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11 December 2023

Manchester City knock out Chelsea to enter FA Cup quarter-finals

Steven Jovetic of Manchester City scores the first goal past Petr Cech of Chelsea during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 15, 2014 in Manchester, England. (GETTY)

By Football Correspondent and Agencies

Manchester City powered forward with ease into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, beating Premier League title rival Chelsea 2-0 to maintain its quadruple chase.

Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri provided the goals to avenge a 1-0 league loss earlier this month against Chelsea, with a formidable City in complete control and preventing the visitors from hitting the target once.

"We can beat everyone," Jovetic said. "We learnt something (from losing to Chelsea), you could see that on the pitch."

Manchester City rediscovered their swagger to beat Chelsea 2-0 and move into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday, Manuel Pellegrini winning the battle of tactical wits against Jose Mourinho.

Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri scored either side of halftime for City as Pellegrini finally fell upon a winning formula to get one over his managerial rival having lost both Premier League fixtures this season.

The result completed a difficult week for Mourinho, whose side drew with West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Tuesday, and returned City to winning ways after their defeat by Chelsea 12 days ago was followed by a draw with Norwich City.

Manchester City, who had drawn a blank in their previous two games having scored more than a 100 goals this season, will be joined in the draw for the last eight by holders Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.

Ben Watson, who grabbed the winner when Wigan shocked Manchester City in last year's final, continued his love affair with the competition by firing the second-tier side to a 2-1 upset victory over Premier League strugglers Cardiff City.

Sunderland punished Southampton for taking the competition too lightly and making a raft of changes, with a 1-0 defeat thanks to a stunning strike from Craig Gardner.

Sheffield Wednesday's home game with Championship rivals Charlton Athletic was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

On Sunday, Arsenal host Liverpool, Swansea City travel to Everton and Championship side Nottingham Forest visit third tier Sheffield United.

Championship club Brighton and Hove Albion entertain Hull City on Monday.

Given the war of words between the rival managers in the wake of Chelsea's 1-0 league win at the Etihad last week, it was no surprise that the game opened in cagey fashion.

James Milner was charged with nullifying Chelsea's chief playmaker Eden Hazard, with Nemanja Matic performing a similar task on City's Yaya Toure.

But the tie opened up in the 15th minute when Jovetic clipped the crossbar and just 60 seconds later he handed City the lead.

The first chance came from Toure's 20-yard shot, which Petr Cech spilled in the Chelsea goal only to watch, relieved, as Jovetic clipped the rebound against the woodwork and over.

Within a minute, however, Jovetic made amends with a precise finish after sharp, accurate passes across midfield by David Silva and Edin Dzeko enabled him to score with a low drive in off the far post.

The Montenegrin's strike marked the end of a two-game 'goal drought' for free-scoring City after they failed to net in that home league defeat by Chelsea and a 0-0 draw at Norwich City.

Chelsea had to respond and full-back Branislav Ivanovic did so with a surging run down to the byline and a low cross that was saved, unconvincingly at the second attempt, by Costel Pantilimon.

Toure chanced his arm again from 20 yards, but this time his effort drifted well wide, before Silva and Jovetic set up Dzeko for a curling shot that Cech did well to parry away with a spectacular dive.

Hazard was finally starting to exert an influence for the visitors as he carved out two half-chances that were wasted by Ramires and Willian, while a free-kick he earned later in the half came to nothing.

Instead, the first period concluded with City threatening again, with Milner's committed right-wing run culminating in a cross that Dzeko almost turned into the net.

Mourinho was forced into action and Mohamed Salah and Fernando Torres were thrown into the fray before the hour was out, but it was Pellegrini's substitution that proved decisive.

The City manager brought on Nasri for his first taste of action following a five-week lay-off with a knee ligament injury and it took the French international only six minutes to kill off the contest.

Nasri surged from midfield into the Chelsea penalty area and exchanged tidy passes with Silva before collecting the return ball and calmly doubling City's lead from close range.

