Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says not many players in world football could have scored Phil Foden’s goal in the 4-1 win over Southampton.
The Saints were more than an hour into the fray in a close encounter at St Mary’s after Aymeric Laporte’s own goal just before half-time overturned Raheem Sterling’s early effort.
This FA Cup quarter-final revolved around Mohammed Salisu’s reckless attack on Gabriel Jesus, which saw Kevin de Bruyne restore City’s lead in the 62nd minute from a penalty spot, ending Southampton’s challenge.
Foden came off the bench and scored a stunning third place with Riyad Mahrez closing the afternoon with 12 minutes to go.
Guardiola claimed Foden and Mahrez made the difference by tearing down a brave Southampton squad.
Speaking about the goal of the 21-year-old England international, the City boss said: “A few, there aren’t many, but he’s one of those who [the ability to score from there]†
“He’s got an incredible shot, he’s quick, quick, he’s a fantastic player – we know. Close to the penalty area, he has a sense of goal, he was really brilliant.
“It was a tight match, it was [like] in the Premier League games against Southampton for the quality they have. They are incredibly organized and in front of the ball they are so aggressive and of course they have a good build up.
“But after 2-1 we were much better in the second half and in the end Phil and Riyad’s quality made the difference.”
City will face Liverpool for a place in the final, while Chelsea will face Crystal Palace in the other semi-final.
Man City gets the job done
Manchester City came out clear winners, but until Salisu’s needless intervention that resulted in De Bruyne’s penalty, they threatened to pay a price for carelessness in possession.
However, once De Bruyne scored, City showed the quality and ruthlessness with which they are at the top of the Premier League and still in the running for the FA Cup and Champions League.
Manager Pep Guardiola can also introduce such power from the bench, exemplified by the contributions of Foden and Mahrez.
Foden’s goal in the 75th minute was a beautiful thing, a soaring drive from 20 yards that made a sweet thumping sound that reverberated around St Mary’s as soon as he struck his left foot.
Mahrez scored one goal and could have scored more, but again the great orchestrator was man-of-the-match De Bruyne, who pulled the strings and stepped forward to beat Fraser Forster with a penalty that put City back in the lead. gave.
The fact that City can win so convincingly without reaching the heights they are capable of will sound an ominous warning to anyone who wants to deprive them of one of those three big trophies they’ll be battling between now and the end of the season.
Saints undone by Salisu Challenge
Southampton gave as good as they got until Salisu’s unnecessary tackle on Jesus, barely in a dangerous position and with the game even.
City gratefully accepted the gift and the lively atmosphere in a packed St Mary’s was immediately subdued as if Southampton players and fans alike sensed that this was the defining moment.
And it showed when City took advantage of deflated Saints, who had played with such energy and earned so much credit in the opening 62 minutes, even hitting the post through Adam Armstrong at 0-0.
The high-intensity style that has made them such a tough opponent for so many teams this season has seen City make mistakes in possession, one of which required a fine save from keeper Zack Steffen just before De Bruyne back on the visitors. took the lead.
Saints may have even scored a second equalizer when substitute Che Adams blocked an attempt from Steffen, but this was an FA Cup quarter-final whose fate was decided by Salisu’s challenge.
This is not to say Southampton would have won, but that incident changed the emphasis of the draw and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team had returned the initiative to Manchester City, never the best of ideas.
Saints have contributed a lot to the FA Cup this season, but all that remains is that they must continue to guarantee honor and consolidation in the Premier League in a season that held many promises.
- 17S Armstrongis replaced byDjenepoBee 83′minutes
- 6Romeuis replaced bysmall boneBee 88′minutes
- 24Elyounoussiis replaced bydialloBee 88′minutes
- 9An Armstrongis replaced byAdamsBee 63′minutes
- 7Longis replaced byNumberBee 63′minutes
- 20small bone
- 13steffenBooked at 71 minutes
- 14The dooris replaced byWhatBee 82′minutes
- 27Cancelis replaced byZinchenkoBee 82′minutes
- 17De Bruyne
- 16Rodricis replaced byFernandinhoBee 82′minutes
- 9Gabriel Jesusis replaced byMahrezBee 64′minutes
- 10Grealishis replaced byfodenBee 63′minutes
- 20Bernard Silva
- Mike Dean
Match ends, Southampton 1, Manchester City 4.
Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Manchester City 4.
Missed attempt. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Ilkay Gündogan with a cross.
Foul by Phil Foden (Manchester City).
Jack Stephens (Southampton) wins a free kick in the backcourt.
Deputy, Southampton. Ibrahima Diallo replaces Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Switch, Southampton. William Smallbone replaces Oriol Romeu.
Missed attempt. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Switch, Southampton. Moussa Djenepo replaces Stuart Armstrong.
Switch, Manchester City. Nathan Ake replaces Aymeric Laporte.
Switch, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces Rodri.
Switch, Manchester City. Oleksandr Zinchenko replaces Joao Cancelo.
Attempt blocked. Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. On a pass from Oriol Romeu with a header.
Hook, Southampton. Produced by John Stones.
Hook, Southampton. Produced by John Stones.
Target! Southampton 1, Manchester City 4. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ilkay Gundogan.
Target! Southampton 1, Manchester City 3. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Caused by Valentino Livramento.
Missed attempt. Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.