Manchester City vs Chelsea Football Match 9 Now 2022
Being able to bring Erling Braut Haaland off the bench is a luxury that Pep Guardiola is not taking for granted, but the Norwegian talisman admitted that taking the game-winning penalty against Fulham ranks the highest in the most nerve-wracking moments of his life.
Despite opening the scoring through Julian Alvarez, Man City were pegged back as Joao Cancelo was shown a straight red card for a last-man foul on Harry Wilson. Andreas Pereira stepped up to score the resulting penalty, but it was then Haaland’s turn from 12 yards after Kevin De Bruyne was adjudged to have been felled in the area.
Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno so nearly did his old club a favour, but Haaland’s spot kick squirmed under his grasp to seal a narrow win for the champions, who had briefly gone to the top of the rankings before Arsenal responded with victory over Chelsea a day later.
Now diverting attention away from their battle for Premier League supremacy, the EFL Cup has been Man City’s bread and butter under Guardiola, but their streak of four consecutive triumphs in the tournament was brought to an end by West Ham United in a shock fourth-round exit last year.
However, the eight-time champions have never been knocked out in the third round under Guardiola – most recently suffering that fate in 2012-13 under Roberto Mancini – and winning each of their last 15 games at the Etihad in all competitions is a rather reassuring statistic for the home faithful.
It was nothing personal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the ex-Arsenal captain’s words were soon mocked by a former teammate of his in Gabriel Magalhaes, who scored the only goal of the game as the Gunners deservedly beat a lacklustre Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea stood still as Bukayo Saka‘s 63rd-minute corner evaded everyone before being poked into the roof of the net by Gabriel, which saw Chelsea fall further behind their capital counterparts in the table as discontent grows towards Graham Potter early doors.
Finishing top of their Champions League group has been a silver lining amid the Blues’ dismal Premier League run, as Potter’s side have now failed to win any of their last four games in the top flight and have hardly been handed the easiest EFL Cup tie to try to reverse their fortunes.
Chelsea progressed all the way to the final of the EFL Cup last season before coming unstuck against Liverpool on penalties, and the five-time champions – who most recently won the crown in 2015 – have not gone out in the third round since the 2010-11 tournament.
Man City did the double over Chelsea by a pair of 1-0 scorelines in the 2021-22 Premier League season, and Wednesday’s game will mark the first EFL Cup meeting between the two clubs since Guardiola’s men overcame the Blues on spot kicks in the 2019 final.