Match Report

City cruise into FA Cup fifth round

GROUP HUG: The players share the love after Gundogan's opening goal.
FA Cup
FA Cup
Sun 26 Jan
4
0
Ilkay Gündogan 
(8’), 
Bernardo Silva 
(19’), 
Gabriel Jesus 
(72’, 75’)
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City are safely through to the FA Cup fifth round after a 4-0 win over Fulham.

The holders were awarded a penalty after six minutes, with Fulham captain Tim Reim shown a red card for bringing down Gabriel Jesus inside the area. After much talk about City’s penalty takers this week, Ilkay Gundogan stepped up and dispatched his spot kick with minimum fuss. He may well have landed the responsibility full time.

The sending off made an already difficult task close to impossible for Fulham, who struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Bernardo Silva doubled our lead with a quite brilliant finish into the bottom corner inside 20 minutes, before two second-half headers from Jesus added gloss to the scoreline. 

Silva shining once more 

A fine goal put the seal on a quality display from Bernardo Silva, who continues to find his best form again after a somewhat patchy first half of the season. 

He was the man who carried the greatest threat, whether it his running from deep, his range of passing or his crossing ability. 

The swagger and fizz have returned to his game, and City are better for it.

Young guns

More minutes for the cream of our academy crop, as Eric Garcia and Phil Foden both delivered assured displays.

Garcia, 19, looks a fine prospect. He exudes confidence and is a vocal presence at the back, constantly organising the backline. His demeanour and intelligence belie his young age, and his superbly-timed sliding tackle towards the end of the game summed his display up. 

And Foden’s talent is now undeniable. Touch, vision, technique – he has everything in his locker to have a long and successful career. It’s little wonder Guardiola sees him as a ready-made replacement for the great David Silva, who will leave the Club in the summer after a decade of success.

Cup focus

With City trailing Premier League leaders Liverpool by 16 points having played a game more, the three knock-out cup competitions hold the key to City having a successful season.

We’re 90 minutes away from a place in the Carabao Cup final and our Champions League campaign continues in the last-16 with a two-legged tie against Real Madrid.


                        City cruise into FA Cup fifth round

The FA Cup, too, offers another realistic prospect of success. Guardiola’s strong selection here tells you everything you need to know: City want to defend the trophy they won in May with a 6-0 win over Watford at Wembley.

Man of the Match: Gabriel Jesus 

Two fine headers and a typically industrious display from Jesus, who led the line with aplomb all afternoon. 

Pep reaction

"After one or two minutes, I thought it would be a tough, tough game. They were incredibly aggressive up front. They are a team with a lot of courage but after the red card it was different. Even then they tried to play.

"Motivation was right. After 2-0, we missed a little bit some of the movements because they defended well and high.

"Hopefully in the next game against United, our fans can come and make the stadium full.

Statzone

We are the first team from one of Europe's major leagues to score 100 goals in all competitions this season.

And the result means we have now won all six of our home FA Cup matches under Guardiola, scoring 29 goals and conceding only three.

What it means

City are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup as look to make it back-to-back trophies. 

The draw for the next stage takes place on Monday during the The One Show on BBC One, which starts at 7pm. 

What’s next

There’s the small matter of a Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United on Wednesday, with a place in the final at Wembley tantalisingly close. City lead 3-1 after our first-leg win at Old Trafford, but Guardiola won’t be taking anything for granted as we look to win the competition for the fifth time in seven seasons.

And then next weekend it’s back to Premier League action as we travel to Tottenham. We currently sit second, just three points ahead of Leicester in third and Guardiola knows we must continue our recent form if we want to stay ahead of Brendan Rodgers' side. 

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