Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City subs work wonders as Guardiola’s men charge past Southampton in FA Cup

Phil Foden of Man City

Man City duo Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez came off the bench to score as Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final with a 4-1 victory at Southampton.

Southampton started the game brightly but it was Raheem Sterling and City who threatened first. A sweeping move down the left flank saw Ilkay Gundogan find space in a dangerous area. He played Sterling in, but the England attacker sliced his effort wide.

Southampton responded well though and hit the post soon afterwards. Oriol Romeu sent Adam Armstrong through and the forward dug out a shot, only to see it come back off the woodwork.

The fast-paced first half continued and City were ahead by the 12th minute. Jack Stephens failed to clear in the box, allowing Juventus-linked Gabriel Jesus to pick out Sterling. He had a simple finish to register a goal in the FA Cup for the eighth consecutive season.

The woodwork was struck again in the 27th minute, but this time it was City. Joao Cancelo did well to get away from Tino Livramento and put in a dangerous cross. Gundogan met it, although he could only hit the post from close range.

Rodri then had space in midfield and drove into it before sending a low drive towards goal. It had Fraser Forster worried and went just past the post.

Man City pegged back by own goal

Southampton remained in the tie, despite City’s attacking threat, and had a deserved equaliser on the stroke of half time. Stuart Armstrong found Mohamed Elyounoussi with a great through ball, and the Norwegian beat City goalkeeper Zack Steffen to it. Elyounoussi turned and crossed, before seeing the ball hit Aymeric Laporte and roll over the line.

Early in the second half, Cancelo caused problems with a cross whipped in on the outside of his boot. Sterling, Jack Grealish and Kevin de Bruyne were all in the box but could not capitalise, as the Saints survived a scramble.

Guardiola’s men began to get a little bit sloppy and that allowed James Ward-Prowse to have an effort on goal with 60 minutes gone. However, the captain sent it straight at Steffen, helping the USA international to save.

Moments later, Jesus cleverly drew a foul from Mohammed Salisu in the penalty area, which forced referee Mike Dean to point to the spot. de Bruyne stepped up and lashed into the bottom corner, beating Forster – even though the shot-stopper went the right way.

Both Guardiola and Ralph Hasenhuttl turned to the bench after the spot-kick. Southampton’s normal strike partnership of Armando Broja and Che Adams came on for A.Armstrong and Shane Long.

For City, Jesus and Grealish were replaced by Foden and Mahrez.

Adams had a great opportunity to drag the home side level in the 73rd minute. Ward-Prowse sent the Saints on the attack with a cross-field ball into Elyounoussi’s path. He crossed for Adams and the Scotland international struck first time, only to be denied by Steffen.

Foden then did what Adams failed to do, which is find the back of the net by dispatching of his chance confidently. The ball sat up for him nicely, following Salisu’s header, and he sent a venomous strike past Forster.

Southampton were soon 4-1 down, despite being in the mix for a majority of the game. Gundogan chested down a Cancelo cross before giving it to Mahrez, and City’s top scorer proceeded to fire into the bottom corner.

City saw out the win to reach the last four of the FA Cup, meaning the treble is still on the cards.