• Man City thrashed Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup
  • City are also alive in the League Cup
  • Riyad Mahrez netted a brace Sunday

Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Riyad Mahrez, saying his "qualify is everything" after the Algerian winger netted a brace as Manchester City thrashed Chelsea in their FA Cup meeting.

Manchester City defeated last season's runners-up Chelsea 4-0 in the third round of the FA Cup at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Mahrez opened the scoring with his 23rd-minute strike before young Julian Alvarez made it to 2-0 by scoring from the spot. English forward Phil Foden added a third goal for the hosts before the half-time break.

City received another penalty in the closing stages of the game when Chelsea center-back Kalidou Koulibaly pushed Foden to the floor. Mahrez, who scored in City's 1-0 over the same opponents in their Premier League meeting last week, took the penalty and made it 4-0 for the former champions.

Mahrez received massive praise from his boss Guardiola, who said the winger played an "outstanding game" Sunday.

"The quality of Riyad is everything. He loves to play football, he helped us to play the game. It was really good. It was a fantastic free-kick. He played an outstanding game. He never lost his love. He loves to play football. The way he is training now and playing was exactly the same in Abu Dhabi. Riyad in important games is fantastic," Guardiola said.

About Mahrez's performance in City's 1-0 win over Chelsea in the Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, Guardiola said, "The last game he didn't start at Stamford Bridge and the impact he had was incredible. When they play in this way, and maybe complain [about not playing every game] I say 'yes, you're right'."

Mahrez, 31, has netted eight goals and two assists in 22 matches across competitions for City in the 2022-23 season.

Guardiola also made a special mention of Argentina's World Cup winner Alvarez.

"He helped us a lot, with the World Cup. Today Julian feels and Riyad as well that the way we went there, how aggressive we were. He played really, really well. I said many times, we are now still in four competitions, so we need all the squad. Everyone is humble to accept the minutes for the team, they will be welcome to be part of this team," explained Guardiola.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring against Chelsea

City are alive in the two domestic competitions, FA Cup and League Cup, and they are also very much in the Premier League title race. Guardiola and Co. are in second place with 39 points and are five points behind leaders Arsenal.

Manchester City's next fixture is the League Cup quarter-final against Southampton on Wednesday.