Manchester City triumphed 3-0 over Bristol City to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, with Phil Foden bagging a brace and Kevin De Bruyne adding a finishing touch in front of a full house at Ashton Gate. The outcome ended the 12-match unbeaten streak of the West Country side and secured the six-time FA Cup winners’ place in the next round.
Following the game, Man City manager Pep Guardiola commended Foden, talking to ITV Sport: “Excellent, rhythmic, diligence, he is top-notch. His career had been steadily progressing. This season he had a few difficulties and was a bit low. But now in the crucial part of the season, he is back.
“His contribution has been superb. When you work as hard as he does, football rewards you.”
Guardiola expressed his admiration for Bristol City and their supporters, noting that it was a “really tough” game and that he was impressed by some players he didn’t know. He also remembered their previous encounter five years ago in the Carabao Cup, noting the fantastic atmosphere. Despite City falling behind early on to a Foden strike, they remained competitive until a deflected shot by Foden and a fine finish by De Bruyne ensured the away side’s place in the quarter finals. De Bruyne, who had been absent from City’s last two games due to illness, was given the captaincy for the game.
Kalvin Phillips, freshly transferred from Leeds, made his second start of the season as Ederson, Erling Haaland, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish and Rodri watched from the sidelines. The England midfielder was keen to deliver a strong performance and only a minute and three seconds had gone by when he launched a long-range shot that clattered against the crossbar.
In the early moments of the game, Manuel Akanji’s mistake created a good opportunity for Sam Bell, however, it went wide. Moments later, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne worked together to create a chance which Phil Foden converted and gave the visitors a lead. Subsequently, Bristol City had a strong appeal for a penalty when Mark Sykes got tangled up with Rico Lewis, but the referee denied it. Since there was no VAR in operation, the home team’s supporters were left feeling annoyed.
In regards to the first-half penalty incident, Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson remarked humorously to the fourth official and assistant referee that Premier League players are a ‘protected species’. However, he made it clear that he was being sarcastic and expressed his dissatisfaction with the scoreline, citing that the match had been much closer than the results suggested.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 28, 2023
Julian Alvarez mis-kicked in front of their home net due to Foden’s cross, but Bristol City was defending excellently and getting good play down their left side. Alex Scott had a shot that went straight to Stefan Ortega and Bell put the ball above the goal after Tomas Kalas gained the ball from De Bruyne. Manchester City still looked dangerous, as Mahrez’s volley was blocked by Kalas and Ruben Dias tried Max O’Leary with a header.
Mahrez marked his 400th outing in the English game when Robins manager Nigel Pearson, who recruited him in 2014 from Ligue 2’s Le Havre, engaged in a dialogue with the Algerian following a sideline tussle between him and Cameron Pring. During the second half, Ederson was substituted in for Ortega, as Manchester City had a firm grip on the match without testing O’Leary until Alvarez forced him to make a save to his right.
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) February 28, 2023
Foden was tardy, and reacted swiftly to a challenge from Sykes, resulting in a yellow card and a reminder from his manager Pep Guardiola to concentrate. The intensity of the match had grown and the Bristol City supporters were pushing their team to capitalize on the opportunity. Their efforts almost paid off as Scott won the ball from Dias for Weimann to deliver a cross, which Bell headed slightly off target. De Bruyne’s brilliant pass to Ake, then Alvarez’s assist to Foden ended the match, with the Belgian midfielder guaranteeing his contribution with a 20-yard strike.
This Saturday, Bristol City will travel to Cardiff City for a Sky Bet Championship match, with a start time of 12:30. At the same time, Manchester City will be welcoming Newcastle United to their home ground for a Premier League game.