Chelsea made our customary slow start to the game, but this time we got over it relatively quickly and got into the swing of things relatively expeditiously. While that still meant that City had the lion’s share of control and possession, as one would expect, Chelsea carried plenty of threat on the counter.
And Chelsea really should’ve taken the lead on a couple different occasions in the first half, with Christian Pulisic scuffing a good chance when found by a cutback from Hakim Ziyech and then Lewis Hall showing great composure but lacking the requisite finish to beat City backup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega Moreno, who had himself a great day.
At the other end, Chelsea were largely untroubled after the opening few minutes, except off the back of cheap turnovers and giveaways. Still, we kept the hosts off the scoreboard in the first 45.
That unfortunately quickly changed in the second half, with Riyah Mahrez converting a free kick eight minutes into the second half, then City doubling their lead five minutes after — another slow start to a half from the Blues.
Chelsea looked to respond but Ortega made another stellar save to cruelly deny Lewis Hall, and then we wasted a couple more decent openings for good measure. And when we did finally beat the super-goalkeeper by way of a Nathan Aké own goal, the goal was pulled back for an offside on Christian Pulisic.
- Almost a full rotation, and a formation change as well, with only Chalobah, Cucurella, and Mendy keeping their places from the weekend.
- Loftus-Cheek and Hall taking the wing-back roles in the 3-4-3, then Pulisic instead of Hall for the final 15.
- Nice to see a good reception for Raheem Sterling on his return to the Etihad
- Not sure why Omari Hutchinson couldn’t come on, especially after being told not to report for international duty with Jamaica.
- First League Cup third round exit for Chelsea since 2010-11
- Next up: the last game before the World Cup break, away to Newcastle