Vinci Per Luca read a banner draped over the Chelsea end. Win for Luca was the request but Graham Potter’s subdued side were unable to deliver as Manchester City cruised into the fourth round with an emphatic victory at the Etihad Stadium.
The teams have met three times this season in three different competitions, City winning and shutting out Chelsea every time.
Chelsea’s first third round exit for 25 years – when the late Gianluca Vialli scored twice in a 5-3 loss to Manchester United – continued their miserable run of form and results under Potter, who has seen his team beaten in five of their last seven outings.
This was the fourth time in six games that Chelsea have failed to score. They never looked likely throughout a chastening cup tie when City operated at a class apart, scoring three times in the first half through Riyad Mahrez, Julián Álvarez and Phil Foden.
The excellent Mahrez added a fourth from the penalty spot late on.Both clubs paid a fitting tribute before kick-off to Vialli, who died on Friday aged 58 and whose name was chanted regularly by the 8,000 travelling supporters.
Chelsea players warmed up in number nine shirts in memory of their former player and manager while the entire stadium rose to applaud the great Italian when his picture appeared on the giant screens. City then got on with the business of ushering Chelsea out of another cup in an utterly dominant first-half display.