Less than a week removed from a poor and tepid performance for Chelsea FC at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion, the Blues put together another tired performance against Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Playing poorly against a relegation candidate is one thing but a weak performance against one of the best attacks in Europe saw the Blues humbled at the Etihad. The 2-0 scoreline flattered Chelsea as they were completely dominated by City and failed to even register a shot on target for the match.
Rather than rotating the squad as was reported by multiple outlets throughout the week, Jose Mourinho opted for nearly the exact same lineup that featured against West Brom. The only differences was bringing on John Obi Mikel instead of Oscar in the central midfield. The lack of rotation is absolutely inexcusable as a club with the depth and budget of Chelsea should have no problem fielding a second side or “B team” that is capable of competing at the highest level. Players like Ashley Cole, Demba Ba, and Torres have proven Premier League pedigrees and should have been given the chance to prove themselves once again. If only to give players like Samuel Eto’o, Eden Hazard, and Willian a chance to rest on a match day.
Mourinho’s post match comments:
“They played much better than us, they deserved much more than us to win. I think today is simple to analyse: they were the best team; they won.”
Manchester City were clearly the better side today but they also made five changes to the team that lost to Chelsea 1-0 earlier in the month. Manuel Pelligrini has the funds and the depth of squad but to claim the Chelsea do not have the same would be foolish. There was no reason for Jose to field the same lineup and the same tired group of players when he has EPL and world champions waiting on his bench. Fatigue was once again their undoing and ultimately what cost Chelsea a chance at another FA Cup title. Now the focus turns to the Premier League and Champions League.
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