Manchester City canter to FA C...

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Manchester City canter to FA Cup fifth round with easy Etihad win

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

4:12 PM - 26 Jan 2020



It was a straightforward day at the office for Pep Guardiola's Manchester Cit as they swept past Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Guardiola rotated his squad for the FA Cup clash, with nine players brought into the starting eleven from the team that beat Sheffield United 1-0 in the Premier League.

Nicolas Otamendi and Gabriel Jesus the only players retained. Jesus was instrumental in the first big moment of the game.

Fulham did themselves few favours conceding an early penalty.

Gabriel Jesus was clumsily hauled down by Tim Ream, the centre half paid a hefty price as he was shown a red card. Ilkay Gundogan converted the spot-kick on six minutes.

Bernardo Silva doubled the champions' advantage with a brilliant finish from about 18 yards out having turned the Fulham defence inside out.

Somehow despite repeated chances and owning possession, it remained 2-0 at the break.

Dominance

Two goals in just three minutes sealed the deal for City even though the tie was effectively done before the 10-minute mark.

The 4-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the hosts' dominance.

Guardiola admitted after the game that the red card was crucial.

"If it was 11 against 11, it would have been a tough, tough game. I felt it (red card) immediately, but 10 against 11 and after one, then two goals it was easy in terms of not conceding chances. They defended well."

There will, of course, be tougher tests to come - not least the prospect of Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 in exactly a month's time, but Guardiola will have been grateful for the chance to rest so many key players while advancing with such ease.

Manchester City will find out who they face in the fifth round when the draw is made on Monday evening before the Bournemouth and Arsenal match.



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