The FA Cup - Fourth Round
Man City4Fulham0

Manchester City 4-0 Fulham: Holders cruise into FA Cup fifth round

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Highlights: Manchester City 4-0 Fulham

Holders Manchester City continued their FA Cup defence with a dominant fourth-round victory over Fulham in which they became the first major European team to score 100 goals this season.

Any prospect of the Championship side producing an upset was effectively over after six minutes, when defender Tim Ream hauled down Gabriel Jesus in the area and was sent off.

Raheem Sterling and Jesus had missed their previous two penalties, but Ilkay Gundogan avoided making it an unwanted hat-trick when he tucked the ball into the corner from the spot.

City - who made eight changes and started with Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne on the bench - soon took total control as Bernardo Silva added a classy second from the edge of the box.

The Portuguese's effort meant City brought up their century of goals in 37 games, two more than it took last season.

Jesus added two second-half headers, capitalising on poor Fulham defending, for a side who have averaged five goals per game in home FA Cup matches under Pep Guardiola.

City will discover their fifth-round opponents when the draw takes place on Monday from 19:00 GMT on The One Show, on BBC One and online.

City's quest for cup treble continues

Sixteen points behind leaders Liverpool but 17 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, Manchester City's Premier League fate - and next season's Champions League spot - seems all but certain.

So the challenge now for Guardiola's team is to add all three remaining cup competitions to the Community Shield they won in August.

The FA Cup and Carabao Cup holders are well placed to reach the final of the latter competition - they hold a 3-1 advantage over Manchester United with the second leg of their semi-final to come this Wednesday.

And, predictably, they made light work of Fulham to ensure they remain on course for another lengthy run in the FA Cup too.

Angelino, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden could have made the scoreline embarrassing for the visitors in the first half and their wastefulness might have been the one cause for concern for a perfectionist such as Guardiola.

Bernardo Silva's excellent strike - twisting and turning on the edge of the box before an unerring finish into the bottom corner - was much more like it, though.

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A brilliant finish from Bernardo Silva doubles Man City's lead

Fulham were generous opponents, sticking with their approach of playing out from the back, and Jesus was the second-half beneficiary. First he headed in after the visitors dallied too long and were dispossessed, then he nodded in to an open net after keeper Marek Rodak could only parry Phil Foden's powerful drive.

City have enjoyed a favourable series of draws since the start of 2017-18 in the FA Cup, and this latest demolition means their tally from games against Burnley (twice), Cardiff, Wigan, Rotherham, Newport, Swansea, Brighton, Watford, Port Vale and now Fulham stands at 40-6.

There will, of course, be tougher tests to come - not least the prospect of Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 in exactly a month's time - but Guardiola will have been grateful for the chance to rest so many key players while advancing with such ease.

A brutal reality check for Fulham

Fulham are third in the Championship and have improved recently, notably knocking Aston Villa out of the FA Cup in the third round.

But for them this was like rewinding the clock 12 months to their torrid Premier League campaign, when they conceded 81 goals - at the rate of more than two per game - on the way to relegation.

Ream endured a difficult season in the top flight and it was the USA defender's rash decision to bring down Jesus - earning him a first red card in more than 300 games in England - which set the course for defeat at Etihad Stadium.

One of the finest moments in the Cottagers' history came at this ground in April 2008 when, 2-0 down at the break and mathematically relegated, they fought back to win 3-2 - and went on to survive.

Though the scoreline was the same at the interval this time, there was never a chance of such a recovery here.

Manager Scott Parker, who was without top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic and opted to start with captain Tom Cairney on the bench, wanted his team to play with "big courage and big heart" but the early setback wrecked that plan.

And, in hindsight, he might consider they were too courageous in playing out from the back against City's high press, as they were repeatedly punished for avoidable mistakes.

Fulham will now turn their attentions back to the Championship promotion race, where they are three points behind second-placed Leeds as they seek an immediate return to the top flight.

Man of the match - Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus heads home against Fulham in the FA Cup
The 22-year-old won the penalty that opened the scoring for Manchester City and completed a convincing win with his two second-half goals

'Nothing but pride for my players' - what the managers said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "After one or two minutes, I thought it would be a tough, tough game. They were incredibly aggressive up front. They are a team with a lot of courage but after the red card it was different. Even then they tried to play.

