Chelsea's disappointing run of form continued as they were eliminated from the EFL Cup by Manchester City at the third-round stage with a 2-0 loss on Wednesday.
Both sides made seven changes to their line-ups for the heavyweight tussle at the Etihad Stadium and it was Chelsea who looked the brighter during the first half.
But after Christian Pulisic and youngster Lewis Hall spurned promising chances, quick-fire goals early in the second half from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez put City in control.
City, who introduced Kalvin Phillips for his first appearance since mid-September, saw out the win to mean an early exit for last season's beaten finalists Chelsea.
City were restricted largely to shots from range in a first half edged by Chelsea, who would have been ahead at the interval if not for some good goalkeeping and poor finishing.
Pulisic scuffed a shot at Stefan Ortega from close range and had another effort from further back saved, while the lively Hall was denied at the end of a good run.
Jack Grealish forced Edouard Mendy into a couple of saves early in the second half, shortly after Phillips' introduction, and City's period on top resulted in the breakthrough goal.
Mahrez was fouled by Trevoh Chalobah just outside the box and sent the subsequent free-kick over the Chelsea wall – with Kalidou Koulibaly failing to jump – and past Mendy.
The hosts doubled their lead five minutes later through Alvarez, who tapped in after Mendy could only push Mahrez's shot into the path of the Argentina international.
Ortega produced another fine stop to deny Hall, while Pulisic had a late goal ruled out for offside, but Pep Guardiola felt no need to turn to substitutes Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.
What does it mean? City rekindle EFL Cup romance
After making a promising start to Graham Potter's tenure, Chelsea have now lost three of their past four matches and have won only two of the last seven in all competitions.
Potter's side were unable to take any of their chances, whereas City were clinical when their opportunities arrived in the second period as they made it four wins in a row.
City have now progressed from each of their past 10 EFL Cup third-round ties, scoring 36 goals, and remain in the hunt to win the competition for a seventh time in 10 seasons.
Hall stands out
On just his second competitive outing for Chelsea, left wing-back Hall was undoubtedly the best outfield player on the field for the visitors.
The 18-year-old led the way for dribbles (3) and successful dribbles (3), while no Chelsea player managed more shots on target (2) or had more touches in the City box (4).
Mendy frustrates Grealish
Grealish was one of four City players to retain his place in the side from the weekend win over Fulham and led the way in a number of metrics, without managing to find the net.
He had six shots, half of which were on target, but Mendy had a good game as he made seven saves in total, and will feel let down by Koulibaly's defending for Mahrez's opener.
City host Brentford on Saturday in their final Premier League match before the World Cup break, while Chelsea travel to high-flying Newcastle United seeking a return to form.