Manchester City go into FA Cup semis after win over Newcastle

rugby16 March 2024 19:50| © Reuters
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Holders Manchester City cruised into the semi-finals of the FA Cup thanks to two deflected strikes from Bernardo Silva that gave them a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

City made five changes from the side that started last weekend's 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool and still managed to make the semi-finals of the competition for the sixth season in a row as Newcastle provided little resistance.

City took the lead in the 13th minute when a Silva shot took a wicked deflection off Newcastle defender Dan Burn, wrong-footing keeper Martin Dubravka and sending the ball looping into the net.

The home side went 2-0 up in the 31st minute and again it was Portuguese playmaker Silva cutting in from the right and shooting, with Sven Botman's head helping to steer the ball past Dubravka this time.

Alexander Isak almost pulled a goal back in the 36th minute but Stefan Ortega got down brilliantly to his left to keep the Swedish striker's bouncing shot out. It proved to be Newcastle's only effort on goal in the game.

Just after the hour mark, Eddie Howe lost patience with his stuttering side and made four substitutions and though the introduction of Miguel Almiron gave the visitors a much-needed injection of creativity in their attack, the home side quickly re-adjusted.

Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku both had a number of chances to score but manager Pep Guardiola will not be too bothered by their profligacy in front of goal as his side outclassed the visitors from start to finish.

"The team played well, we did exactly what the coach wanted us to do and we scored some nice goals, we scored some important goals, we defended well, we attacked well, so very happy," Doku told the BBC.

"We were in control but you never know, you always have to be careful with counter-attacks... but I think the defenders did very well and we came back to help them as well," he added.

City join Coventry City, who pulled off a shock 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier in the day, in the draw for the semi-finals which will be made after Sunday's remaining quarter-final ties featuring Chelsea against Leicester City and Manchester United versus Liverpool.

For Newcastle, the defeat brings an end to any hope they had of winning silverware this season.