Pep Guardiola played a mixture of both youth and quality, featuring the likes of
Playing in front of their home fans, City dominated possession as you’d expect and made the breakthrough in the 18th minute. A short corner routine found Vincent Kompany at the back post, the ball came off his thigh and rolled back to Brahim Diaz who shot at goal. The 19-year-old’s effort deflected of Aleksandar Mitrovic, wrong footed Sergio Rico in the Fulham goal and gave City the lead.
Key Talking Point
Kevin De Bruyne is back – maybe. It might not have been the biggest occasion, but De Bruyne reminded all who were watching just what City have been missing during his absence. Ironically, he didn’t play much of a part in either of the two goals, but everything else good in blue came through the Belgian.
He could have had an assist when Phil Foden headed a cross wide late on in the first half, and there were other times where he wonderfully brought teammates into the game. All in all, KDB l
Starting XI: Muric (6); Zinchenko (7), Kompany (6), Stones (6), Danilo (7); Foden (7), Delph (7), De Bruyne (8); Diaz (8), Jesus (6), Sane (7).
STAR MAN – Brahim Diaz seemed to start a little slowly, losing a few early battles against fellow youngster Ryan Sessegnon, but after scoring his goal, Diaz grew in confidence.
Suddenly spaces were opening up, and passes were on. Diaz got on the ball plenty and used it well. But, of course, the main reason he takes credit on the night is down to his predatory instinct. When City looked like they might just struggle to kill off Fulham, the 19-year-old popped up with his second of the night to kill the tie.
WORST PLAYER – It’s genuinely hard to criticise anyone in the Citizen’s line up this evening, but one man might have felt a little glum at full time.
When Sergio Aguero is ahead of you in the pecking order, every minute counts. Unfortunately it just wasn’t Gabriel Jesus’ night. He looked sharp at times, dribbling well in tight spaces, but he just couldn’t add that killer finish to his game.
He missed a couple of decent chances and would have be disappointed to not get on the score sheet.
Key Talking Point
Fulham just couldn’t handle City’s energy. Losing the ball in their own half was a trademark feature for them as they struggled to play past City’s pressing game. The Cottagers didn’t even get into City’s half with the ball at their feet until about ten minutes into the game.
Jokanovic sensibly set his team up deep as you’d expect, but they failed to ever really threaten on the counter – consequently, Andre Schurrle, Luciano Vietto and Mitrovic were all rendered useless.
It’s a testament to City’s pressing game and high energy levels as much as anything, but Jokanovic would have hoped for more of a fight from his team.
STAR MAN- Sergio Rico was probably Fulham’s best player in the sense that you couldn’t really blame him for any of the goals and there wasn’t much he could do to change how his team performed in front of him.
The keeper managed a handful of decent saves throughout the game. In particular, a stop during the first half was excellent, following a fine dribble and effort from Gabriel Jesus. It was also his save that denied Jesus in the build up to City’s second.
As City march on in the Carabao Cup, they will travel to either Leicester or Southampton in the quarterfinals for the next round. They also host Southampton in the Premier League this weekend.