Pep Guardiola revealed he was determined to avoid taking any risks with the fitness of Aymeric Laporte after City’s fine 4-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Fulham.

After making his long-awaited return to action from a serious knee injury in last Tuesday’s 1-0 Premier League win away at Sheffield United, the French central defender sat out today’s game.

In his absence, City maintained our unbeaten start to 2020 with Gabriel Jesus (2), Ilkay Gundogan (penalty) and Bernardo Silva all on the scoresheet.

It’s an intensive period for City, with Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United next on the horizon.

READ: When is the FA Cup fifth round draw?

BUY: Tickets to see City play Real Madrid

But, as he reflected on the Fulham win, the boss revealed it was crucially important to manage Laporte’s return carefully.

“He has some fatigue. It is normal after four or five months out. We are not going to take risks - a lot of training sessions and 75 minutes against Sheffield United,” revealed Guardiola who also  spoke about the fitness of Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo following separate knocks to the pair during the game.

“We spoke with him and we spoke with the doctors and if he is not right, he is not going to play - but if he is, he could play against United if he’s OK - we will see.

"Yes, Riyad recovered well, Cancelo had a big kick (to his) ankle - we will see how he recovers in the next few days.”

WATCH: CITY+ 30-day free trial!

The game was affected by a sixth minute red card to Fulham skipper Tim Ream who was dismissed for a foul on Gabriel Jesus in the box which led to Gundogan’s opener.

But Guardiola said he was impressed with the way City went about our task against the 10-men, and he felt it was an ideal way to prepare for Wednesday’s clash with United.

“The determination was always there and we will fight to win each competition,” the boss added.

“Next, its United and a chance to get to the final and that is our next target

“For a few minutes I thought it would be a tough, tough game - they are incredibly aggressive up front and I knew it from their last game against Charlton.

READ: MATCH VERDICT | City 4-0 Fulham 

BUY: Tickets to see City v United in the Carabao Cup

“They are a team with a lot of courage and that’s why they where they are third in the Championship.

“But it was a bit different after the red card - they still tried to play - but the game was over at 3-0. Now we prepare for United.”

Today’s win also brought up 100 goals in all competitions this season for City for the seventh successive campaign – a fact that the boss spoke about with pride.

“Always we score goals and have the ability to score - the problem this season has been conceding some goals, but it’s always good to score goals.”