Manchester City look back to their very best as they put five past Huddersfield Town to start their Emirates FA Cup campaign.
Phil Foden grabbed a brace in yet another excellent performance that saw Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku also get on the scoresheet, as the Sky Blues advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Kevin De Bruyne also made his Manchester City return from injury, as Manchester City breezed into the next round of the competition with a first win of 2024.
It was a slow start for Manchester City who faced a tough low block in the opening minutes against Huddersfield Town.
To make matters worse, Manuel Akanji was forced off with an injury inside the first 20 minutes after a card-inducing tackle. Matheus Nunes was brought on to replace him.
Foden broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute, with an excellent finish from a tight angle. The goal was setup by Alvarez and came after a period of sustained pressure by Manchester City.
The Sky Blues continued their pressure after the opening goal and Alvarez was able to double the lead just minutes later. It was a lovely team goal that saw Nunes, Foden and Lewis link up to spring Alvarez free for a simple tap-in.
The first-half ended with Manchester City having 83% possession and preventing Huddersfield from even attempting a shot.
Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku both came on early in the second-half as they replaced Jack Grealish and Julian Alvarez.
Just seconds after coming on Oscar Bobb extended the lead to three when his attempted cross to De Bruyne ended up deflecting off a defender for an own goal.
Foden grabbed his brace in the 65th minute with an excellent finish from just outside the box, before Doku got himself on the scoresheet in the 74th minute with a tidy finish off a half volley to extend the lead to five, with the Belgian assisted by De Bruyne.
Following the fifth goal, Manchester-born Jacob Wright made his debut coming on for Kovacic. Micah Hamilton also replaced Phil Foden, with Manchester City having secured their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Stefan Ortega – 7.5
Made a pair of excellent saves the only time he was called upon and swept up any other potential chance from Huddersfield. Standard Ortega performance.
Manuel Akanji – 7
Was on the pitch for less than 20 minutes, but had excellent distribution in his limited playtime. His diagonal ball to Grealish created one of City’s first chances of the half.
Ruben Dias – 8
Excellent in the build-up and was virtually mistake free throughout. Continues to build confidence after a shaky few weeks in November and December.
Josko Gvardiol – 6.5
Wasn’t anywhere near as involved in the game as Dias was, and once again had a terrible turnover that fortunately did not end up in a goal for Huddersfield.
Sergio Gomez – 7.5
The left side of City’s attack was quiet all night, but Gomez made the most of his limited touches, even after getting bludgeoned in the face early on.
Rico Lewis – 8
Steady as always despite having to switch roles just 20 minutes into the match.
Mateo Kovacic – 8.5
Did an excellent job filling in for Rodri, assisted Foden for the second and set-up Bobb’s chip. Continues to look more and more comfortable.
Oscar Bobb – 8.5
Another great performance despite limited minutes this season, hopefully City can draw another lower league opponent to allow Bobb to get more playtime.
Phil Foden – 9.5 (MOTM)
Simply Superb. City were unable to break through in the first 20 minutes or so, but the moment Foden got more involved in the game, the goals followed. Both of his goals were excellent finishes, and he set-up Alvarez’s as well.
Jack Grealish – 7
Quiet afternoon from Grealish, he was used more to just create space on the left as City focused most of their attack on the right side.
Julian Alvarez – 8.5
Wasn’t able to do much in the opening 20 minutes or so due to Huddersfield low block, but once the game opened up a little bit he was able to shine.
Matheus Nunes – 8
Came on abruptly due to Akanji’s injury and played well by setting up two goals despite the low block not suiting his strengths.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7.5
Made an immediate impact just seconds after coming on, and assisted Doku’s goal. De Bruyne usually takes a few games to get back up to speed, and he’s recovering from a serious injury.
Jeremy Doku – 7.5
First game in weeks after an injury but he scored an excellent goal as he continues to push Grealish for minutes.
Jacob Wright – N/A
Micah Hamilton – N/A
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