Brahim Diaz scored twice as Carabao Cup holders Manchester City eased into the quarter-finals after beating Fulham 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night.
Diaz gave Pep Guardiola’s side a first-half lead after his shot deflected in off Aleksandar Mitrovic (18).
The 19-year-old Spaniard doubled his tally when Gabriel Jesus’ shot ricocheted off the post into his path, leaving him with a simple finish (65).
Man City: Muric (6), Danilo (7), Kompany (6), Stones (7), Zinchenko (7), Delph (7), Diaz (8), De Bruyne (7), Foden (8), Sane (8), Jesus (7).
Subs: Mahrez (n/a), Gomes (n/a).
Fulham: Rico (7), Fosu-Mensah (5), Odoi (6), Ream (6), R. Sessegnon (6), Anguissa (6), Cairney (6), Seri (6), Vietto (5), Schurrle (5), Mitrovic (5).
Subs: Christie (n/a), Ayite (5), Le Marchand (6).
Man of the match: Brahim Diaz.
City will face either Leicester or Southampton in the quarter-finals, with that tie to be played on November 27 after it was re-arranged following the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Guardiola’s men have conceded just once in their last nine matches in all competitions – but the one sour point of the night came in the final few minutes as Kevin De Bruyne hobbled off following a challenge from Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
Huddsf’ld vs Fulham
November 5, 2018, 7:00pm
Fulham’s poor form continues, with Slavisa Jokanovic’s side having now lost five straight games, and the gulf in class was visible from the first whistle despite City’s 10 changes.
The lively Phil Foden forced Sergio Rico into a smart save after quarter of an hour, but the Fulham ‘keeper was powerless to prevent City’s opener as Diaz was fastest onto the loose ball from Vincent Kompany’s knockdown and his shot diverted off the back of Mitrovic into the net.
Only John Stones kept his place from the side that beat Tottenham 1-0 on Monday. Arijanet Muric was in goal and Phil Foden also started.
Danilo, Vincent Kompany and Oleksandr Zinchenko came into the defence for Kyle Walker, Ayermic Laporte and Benjamin Mendy while Fabian Delph and Brahim Diaz were selected in midfield as David Silva and Bernardo dropped out.Kevin de Bruyne started while Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus completed almost wholesale changes.
Tom Cairney was back in the Fulham side from the start for the first time late August. He was one of three changes to the team that was beaten 3-0 at home by Bournemouth.Kevin McDonald was suspended as Andre-Frank Anguissa returned in midfield while Maxime Le Marchand dropped to the bench. Aboubakar Kamara was replaced by Luciano Vietto in attack.
Danilo came close to doubling City’s lead when his shot hit the post from an acute angle, and Leroy Sane should’ve done better with his sliced effort as Fulham continued to invite pressure onto themselves through poor ball retention.
City missed a glorious chance to lead 2-0 at the break as Foden glanced De Bruyne’s cross wide of Rico’s far post in first-half stoppage time, before Jesus headed wide five minutes after the re-start as City’s chances continued to flow.
The hosts’ second duly arrived as Sane found Jesus in space inside the box. The Brazilian managed to hold off Tim Ream only for Rico to tip his shot onto the post, but Diaz was on hand to rifle his second high into the net.
Fulham only troubled after De Bruyne nobbled off after Fosu-Mensah innocuously landed on the Belgian’s troublesome knee, with Mitroivc’s shot from Sessegnon’s cut-back deflecting wide.
Manchester City host Southampton on Sunday back in the Premier League (kick-off: 3pm), while Fulham travel to face Huddersfield, live on Monday Night Football.
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