Man City thrashed Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup. Guardiola managed without the big stars, with Ederson, Stones, Canselu, Ake, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Phillips and Haaland starting the match on the bench. More than this depth of the composition is impressive except perhaps its cost.
It turned out very expensive.
• It could be even more expensive, but the ninth player on the bench is a pupil of Rico Lewis.
• Neither Jack Grealish (bought for €118m) nor Ruben Dias (€72m, injured) were left out at all.
• The cheapest player on the bench (of those who were bought) – Ilkay Gundogan. At the start, 5 players came out at once, for whom they paid less: Alvarez (21 million), Gomez (13 million), free agent Ortega and pupils Foden and Palmer.
• The rotation is understandable – City have a tight calendar in January. Two consecutive matches with Chelsea, games with Manchester United (14th) and Tottenham Hotspur (19th). The leaders were probably saved just in time for the derby – so we are unlikely to see them in the League Cup match against Southampton on Wednesday.
We already saw a similar price tag shop at Manchester City in February 2021 : due to the tight schedule in the Premier League match against West Ham, Rodri, Jesus, Laporte, Bernardo, Cancel were left on the bench.