Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City
Guus Hiddink felt his Chelsea team’s professionalism helped overcome the difficulties of playing against a much-changed Manchester City side yesterday.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini gave full debuts to five youngsters with an away Champions League tie versus Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday and the League Cup final against Liverpool next Sunday.
After an even first half finished 1-1, Chelsea, who fielded a full-strength side, showed their class and blew City away with four goals, despite missing a penalty.
Goals from Diego Costa, Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and substitute Bertrand Traore put City debutant David Faupala’s goal in the dark and left Hiddink satisfied with a job well done.
He said: “We knew we would play against a team with some changes but it’s not always easy when youngsters are coming in.
“They had a back four with experienced players, and youngsters in midfield and attack, but they caused a threat at the beginning and did well with the equaliser.”
City’s youngsters gave a good account of themselves in the first period, but in truth it was the side’s more experienced players that crumbled when the hosts turned up the pressure after the break.
Martin Demichelis lost Willian before the second goal, while Fernando failed to clear, allowing Cahill to blast the ball past the culpable Willy Caballero for a crucial third.
Hiddink, however, was keen to praise his team’s second-half intensity.
“When the team does the job it has to do – tactically disciplined and organised defensively and pressing high – then automatically the quality will show,” he said.
With City accused of disrespecting the FA Cup with a weakened team, the Dutchman also emphasised the importance of the competition for Chelsea.
“On one hand the programme for many clubs is rather harsh, on the other hand you can play every three or four days, especially if your squad is broad quality-wise,” he said.
“We mustn’t forget the tradition of English football. I remember watching the FA Cup as a youngster on TV – it’s the temple of football.
“Winning the FA Cup is beautiful worldwide. We must be careful not to devalue it.”
Feature image courtesy of Chelsea TV, via Youtube, with thanks