This was Manchester City’s 19th straight win in domestic cup competition, the holders coasting into the fifth round during a tie that neared a soporific state sometimes .
Pep Guardiola and his team won’t care, of course. they’re favourites to succeed in Wembley another time when facing Manchester United here in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg and it’s going to be unwise to bet against them reaching the FA Cup showpiece again, too.
The sole potential off-note came when the manager revealed that Aymeric Laporte might not be available for United’s visit. “He has some fatigue,” Guardiola said. “It is normal after four or five months [out]. immediately we aren’t getting to take risks. we’ll see. If we feel he’s not ready, he won’t play. If he can play, he can play.”
City’s second strike took them to 100 goals altogether competitions, the primary team in Europe’s five major leagues to try to to so this season.
“Always we score since we are here,” Guardiola said of his four-year tenure at the club. “Always we’ve the power to attain . the matter is we concede [a] few in some games [this term].” agen sbobet https://www.maxbetsbobet.org
Within six minutes of kick-off, Fulham had lost Tim Ream. The captain pulled Gabriel Jesus over within the area, Kevin Friend pointed to the spot and showed him a red card: prosecution activated as he had not tried to play the ball. Ilkay Gündogan beat Marek Rodak to offer City a dream start and a nightmare one for his or her visitors.
“He’s one among the takers [now],” said Guardiola, City having missed three penalties this season.
Fulham’s manager, Scott Parker, said: “The prep you are doing goes out of the window after six minutes once you go right down to 10 men and that they score a goal.”
Riyad Mahrez was next to torment Fulham via nifty footwork that ended with him letting fly at Rodak, who saved impressively to his right. Bernardo Silva now came on the soft-shoe act, and this point he doubled the lead.
From the sting of the world the Portuguese became a one-man carousel spinning a gaggle of Fulham defenders with him, finally turning a final time inside and leaving Ivan Cavaleiro gawping as he rifled within the sweetest of strikes.
The contest seemed already over – any remaining intrigue concerned what percentage City might score. Guardiola’s men toyed with their opponents, dialling up quality at will, as when Mahrez glided past Joe Bryan, who chopped down the Algerian. Bryan was lucky to not be booked and when Friend blew for the break Fulham might be heartened by having not conceded again. A measure of the one-way traffic, though, was found in them having had three touches in City’s area. The tally for Guardiola’s men had been near-countless.
They began the last half with another spurned chance. Angeliño traded passes with Phil Foden, then found David Silva inside the world . The captain relayed the ball to Mahrez yet from an inviting angle he blasted high.
It had Guardiola grimacing and Mahrez was replaced early within the half – by Raheem Sterling – due to a “kick” on the Algerian, the manager explained.
Against a backdrop more like a summer warm-up game, Fulham’s brightest moment arrived via a free-kick in a complicated position. Stefan Johansen floated the ball in but Cavaleiro saw Bernardo Silva and though Parker protested Friend adjudged no evil .
City continued to probe. Nicolás Otamendi rolled the ball to Foden, it visited Gündogan, David Silva and, once more, they might not capitalise.
Then, at last, they did. This was simple and derived from Fulham again trying to play out from the rear . Bobby Decordova-Reid was caught out on the brink of goal, the ball visited João Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus nodded home. Cancelo would end the sport limping. “We will see how he recovers within the next days,” said Guardiola.
Farcically Fulham conceded via precisely an equivalent slipshod manner three minutes later. Michael Hector was dispossessed by Jesus ahead of Rodak and therefore the subsequent sequence ended with the Brazilian finishing after the keeper beat out Foden’s effort.
Now ended Decordova-Reid’s afternoon, Parker introducing Denis Odoi for him. Yet the manager, really, may need acted more effectively by ordering his team earlier within the half to forget trying to start out attacks from the rear then stop City’s high press mugging them.
By the ultimate whistle this was as easy an outing as City could have hoped for. Next up is Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s United.
“Now we’ve three days to organize for them,” said Guardiola.