Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that Tim Ream’s sending off changed their FA Cup fourth round tie with Fulham on Sunday.
Ream was sent off after only eight minutes for a foul inside the area and it was backs to the wall for Fulham for the remainder of the match.
Ilkay Gundogan slotted home the penalty after the sending off before Bernardo Silva made it 2-0 inside 20 minutes.
City were wasteful for much of the game after scoring the second as Fulham failed to make any real threats.
However, a double from Gabriel Jesus in the second half secured the hosts’ progression into the fifth round.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Guardiola said: “The game changed after the sending off.
“After a few minutes I thought it would be a tough game. Sometimes when it is 10 v 11 your mind is not in a perfect condition to keep going.”
Guardiola was puzzled as to why the Etihad Stadium was not full for the game, with the official attendance for the match announced as 39,223.
The Spaniard said: “It was not full. I don’t know why.”
City follow up their latest win with a Carabao Cup semi-final second leg clash with Manchester United at the Etihad on Wednesday, having beaten their derby rivals 3-1 at Old Trafford in the first leg.
Guardiola said about that game: “It gives a chance to go back to Wembley. Hopefully they will support us more.”
Midfielder Phil Foden added: “Each time I put the shirt on I enjoy it to the max. It’s a shame Fulham got a red card because it killed the game a bit. It’s good to get the job done.”