Chelsea then remained firmly in the driving seat, Pedro yet again asking questions of the City defence with the sky Blues desperately searching to get a foothold back in the match as the hosts continued to dictate play in midfield. 

Demichelis was penalized for a late tackle to bring down Hazard cynically on the edge of the area, and the talented Belgian was able to make it a fantastic four from the set-piece, dispatching comfortably and effectively making Caballero look foolish for guessing the wrong way and getting his starting position all wrong.

To their credit, the travelling Citizens refused to lie down. Iheanacho managed to latch onto the end of a Pablo Zabaleta cross, but his attempted backheel finish was comfortably smothered by the imposing figure of Courtois. Soon afterwards, Hiddink made a double change with both Pedro and Diego Costa coming off to a warm reception from the joyous home supporters - the attacking midfield duo of Bertrand Traore and Oscar were introduced into the fray.

Questionable penalty decision - Caballero saves

On the 74-minute mark, Demichelis came together with Traore in the area, and the referee pointed for a spot-kick. Admittedly, a harsh decision made by the official, but Caballero ensured City were not further humilated from the spot after making a smart diving stop to his right to deny Oscar, who stuttered and fluffled his lines from 12-yards. The save seemingly spurred City on as Aleksandar Kolarov broke on the counter-attack down the flank with his cross finding Manu García - but the talented teenager was unable to get the ball under control quickly enough.

Traore makes it five, Blues progress convincingly

Making his debut on the 77th minute mark another young Englishman entered the fray, with Cameron Humphreys replacing a rather ineffective Fernando. A brief scare again for the Blues, Bertrand Traore's effort turned onto the post for a corner, with John Obi Mikel making away for Nemanja Matic as Chelsea were happy to see the latter stages of the game out.

Chelsea weren't done, Bertrand Traore's header looping over a helpless Caballero to make it five capped off a tough afternoon for the sky Blues. Unsurprisingly it was the full strength side that dominated although ironically it was the experienced players in the City side that let them down the most, with the young talent on the pitch playing with the freedom and confidence as if they had been for years. City will be disappointed with the result but all focus must now shift to the Champions League fixture in midweek against Dynamo Kyiv, as well as the Capital One Cup final a week today against Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool.