The FA Cup - Fifth Round
PeterboroughPeterborough United0Man CityManchester City2

Peterborough 0-2 Man City: Riyad Mahrez & Jack Grealish goals send Premier League leaders through

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport

Jack Grealish says the first FA Cup goal of his career was inspired by watching footage of Lionel Messi before Manchester City's hard-earned win over Peterborough United.

Riyad Mahrez put the Premier League leaders ahead with their first attempt on target before Grealish - the most expensive British player of all time - sealed City's place in the quarter-finals.

The England midfielder produced a quality first touch to bring Phil Foden's sweeping pass from inside his own half under control before rolling it beyond the keeper and into the net.

"What's funny is that before the game, while we were on the coach on the way to the game, I was sat next to Phil and we were scrolling through videos of Messi," Grealish told ITV.

"After scoring [Foden] came up to me and said it was just like we were watching."

City were made to work hard for their fifth-round win.

Peterborough, bottom of the Championship, should have taken the lead with the game goalless but Sammie Szmodics scuffed his attempt, and Jeando Fuchs was denied by Ederson.

Six-time winners City will discover their opponents on Thursday.

Manchester City's Jack Grealish has an attempt against Peterborough United in the FA Cup
Peterborough United are bottom of the Championship while Manchester City are top of the Premier League

Man City get the job done

City have now scored 103 goals in all competitions this season.

But it required two quality finishes - both assisted by Foden - in the space of seven second-half minutes to seal City's passage.

City made six changes but still fielded a strong side which included returning Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was handed the captain's armband in a sign of solidarity and support.

It was Zinchenko's first game since his homeland was invaded by Russia and he held the Ukrainian flag on the pitch with Peterborough captain Frankie Kent before kick-off.

A message on the big screen read 'We Stand With Ukraine' and fans held up a banner which read 'Zinchenko: We Stand With You'.

Zinchenko, making his first start since 12 February, had a couple of early attempts but City's team of expensive signings and internationals failed to test keeper Steven Benda before Mahrez struck on the hour.

The Algeria winger had lots of work to do after receiving a pass from Foden but showed his quality by creating space for himself to break the deadlock before Grealish's finish confirmed City's place in the next round.

Mahrez is enjoying his best goalscoring season in English football, with his 19 goals one more than he scored in Leicester's 2015-16 title winning campaign.

"We know the quality Riyad has and he loves to play football," said City boss Pep Guardiola. "It's not a profession to him, it's a joy. He would play every single day."

City turn attention to the Manchester derby

Guardiola batted away questions about a possible treble after his side's fourth successive away win without conceding in three different competitions.

Six points clear of nearest rivals Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, albeit having played one more game, City are approaching the business end of the season in a familiar position.

They also have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after establishing a handsome 5-0 first-leg lead over Sporting Lisbon.

"I am not going to buy this argument," said Guardiola when asked about the prospect of ending the season with three trophies.

Next it is the Manchester derby at Etihad Stadium, where United have triumphed on their past three visits.

'I'm really proud of our performance'

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann, speaking to ITV: "I am really proud of our performance. Defensively we were well organised. And we had a massive chance to go 1-0 up.

"On another day we do, but when you play against a top-class team they keep probing and probing. I've said to the boys that this is the bench mark. There is a lot of quality in the dressing room."

Player of the match

ZinchenkoOleksandr Zinchenko

with an average of 7.70

Peterborough United

  1. Squad number17Player nameJones
    Average rating

    7.47

  2. Squad number42Player nameFuchs
    Average rating

    7.37

  3. Squad number23Player nameWard
    Average rating

    7.19

  4. Squad number7Player nameSzmodics
    Average rating

    7.19

  5. Squad number15Player namePoku
    Average rating

    7.18

  6. Squad number6Player nameKent
    Average rating

    7.18

  7. Squad number11Player nameGrant
    Average rating

    7.17

  8. Squad number43Player nameCoulson
    Average rating

    7.16

  9. Squad number2Player nameEdwards
    Average rating

    7.12

  10. Squad number12Player nameKnight
    Average rating

    7.03

  11. Squad number25Player nameBenda
    Average rating

    6.67

  12. Squad number24Player nameMumba
    Average rating

    6.43

  13. Squad number14Player nameMarriott
    Average rating

    6.43

  14. Squad number16Player nameBurrows
    Average rating

    6.35

  15. Squad number10Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    6.33

  16. Squad number9Player nameClarke-Harris
    Average rating

    6.28

Manchester City

  1. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating

    7.70

  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    5.80

  3. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    5.54

  4. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    5.31

  5. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    5.28

  6. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    5.14

  7. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    5.10

  8. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    5.09

  9. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    5.09

  10. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    5.08

  11. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    4.95

  12. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    4.72

  13. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    4.71

Line-ups

Peterborough

Formation 3-4-3

  • 25Benda
  • 12Knight
  • 2Edwards
  • 6Kent
  • 23WardSubstituted forMumbaat 79'minutes
  • 42Fuchs
  • 11Grant
  • 43CoulsonSubstituted forBurrowsat 79'minutes
  • 15PokuSubstituted forMarriottat 71'minutes
  • 17JonesSubstituted forClarke-Harrisat 71'minutes
  • 7SzmodicsBooked at 70minsSubstituted forBrownat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Beevers
  • 9Clarke-Harris
  • 10Brown
  • 13Cornell
  • 14Marriott
  • 16Burrows
  • 22Corbett
  • 24Mumba
  • 27Barker

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 3Rúben DiasSubstituted forStonesat 45'minutes
  • 6AkéBooked at 17minsSubstituted forLaporteat 45'minutes
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 47Foden
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 70mins
  • 8Gündogan
  • 26Mahrez
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Grealish

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 7Sterling
  • 14Laporte
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 33Carson
  • 84Slicker
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
13,405

Match Stats

Home TeamPeterboroughAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home24%
Away76%
Shots
Home5
Away23
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home1
Away14
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Peterborough United 0, Manchester City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Peterborough United 0, Manchester City 2.

  3. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Josh Knight (Peterborough United).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Phil Foden (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Frankie Kent.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by John Stones with a headed pass following a corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Bali Mumba.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Steven Benda.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

  13. Post update

    Jorge Grant (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Phil Foden (Manchester City).

  15. Post update

    Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jeando Fuchs (Peterborough United).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Peterborough United. Harrison Burrows replaces Hayden Coulson.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Peterborough United. Bali Mumba replaces Joe Ward because of an injury.

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