London: Chelsea punished Manuel Pellegrini's controversial decision to field a remarkably inexperienced team as Eden Hazard inspired a 5-1 demolition of Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round yesterday.
Manuel Pellegrini. Pic/AFP
It was men against boys as Chelsea swept into the quarter-finals thanks to a pair of assists and a goal from Hazard.
Diego Costa put Chelsea ahead and, although David Faupala equalised for the visitors, second half goals from Willian, Gary Cahill, Hazard and Bertrand Traore handed City a third successive defeat.
Pellegrini will face accusations of disrespecting the FA Cup, but he won't care about that if City can take a step towards the Champions League quarter-finals and win the League Cup this week.
French forward Faupala was one of City's debutants and the 18-year-old showed no signs of being overawed when he left two defenders trailing in his wake before testing Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. After a slow start, Chelsea threatened when Pedro's clipped shot bounced to safety off the far post.