- Tom Cayless
Mahrez and Grealish inspire quarter-final progression – Peterborough 0-2 Manchester City Review
Following a crucial win at Goodison Park at the weekend, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City travelled to Championship side Peterborough in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup. City convincingly beat The Posh 0-2.
Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish were enough to see the Premier League winners into the final eight as they search to win the competition for just the second time under Guardiola.
With just two days rest and the Manchester derby this Sunday, City once again flexed their muscles with a strong starting lineup. Despite that, only five players kept their place from Saturday's game. No academy stars, bar goalkeeper Cieran Slicker, were in the squad.
In an act of true class and solidarity, Fernandihno offered the captain's armband to Oleksandr Zinchenko.
After a quiet first 30 minutes, which was highlighted by a few wild Zinchenko shots and Fernandihno slams, Ilkay Gundogan headed close.
Mahrez stood up a deep cross into the Posh-filled six-yard area – however, the German glanced narrowly past the right-post and out into the fans in what was the only significant incident in the first 45
Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake were replaced at half-time for medical reasons, according to Guardiola in his post-match press conference, with the former suffering from leg discomfort and the latter suffering a knock before the end of the first half.
The second half started in a similar vein as the whole of the first – City attempting to breach a full-on 11-man defence.
Despite the struggle managed to break the deadlock on the hour mark through Mahrez. Phil Foden laid the ball to City's No.26 who shot low and hard into the bottom left corner from close range, leaving the Posh keeper helpless. The Algerian is having the best goalscoring season of his career.
Just moments later the visitors had a second. City academy graduate, Phil Foden delivered a delicious deep ball over a high Peterborough line straight onto the feet of Grealish who took down with an immense show of skill and composure to finish for his first FA Cup goal. City had finally found their stride, and Grealish had his fourth goal of the season.
As the final whistle loomed, City pushed on in search of a third and nearly had one when Grealish cut inside from the left, whipped a curling effort towards the top-right corner – but the attempt was met with great save by Steven Benda. Substitute Aymeric Laporte also could have been in on the spoils after he squandered a wonderful chance from close-range.
Ederson - 7
Cancelo - 7
Dias - 6
Ake - 6
Zinchenko - 7
Fernandihno - 6
Gundogan - 7.5
Foden - 8
Grealish - 8
Mahrez - 8
Substitutes: Laporte (6) Stones (6)
It wasn't pretty or impressive from City tonight, but it doesn't need to be in the cup. We are through, unlike another team in Manchester. The Blues now look ahead to that lot from Old Trafford this weekend as they welcome Ralf Ragnick's out-of-form Manchester United to the Etihad in another must-win Premier League clash.
Written by: @TomCayless_
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