MAN CITY 2, CHELSEA 0
Manchester City avoided becoming victims of an unwanted hat trick as they won through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup with Budweiser.
Goals from Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri ensured City didn’t lose to Chelsea for a third time this season and ensured it was the perfect preparation for Tuesday’s glamour Champions League last-16 game against Barcelona.
Chelsea, who had completed a double in the Barclays Premier League, never looked liked repeating their 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium a week last Monday.
City produced a much-improved display while Chelsea laboured and didn’t even manage one shot on target in the entire match.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side created 13 goal attempts to Chelsea’s three, an indication as to their dominance.
City’s manager, who recorded only a second-ever victory against Jose Mourinho in ten head-to-head clashes, was delighted with his team’s march into the last eight of the cup as they look to reach Wembley for a third time in four seasons.
He said: “It was not revenge. We didn’t want to lose twice against Chelsea at home.
“We played very well and it was very important to produce a performance in terms of defending, possession and attacking. Chelsea had no chances to score a goal”
City’s manager attributed below-par performances against Chelsea and Norwich to their congested fixture list over the last couple of months.
Pellegrini added that the postponement of Wednesday’s league game against Sunderland provided a welcome respite.
“I saw in training on Thursday and Friday that it was going to be a good day,” he continued.
Pellegrini pointed out that a lot of questions were asked of his side’s playing style following the home defeat saying he will not be changing it.
He said: “We had no tactical problems the other day. We had two clear chances at the beginning and didn’t score.
“When Chelsea score, it makes it a very difficult game and today was not a matter of tactics.”
There were no complaints from Mourinho who admitted his second was second best. He said: “Today was simple to analyse. The better team won and City were better than us.
“Two weeks ago the best team won and today the best team won. Give credit to my players for winning twice against City this season.”
It was a far different City side to the one which played Chelsea in the Premier League a week last Monday.
Pellegrini clearly had eyes on Barcelona as he made six changes.
Out of the side went Joe Hart, Martin Demichelis, Aleksandar Kolarov, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Matija Nastasic.
They were replaced by Costel Pantilimon, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, Javi Garcia, James Milner and Stevan Jovetic while Nasri returned after injury on the bench.
City, still without the injured Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, came close to breaking the deadlock after quarter of an hour. Chelsea keeper Petr Cech failed to hold a long-range drive from Yaya Toure but Jovetic, following up, shot against the crossbar.
Barely one minute later and City were ahead as Jovetic made no mistake finding the net in off the upright following a neat build up involving Clichy, David Silva and Edin Dzeko.
City came close to doubling their lead when Jovetic turned provider setting up Dzeko who was brilliantly denied by Cech diving full length low to his right to beat away the Bosnian’s shot.
A second goal eventually came midway through the second half as Nasri found the net six minutes after making his entrance.
Nasri played a return pass with Silva scoring from six yards with a shot low to the left of Cech, though replays showed Silva was offside when he received the ball.
City thought they had added a third goal 15 minutes from the end, but Lescott had strayed offside as he fired into the roof of the net from close range after Cech could only parry a header from Garcia.