Manchester City are through to the next round of the FA Cup! The Blues completely dominated Cardiff City and successfully advanced to the Round of 16. Below is a quick reaction and a few notes written at the final whistle. Still to come: Match Report, Quotes & Tweets, 3 Things We Learned and Tactical Analysis.
- What a first half from the Blues! It was as dominant a performance as we’ve seen all season, and City would be up 3-0 if not for a horrible call from the referee. The defense was great apart from a small Claudio Bravo scare, and the attack was beautiful with every player giving their contributions.
- That being said, three City players deserve the most praise in the first half: Kevin De Bruyne was Kevin De Bruyne and then some, Bernardo Silva played as a False Nine and shredded the Cardiff defense and Ilkay Gundogan was constantly making great runs and helping Fernandinho control possession when needed.
- Vincent Kompany looked strong in his return, making some timely challenges and showing his usual ability to anticipate plays and make smart interventions. The captain looked fine at the end of the game, so hopefully he doesn’t get injured again for a couple of weeks.
- The second half was much more of a Cup tie with Cardiff going all out to try and score at least a goal. City’s defense looked strong and Bravo made some nice saves, but the offense was just not good. Passing was off, shots were rushed and City just couldn’t find the final ball. Thankfully they had a 2-0 lead from the first half and it wasn’t a problem, but the drop in performance was a concern.
- Cardiff were just dirty in this game. Too many hard fouls, too many kicks and too many bad challenges. It was unnecessary and dangerous. Also, screw Cardiff City’s dirty players.