Following a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City has advanced to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Pep Guardiola’s team scored in the second half through goals from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez, but they also required a strong performance from backup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega to assure their advancement in a competition they won four times in a row between 2018 and 2021. For more sports betting casinos check out our pages!
Prior to the confirmation of the England World Cup roster, Jack Grealish was in superb form for City, and Kalvin Phillips made his injury comeback as a substitute in the second half. Chelsea, under Graham Potter, couldn’t recover from their home loss to Arsenal on Sunday, thus it was yet another disappointing outcome for them.
Football develops very quickly, therefore Graham Potter’s Chelsea team’s five victories in his first six matches under his leadership now seem like a distant memory. Potter’s debut season at Stamford Bridge won’t be defined by his Carabao Cup exit against Manchester City, but with just two victories in his previous seven games, the 47-year-old is swiftly realizing that there is nowhere to hide at a major organization.
Chelsea’s final match before the World Cup is against Newcastle, a challenging journey, and they have slid to seventh place in the Premier League rankings. Potter will have some time during the break to consider his first few weeks at Chelsea, but it will also leave a hole that can be easily filled with criticism, particularly after a bad run. Win at Newcastle and the atmosphere will shift once more, but a poor performance would be disastrous, especially since there won’t be another chance to turn things around until after Christmas.
If Roman Abramovich had remained in command, Potter would have been subject to more serious investigations, but the former Brighton manager will still be able to rest considerably easier if he can lead his club to a much-needed success at St James’ Park this weekend.
Less than two weeks remain until the United States face Wales in their World Cup opener, and head coach Gregg Berhalter would have been pleased to see Christian Pulisic improve his match fitness in advance of the competition with a rare start. Pulisic has struggled to find opportunities, whether playing for Graham Potter or Thomas Tuchel, and his debut at the Etihad Stadium marked just the sixth time this year that he has been part of Chelsea’s starting lineup.
Unfortunately for Berhalter, Pulisic’s performance did not indicate that he will be in peak shape when he arrives in Qatar. Playing on Potter’s front three’s left side, he had an excellent chance to score in the first half but struggled to have an impact on the game after that. After City took control of the game in the second half, he was kept on as Chelsea continued to look for a goal, but it wouldn’t have been unexpected to see him replaced when Potter made four substitutions just before the 70-minute mark. The fact that Pulisic’s final-minute goal was disallowed for offside epitomized his performance for the evening. It wasn’t a performance that was likely to persuade Potter that he should get another start at Newcastle.
The timing of Kalvin Phillips’ longest appearance in a City jersey was ideal, as Gareth Southgate was about to announce the England World Cup selection at St. George’s Park on Thursday. The midfielder, who has played for just 14 minutes total since joining from Leeds United in the summer, played the final 40 minutes against Chelsea after overcoming a shoulder injury that has kept him out since September.
Phillips was essential in last year’s journey to the European Championship final, and Southgate is still eager to rely on players who have performed successfully for him in the past. The 26-year-old has given himself every chance of making the squad by returning to the City team just in time. If Phillips had stayed on the bench until the break, the England manager might have had to defend his selection.
Southgate will have been thrilled to see John Stones, Raheem Sterling, and Mason Mount on the substitutes’ bench as well as Grealish in the kind of form that should scare Qatari defenses. However, it wasn’t the only good news from the Etihad. Only Grealish will be able to explain how he failed to score despite having six shots and three of them being on goal.