Joleon Lescott also had the ball in the Chelsea net, from a Nasri corner, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Chelsea, meanwhile, failed to create a chance of note until a late flurry in the closing minutes, but Matic was easily stopped by the home defence after latching onto a dangerous pass from Oscar.

They were rare openings in a half that offered little in the way of entertainment, for the neutral at least, but that will have offered Pellegrini and City renewed belief in their ability to overhaul Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.


Man City 2 (Jovetic 16" Nasri 67") Chelsea 0

Manchester City have entered the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after completely outplaying Chelsea 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

A 16th minute strike from Stevan Jovetic and substitute Samir Nasri in the second half kept City on course for a Quadruple this season having already booked a berth in the League Cup final.

Chilean Manuel Pellegrini stole a march over flamboyant Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho as City got a confidence boost ahead of their upcoming Champions League clash against Barcelona.

90+2" Pantilimon down well to gather Salah's low cross as Chelsea look for a consolation goal.

90" There are four minutes of added time but it is unlikely to the change the result.

88" YELLOW! Matic is booked for a nasty challenge on Toure.

87" Navas sprints on to the loose ball following a challenge on Negredo but the winger is flagged for a foul on Azpilicueta.

84" YELLOW! Garcia is booked and from the resultant free kick Hazard dinks a ball in but Pantilimon claims comfortably.

80" Dzeko makes way for Negredo.

78" Chelsea rushing around but getting nowhere.

76" Escape for Chelsea as a Lescott goal is ruled for offside after Cech fumbles with a header from Garcia following the corner.

74" Cahill concedes a corner after a pressure from a lovely high ball into the box from Clichy.

73" oscar immediately tries to play Torres in but the ball has too much on it.

72" City are on the rampage attacking in waves with Nasri having another blast from close range with his confidence up after scoring for the first time in 11 appearance this season.

71" Oscar enters the fray replacing Willian in a last throw of the dice for Mourinho.

69" Navas comes on for Silva who secured City a 2-0 lead.

67" GOAL! Nasri scores with practically his first touch since coming on as a sub after a brilliant return pass from Silva.

Man City 2 (Jovetic 16" Nasri 67") Chelsea 0

64" Dowd under pressure from Mourinho after spotting an accident hand ball of Mikel though he was on the wrong side.

62" YELLOW! Yaya Toure is booked for a nasty challenge on Matic. He had been warned by ref Phil Dowd earlier

60" Ramires makes way for Torres while City goal scorer Jovetic is replaced by Nasri.

59" Mourinho seems to be ready to make his second change as he calls Torres back from his warm-up.

57" YELLOW! Goal scorer Jovetic is booked after diving as he goes around a stationary Luiz.

56" Luiz wrestle with Dzeko to clear the danger after a through ball.

54" Willian is fouled in a dangerous area but the free kick is cleared by City.

53" Chelsea manage to clear successive City corners.

51" Jovetic fires over after a fine exchange between Clichy and Dzeko.

50" City work the ball patiently inside their half.

48" Milner's shot loops over the bar after he finds room wide right and his low cross rebounds back to him.

47" Milner has space to cross low but Cahill clears.

46" Chelsea introduce Salah in place of Eto'o at the interval.

Man City took a deserved 1-0 lead through Jovetic after tactically outplaying Chelsea who seem to lack in intensity and had just one shot at goal.


Man City 1 (Jovetic 16") Chelsea 0

44" David Luiz becomes the second player booked for a rough challenge on Jovetic during the build-up earlier.

43" Dzeko fails to latch onto a fine low cross from Milner.

42"  Mikel and Toure duel again with the City man finding himself on the deck.

39" YELLOW! Kompany is the first to be booked after tugging at his Belgium team mate Hazard.

37" Lampard, Cole and Schürrle all warming up for Chelsea.

36" Hazard almost finds Ramires but Kompany intercepts.

34" Dzeko nods the free kick from Milner back into the box but it eventually goes out for a Chelsea goal kick.

