Phil Foden scored twice and Kevin de Bruyne hit a magnificent third as Manchester City fought off a spirited performance from Bristol City to reach the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
The blues, aiming for their first FA Cup win in four years, got off to a great start when Foden found the back of the net with just seven minutes on the clock. The midfielder, who scored in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Bournemouth, added a second with 16 minutes left to play while de Bruyne’s low, bending strike from 25 yards sealed the victory.
The blues are looking to claim the famous old trophy for a seventh time, but had to battle past the Robins, who applied some pressure to the blues, but, in fairness, never looked like beating Ortega in the City goal.
However, it was still a test for the blues who, for long periods, dominated the match and created chances, but struggled to take them. De Bruyne and Kalvin Phillips hit shots from distance that were high and wide and when the blues got in behind the Robins defence, they found defender Tomas Kalas on a personal mission to prevent the blues from scoring.
The Czech defender seemed to be everywhere in the final third, and the travelling City fans must have feared a repeat of the matches against Nottingham Forest and Leipzig. In both those games, City were 1-0 up but allowed the opposition to peg them back.
But the home side were out of luck if they thought the blues would give up their lead so easily this time, and could have been a goal down much earlier, had Phillips’ shot from the edge of the penalty area been a couple of inches lower instead of smacking against the crossbar. But, as Foden’s seventh-minute strike hit the back of the goal, the outcome seemed inevitable.
It was a typical, City-of-old move with de Bruyne’s pass releasing Riyad Mahrez down the right. The Algerian’s pass across goal found Foden at the far post, and the Stockport Iniesta was never going to miss from there.
The home support never gave up and were vocal from the start and appealed for a penalty shortly after the goal when Mark Sykes appeared to be tripped in the area by Rico Lewis. The referee immediately waved away any calls for a spot kick, but the replay showed there was some contact. Had VAR been in operation, it may well have been a different story.
The blues went in 1-0 up at the break, but the home side never gave up and still felt they had a chance of pinching an equaliser. And they could well have done shortly before City’s second goal.
The highly-rated Alex Scott made a great challenge on the City byline as Ruben Dias tried to shepherd the ball out of play. The loose ball was crossed first-time by Wiemann, but it was just behind Sam Bell, who couldn’t adjust in time and the chance went begging.
That was the wake-up call City needed and Foden’s 74th minute strike ended any resistance from the Robins. De Bruyne’s superb through ball found Nathan Ake in plenty of space down the left. His pass found Julian Alvarez who turned and spotted Foden in space, and the midfielder made no mistake. It deflected off the defender, but Foden wouldn’t care a jot.
As Bristol heads dropped, City made sure of the victory five minutes later. Jack Grealish, on as a substitute passed in space to de Bruyne, and the Belgian was allowed to charge forward before finding the back of the goal from 25 yards out.
City’s passage to the last eight was secured and the blues join Brighton, Fulham and Blackburn Rovers for a place in the semi-final.
Final Score: Bristol City 0-3 Manchester City