"Motivation was right. After 2-0, we missed a little bit some of the movements because they defended well and high.

"Hopefully in the next game against United, our fans can come and make the stadium full.

On Aymeric Laporte, left out after returning from a long-term injury at Sheffield United last Tuesday: "He had some fatigue, which is normal after four or five months.

"We are not going to take risks. After four months, he played 75 minutes and we'll see. Until we feel he is ready, he won't play. If he can play against United, he can play."

Fulham boss Scott Parker, speaking to BBC Sport: "Everything we planned for, we had to change after six minutes because of the red card.

"Tim Ream is obviously devastated. He has been immense for us this season. He made a mistake today and in heat of moment you make decisions and sometimes you make the wrong ones.

"You are playing one of the best teams in Europe but I have nothing but pride for my players when they went down to 10 men because I see a team here that has an identity with their commitment and personality.

"I've been in this job for 12 months and I'm trying to build something. OK, we lost the match 4-0 but the bigger picture is there are some big positives to take from it."

Prolific Gabriel - the stats

  • Manchester City have won all six of their home FA Cup matches under Pep Guardiola, scoring 29 goals and conceding only three.
  • Fulham suffered their heaviest FA Cup defeat since losing 4-0 against Manchester United in the 2008-09 quarter-final.
  • It is the seventh consecutive season in which Manchester City have hit 100 goals, the longest run by a Premier League team since Manchester United score 100 or more goals for nine seasons in a row between 2004-05 and 2012-13.
  • Ilkay Gundogan has been directly involved in eight goals in just five FA Cup appearances at Etihad Stadium for Manchester City (one goal, seven assists).
  • Gabriel Jesus has scored 56 goals and assisted 17 more in 78 starts for Manchester City in all competitions.
  • Bernardo Silva has been directly involved in eight goals in nine FA Cup appearances for Man City (four goals, four assists).
  • Tim Ream received his first red card in English football - with this game his 306th appearance across spells at Bolton Wanderers and Fulham.
  • Manchester City became the first team to score four or more goals in six consecutive home FA Cup matches since Luton Town in December 1928 - Luton's sixth game in that run was also at home to Fulham.

What's next?

Manchester City are at home in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals against local rival Manchester United on Wednesday (19:45 GMT) while Fulham are back in Championship action against Huddersfield on Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Bravo
  • 27Cancelo
  • 30OtamendiSubstituted forStonesat 74'minutes
  • 50García
  • 12Angelino
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forRodriat 75'minutes
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forSterlingat 53'minutes
  • 21Silva
  • 47Foden
  • 9Gabriel Jesus

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 7Sterling
  • 10Agüero
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 31Ederson

Fulham

  • 12Rodák
  • 3Hector
  • 13ReamBooked at 6mins
  • 15KongoloSubstituted forJasperat 83'minutes
  • 22Christie
  • 8Johansen
  • 43S Sessegnon
  • 23BryanBooked at 90mins
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forOdoiat 78'minutes
  • 19CavaleiroSubstituted forCairneyat 67'minutes
  • 25Onomah

Substitutes

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 4Odoi
  • 6McDonald
  • 10Cairney
  • 36De La Torre
  • 58Jasper
  • 61Stansfield
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
39,223

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home20
Away1
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away0
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 4, Fulham 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Fulham 0.

Booking

Joe Bryan (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

João Cancelo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Bryan (Fulham).

Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Fulham).

Attempt missed. João Cancelo (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Sylvester Jasper replaces Terence Kongolo because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Phil Foden.

Foul by Angeliño (Manchester City).

Denis Odoi (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Denis Odoi replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Offside, Manchester City. Rodrigo tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 4, Fulham 0. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Rodrigo replaces Ilkay Gündogan.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. John Stones replaces Nicolás Otamendi.

VAR Decision: Goal Manchester City - Manchester City 3-0 Fulham (Gabriel Jesus).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Fulham 0. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by João Cancelo with a cross.Goal confirmed following VAR Review.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Tom Cairney replaces Ivan Cavaleiro.

Attempt missed. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joe Bryan.

Foul by Angeliño (Manchester City).

Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Terence Kongolo.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by David Silva.

Offside, Manchester City. David Silva tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

Offside, Manchester City. João Cancelo tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).

Stefan Johansen (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Attempt blocked. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by João Cancelo (Manchester City).

Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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