33" Chelsea manage to avert the danger after Azpilicueta takes out Zabaleta on the right of the Chelsea penalty area.

30" Cech collects a weak shot from Ivanovic after failing to win an aerial challenge with Dzeko moments earlier following a cross from Clichy.

28" Chelsea are seeing more of the ball but Ramires squanders it with a poor left footed shot.

27" Willian is way off target from the edge of the box after Ivanovic passes behind with Chelsea's front line lurking in the six-yard area.

26" Kompany clears the danger after a bit of trickery from Hazard sees Ramires and Eto'o threatening inside the box.

24" Cech pushes away a great curling attempt from Jovetic.

22" Toure shoots wide a ferocious shot from outside the box.

21" City keeper is showing some nerves as he fumbles with a collection.

20" City are currently winning the midfield battle with Yaya influential and Jovetic looking very sharp.

16" GOAL! Jovetic scores to put City ahead sliding the ball across Cech in off the base of the post following a lovely pass from Dzeko.

Man City 1 (Jovetic 16") Chelsea 0

15" Cech nearly concedes a goal after pushing away a low shot from Yaya Toure and Jovetic is quickest to the rebound but can't find the finish.

12" Clever piece of skill from Matic sees Yaya committing a foul in the centre.

11" Milner crosses to Yaya into the box but he fails to control it.

10" Silva is trying to orchestrate an attack on the left but it comes to nothing.

8" Chelsea squander possession and Jovetic darts down City's left flank.

6" Willian draws a foul with a nice piece of skill. Chelsea are dictating pace of the game.

4" Luiz floats one into the box but it runs away from Ramires.

3" Patient play from both sides as they try to get a foothold with City attacking from the right flank through Silva and Milner.

2" Silva is fouled and City get a early free-kick which is played short.

1" City get the first half under way.

There is a minute's applause for one of England's greatest players Sir Tom Finney who passed away this morning.

The players are walking out of the tunnel onto the pitch.


Manuel Pellegrini continues his policy for selecting second-choice Costel Pantilimon in goal for the Cup.

Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic start in attack while Joleon Lescott partners Vincent Kompany at the back.

Gary Cahill shakes off a calf injury to start for Chelsea.

Blues make just one change from their midweek draw with West Brom, with John Mikel Obi replacing Oscar in the starting XI.


Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Matic; Ramires, Willian, Hazard, Eto'o

Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Salah, Schürrle, Oscar, Torres

Man City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Toure, Milner, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko

Subs: Hart, Richards, Demichelis, Kolarov, Navas, Negredo, Nasri


Man City have won 12 of their last 15 matches in FA Cup.

Chelsea are undefeated in 31 of their last 32 matches in FA Cup.    

Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches in FA Cup.


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is trying to ease the pressure on himself with his regular jibes at Premier League counterparts.

Mourinho's latest target was Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whom he labelled on Friday a "specialist in failure", and the Portuguese irritated Pellegrini last week when he suggested City were not operating within UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

"Mourinho can say what he likes," Pellegrini said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca published on Saturday.

"His statements are an attempt to ease the pressure and transfer it to another team," added the Chilean, who also clashed with Mourinho when they were coaching in La Liga.

"I don't think there's much point in attaching too much importance to it," Pellegrini said.

"A lot of the time it is hard not to give in and respond, but to enter into the cycle of personal responses doesn't seem right or good.

"If other coaches want to avoid pressure in case they don't win anything and generate an atmosphere of little responsibility that's their business."

City are three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with a game in hand and they host the London club in the fifth round of the FA Cup later on Saturday.

Chelsea won 1-0 at City in the league at the start of the month, when Pellegrini was missing a number of key players through injury.

In his first season in charge since leaving Malaga, Pellegrini said his free-scoring team had not yet reached the level he was aiming for.

"I know that it is my first year but that doesn't take away the pressure," he said.

"On the contrary, I like it," he added.

"It's true that we have to improve in many areas. The first year is when you dissect the team, it's weaknesses and strengths, and you get an idea of what you need."

City host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday.