Last seasons FA Cup campaign didn’t go to plan for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, as they suffered a shock defeat in the fifth round to Wigan Athletic. There was to be no repeat of last years shock exit in the competition for the men in Blue this time around though, as they were emphatic in their 7-0 thrashing of Rotherham United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Guardiola was obviously wary of another cup upset derailing his side after a much needed victory over Liverpool last Thursday, as he named an ominously strong eleven to secure their place in the fourth round. The Spaniard did in fact make eight changes to his side ahead of this one, but on paper the team looked as strong as ever.
It didn’t take long for City to start making in roads and Gabriel Jesus almost had the first goal of the game inside the two minute mark. A deliciously flighted ball to the back post by Kevin De Bruyne was headed onto the cross-bar by the Brazilian.
It would take until the 12th minute until City broke down their Yorkshire counterparts when Raheem Sterling cut in from the left wing and played an intricate one-two with the returning De Bruyne, his perfectly weighted ball back into Sterlings stride allowed the winger to take a touch and curl it into the far corner.
While City where unsurprisingly dominant on the ball and creating the games clear chances, it wasn’t until a quick fire double on the stroke of half time, that they took the game away from Rotherham. Firstly, Phil Foden was able to grab his first goal at the Etihad for the club when he latched onto an Ilkay Gundogan pass into the box and then it was a Semi Ajayi own goal that gave City a 3-0 half-time lead, after some nice football between Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker down the right hand side.
Into the second half we went and it only took City seven minutes to add their fourth. Raheem Sterling beat his man for pace down City’s left and found himself bearing down on goal, he squared the ball to Jesus who had the easiest of tap ins.
The fifth for City came after 73 minutes when Mahrez played a neat one-two inside the box with Gundogan and then rifled it low past Rodak to put the game well and truly out of reach.
City continued to look free-flowing all afternoon and managed to add two more goals to their tally in the final few minutes. Nicholas Otamendi got on the scoresheet when he bulleted in a header from a Gundogan corner and then Leroy Sane who was introduced in the second half put the icing on the cake when his right footed effort was deflected past the onlooking Rodak. Seven goals and seven different scorers for the Blues as they can now look ahead to Monday night’s fourth round draw.