Emirates FA Cup TBC Sabtu, 28 Januari 2017 15.00.00
- Mike Jones
- Schlupp Fryers 76’
- Mutch McArthur 65’
- Benteke Remy 46’
- Cadangan tak terpakai:
- Kaikai, Delaney, Perntreou, Cabaye, Fryers
- Sané Nolito 84’
- Silva Fernando 78’
- Sterling Navas 66’
- G Jesus
- Cadangan tak terpakai:
- Bravo, Zabaleta, De Bruyne, Stones
City eased into the last 16 of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Blues’ boss has made it clear he wants to win this competition and his team selections have backed that ambition up, with another strong starting eleven and bench named.
City started brightly at Selhurst Park and could have been ahead after just three minutes when Sterling’s cross found Sane in the six-yard box but the German winger missed the ball and the danger was cleared.
The next opportunity came six minutes later as a sumptuous Toure pass picked out the run of David Silva but the Spaniard’s shot was saved by Wayne Hennessey.
Thereafter the Blues largely dominated possession, but the game became a ragged affair, full of minor infringements and disjointed play.
A couple of Toure fouls in the space of a minute or so livened up the sparse home crowd who were baying at referee Mike Jones to dismiss the Ivorian, but the official ignored their pleas – and rightly so.
Palace gradually worked their way into the game and Christian Benteke should have done better on 31 minutes when he had a chance to test Willy Caballero but headed over. Three minutes later the City keeper made a good save from James Tomkins’ half-volley as the hosts threatened to go ahead.
But it was the Blues who finally broke the deadlock and the goal has a touch of class about it.
Delph won a header just inside his own half and the ball found Gabriel Jesus on the halfway line.
The Brazilian spun off his marker and played a measured pass into the path of Sterling who raced into the box before firing a low shot into the net as a combination of Hennessey and Jeffrey Schlupp made late bids to stop him.
It was no more than City deserved and Jesus went close to doubling the lead a couple of minutes later as Sterling teed him up only for Hennessy to make a decent save.
Palace took off Benteke at the break and his replacement Loic Remy should have levelled within five minutes as he blazed Mutch’s cross over from close range.
Delph then forced a fingertip save out of Hennessey as the Blues looked to wrap the game up as quickly as possible.
Joe Ledley’s long-range effort whizzed inches wide just past the hour-mark as Palace reminded City they were more than capable of finding a way back into the contest – then the heavens opened with a hailstorm turning most of the pitch white for a time as the fans shivered in the stands.
The game was all-but made safe on 70 minutes with Silva – of course – at the heart of the move.
The Spaniard carried the ball fully 50 yards, sizing up his options with his 360-degree vision before sliding the perfect pass to Sane who made no mistake with a low drive past Hennessey.
Gabriel Jesus almost made it three in the dying moments but slipped after rounding Hennessey and then went off injured after a bad challenge by Joe Ledley – though hopefully nothing too much to worry about.
The last word went to Toure who curled home a delicious free-kick in injury time to complete an impressive victory by City and send the noisy travelling fans home serenading the Ivorian.
The spin and vision of Gabriel Jesus was a snapshot of what is perhaps to come from the Brazilian. With the hosts threatening to score a couple of times just before, the timing – just before the break – was as perfect as the through ball to Sterling.
Star man: David Silva
From start to finish, Silva was nothing less than excellent. Pulling the strings as only he can, he glided around the pitch, linking defence to attack effortlessly in a masterclass of midfield creativity before setting up Sane to seal the tie late on.
And 70% of City fans voted him the star player on the Matchday App...
What it means…
City go into Monday evening’s FA Cup Fifth Round draw as one of 16 teams who battle for a place in the quarter-finals.
City make a quick return to London with another visit to the London Stadium to play West Ham United on Wednesday. The Blues are unlikely to find the Hammers in such generous mood as they were in the FA Cup tie a month ago, but the Blues will look to travel home with three points.
Then it’s Swansea City at the Etihad as City look to rejuvenate their Premier League fortunes against the struggling Welsh side.