Alvarez responds to ‘pound shop Martinez’ Kepa antics while Shearer slams ’embarrassing’ Chelsea

Matt Stead
Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga

Gary Lineker poked fun at Kepa Arrizabalaga and Alan Shearer laid into Chelsea after their FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.

Chelsea were abject in their third-round tie at the Etihad, conceding three goals in the first half and barely threatening the hosts at the other end throughout.

The pressure is mounting on Graham Potter, who described the opening period of the game as particularly “painful and tough for us all”.

He added: “We were second best to a very, very good side. We are not in a great moment and even though it was a cagey first 20 minutes we couldn’t attack the backline well enough, we couldn’t attack as well as we would like.

Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez celebrates his goal

“Manchester City are very good at stopping you doing that but at the same time we struggled.

“In terms of the Premier League we have lost four matches – to Newcastle away, when we had nine players unavailable, we lost 1-0 to Arsenal, we lost on a bad day to Brighton and we lost to Manchester City. We have also drawn to Manchester United and Brentford so the results in a small space of time aren’t positive.

“You can make excuses and look for reasons or say it isn’t good enough. Both of those answers are correct. We have to keep improving and stick together because clearly we are suffering as a football club and it’s not nice at all. But that’s where we are at the moment.

“You understand the supporters’ frustration, we respect that. There are always other opinions and negativity and criticism because the results haven’t been positive. That’s part of the job and part of the challenge.”

Julian Alvarez made the score 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a penalty after Kai Havertz’s inexplicable handball, the Argentinean converting after Chelsea keeper Kepa tried to put him off with what seemed to amount to a little chat on the spot.

BBC Sport presenter Lineker scoffed at the Spaniard’s actions as they replayed the footage at half-time.

“What about this?” he said. “I think Alvarez is probably saying ‘Mate, I’ve just won a gold medal at the World Cup, I’m not worried about you’.”

Micah Richards, who was on punditry duty, joked: “Not quite Emi Martinez, is he?”, to which Lineker responded: “Pound shop Emi Martinez.”

Alvarez told ESPN Argentina: “The goalkeepers always try to do their thing, it doesn’t bother me at all. I had already decided to shoot it like that and well, it was a goal.”

Shearer, also on BBC duty, hammered Chelsea after the game.

“Manchester City have been fantastic in every single position,” he said. “They have dominated all over the pitch and been sensational.

“From a Chelsea point of view, that is not acceptable, that performance. I said they needed some energy, character, all of those things.

“I don’t care how many injuries you’ve got in your team, you can still go out and put a shift in. They haven’t and it’s embarrassing from their point of view.”