Man City 4-0 Chelsea: 3 Blues players who impressed

Chelsea

Carney Chukwuemeka of Chelsea (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea traveled to the Etihad for their third-round FA Cup tie against Manchester City, who also knocked them out in the third round of the League Cup some weeks prior.

There were two recent academy graduates and one debutant. Graham Potter’s men, unfortunately, but unsurprisingly got walloped against a Manchester City team that was not at full strength. A 4-0 loss to Man City in this game took the Blues’ record against them this season to three losses in three, seven goals conceded and zero goals scored. You’d be hard-pressed to find one player who impressed, talk less of three, but hard-pressed we are. Here are three CFC players who caught the eye:

Conor Gallagher, Chelsea (No. 23) Central midfielder

‘Impressed’ is a strong word for Gallagher’s performance, but he was one of the few who realized he was a professional footballer and should actually try to help the team. Chelsea players who started the game on the day all looked outright incompetent, save for one or two players. The England man tried his best to get the team going, pressing, tackling, and trying to carry the ball forward.

Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, who were supposed to be his midfield partners, were utterly embarrassing. And that is even more disappointing considering that they were the most experienced Chelsea players on the pitch. Gallagher tried to give a good account of himself, in a match where almost everyone else was rubbish, and there’s something to be said about that.

Denis Zakaria (No. 20) Central midfielder

Zakaria was genuinely impressive when he came on, which I can admit is influenced by the supremely high level of incompetence that was on the pitch before him. He did very well when he came, making three key tackles and interceptions, including one where a Man City player was through on goal and the Swiss got back and stole the ball off his feet, winning the west London side possession back.

Zakaria is Chelsea’s best-performing central midfielder at the moment, which is quite outstanding when you remember that just a few weeks ago, Blues fans were calling for him to be returned to Juventus in the January transfer window.

Carney Chukwuemeka (No. 30) Central midfielder

Chukwuemeka was also good, but to a lesser degree than Zakaria. Chukwuemeka completed all his passes, won a foul and a tackle. CFC used so little of the ball despite having 42% of the ball. These numbers in and off themselves aren’t impressive, but in the context of the game and the average performance of the starting eleven, they’re gold.