PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MANCHESTER CITY V CHELSEA – PART TWO

Feb 15, 2014 Posted Under: News

Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their comprehensive cup-tie preview…

WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea and Manchester City meet for the 150th occasion on Saturday and the fifth in the FA Cup.

The first FA Cup meeting at Hyde Road on 20 February 1915 was part of an immensely historic campaign for the Londoners, culminating in our debut appearance in a final at Old Trafford in April.

Football was providing escapism from the horrors of World War One and many footballers had volunteered for service.

It was, according to the Manchester Guardian, ‘a keen, exciting and at times very untidy game’ and although ‘it would be unfair to say that Chelsea did not deserve to win … it is true to say that Manchester City were rather unlucky to lose.’

The Citizens had a fair share of the play and the chances. The difference was that ‘Chelsea had in [James] Molyneux a goalkeeper as nearly unbeatable as any goalkeeper could be. By his wonderful judgement and nimbleness he managed to spoil Manchester’s best efforts, and if once in a while Molyneux was out of the way there was always some trusty back or half-back who intervened.’

Thus fortified – or Molyfied – Chelsea edged into the fourth round with a wonderfully executed finish 10 minutes from the end. Three Chelsea forwards burst forward, passing between them, with City’s full-back William Henry fluffing his chance to intervene.

The Pensioners’ centre-forward ‘One-eyed Bob’ Thomson nipped in and directed an angled shot past Walter Smith in the City goal – his fourth of the campaign. The disabled striker was one of the stars of the 1914/15 FA Cup run and the great England skipper Vivian Woodward (pictured below), home on leave, graciously turned down a starting place in the final on the grounds Thomson was more deserving.

Vivian Woodward

Thomson was a character. When asked how he coped when the ball came to him on his blind side he would quip, ‘I close my good eye and play from memory.’

In all our Chelsea and City have met 10 times in various cup competitions with the west Londoners successful in six of them.

Last season Manchester City beat Chelsea five times in the Community Shield, Premier League, FA Cup plus two post-season friendlies in the USA. Chelsea achieved one home goalless draw in the Premier League in Rafael Benitez’s first match in charge. Chelsea have achieved the league double over City this term.

Chelsea v Manchester City in the FA Cup
3rd round, 20 February 1915, Hyde Road
Man City.………………….0 Chelsea……….…………..1
                                            Thomson
                  Att: 39,000

4th round, 24 January 1948, Maine Road
Man City.………………….2 Chelsea……….…………..0
Linacre
Smith
                  Att: 45,059

4th round, 23 January 1971, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea……….….……….0 Man City…………………3
                                            Bell 2
                                            Bowyer
                  Att: 50,176

 

PMB

League Cup
1984/85 Fourth round Stamford Bridge Chelsea won 4-1
1993/94 Third round Maine Road City won 1-0
European Cup Winners’ Cup
1970/71 Semi-final 1st leg Stamford Bridge Chelsea won 1-0
1970/71 Semi-final 2nd leg Maine Road Chelsea won 1-0
Full Members Cup
1985/86 Final Wembley Chelsea won 5-4
1987/88 Second round Maine Road Chelsea won 2-0

Chelsea v Manchester City in all competitions
Games played 149
Chelsea wins 63
City wins 49
Draws 37

Biggest win at Man City for each team
Man City 6-2 Chelsea – 26/11/1977
Man City 1-4 Chelsea – 03/05/1933 and 01/10/1966

DAYS SINCE
Chelsea lost away in the FA Cup: 2,170
City’s last home defeat: 12
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,192
Liverpool won the league: 8,687

TACTICAL BRIEF
The pattern in previous rounds of this competition has been that Jose Mourinho has rested a few of the players who have played the most. In the previous round’s win against Stoke City he made five changes. In came Mark Schwarzer for Petr Cech, Ashley Cole for Cesar Azpilicueta, Frank Lampard and second-debutant Nemanja Matic for John Mikel Obi and John Terry (replaced at the back by David Luiz), and Andre Schurrle for Ramires.

This time around Terry, who has missed his first Premier League minutes of the season in the last week, is out. Gary Cahill limped away from the disappointing draw at the Hawthorns on Tuesday so his fitness is being assessed ahead of this game. Branislav Ivanovic is a possibility to play centre-back with Cole and Azpilicueta as full-backs.

Manuel Pellegrini also has factors to contend with. The postponement of the home game against Sunderland meant a free week for his team, though the fixture will have to be crammed into their busy schedule at some stage.

More pertinently they host Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg and that will clearly have a bearing on the Chilean’s team selection for Saturday evening. The Catalans entertain Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening. Chelsea’s first Champions League game against Galatasaray is the following week.

City will not be able to call on key injured players Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic, though midfielders Samir Nasri and Javier Garcia resumed training this week and are fit to return this weekend.

Former Arsenal forward Nasri has often excelled himself against Chelsea. He opened the scoring at Wembley in last season’s FA Cup semi-final and set up Aguero’s equalising goal in our 2-1 victory over City at the Bridge in October.

Yaya Toure remains available despite his off-the-ball kicking of Norwich forward Ricky van Wolfswinkel. (At the right moment, perhaps someone should remind referee Phil Dowd that Yaya is the brother of the player responsible for barging him over on Wednesday evening!)

The outstanding Ivorian centre midfielder has not always played in this competition, in which Manuel Pellegrini has retained only a kernel of his usual Premier League starting 11. That means runouts for his English contingent Jack Rodwell, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards.

In the last round City trailed 0-2 at home to Watford, the Chilean suggesting he would have made 11 changes at half-time were it permitted. Instead a hat-trick from Aguero and an untimely error by Hornets goalkeeper Jonathan Bond turned things around.

With many likely changes to personnel on either side, this is unlikely to resemble a repeat of the remarkable league match on the same field 12 days ago, though Mourinho will no doubt have similar plans to confront and dislodge the lynchpin of City’s team, Toure, should he feature. In Chelsea’s 1-0 victory that job fell mostly to Matic and Willian.

<aWillian src=”/javaImages/43/d8/0,,10268~12572739,00.jpg” width=640 height=469>

With City’s rearguard struggling against the pace and high pressing of his side, Mourinho could hand a first start to new boy Mohamed Salah, with Cole, Frank Lampard, John Mikel Obi and Andre Schürrle also eager for playing time ahead of the business end of the season.

Mourinho could hand Demba Ba a start upfront, continue Fernando Torres’s return to match fitness or stick with Samuel Eto’o, who retained possession and linked well before coming off at the Hawthorns.

The Chelsea manager warned again that inefficiency in front of goal – evident at the Etihad and against West Brom – was one of the factors that might cost the Blues silverware this season.

– Bet £5 on Chelsea this Saturday when we take on Man City in the FA Cup and Coral will give you a £20 Free Bet, click here to find out more.

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