Manchester: Manchester City endured some anxious moments but escaped from fourth-tier Newport County with their FA Cup hopes intact as Phil Foden scored twice in an ultimately comfortable 4-1 fifth-round victory on Saturday.
Newport, 82 rungs below City on the English football ladder, rattled Pep Guardiola’s aristocrats in the first half and Tyreeq Bakinson almost gave them the lead at a rocking Rodney Parade.
But City’s class showed in the second half and once Leroy Sane’s powerful shot from a tight angle put them in front after 51 minutes the chances of a seismic Cup shock faded away.
Foden’s 75th-minute shot crept in at the near post to subdue the home fans but when Padraig Amond maintained his run of scoring in every round with an 88th minute lob it seemed possible Newport’s fairytale might have a late twist.
But a second goal for youngster Foden arrived 71 seconds later before Riyad Mahrez rubbed salt into Newport’s wounds with virtually the last kick of the game as City claimed a 12th win in 13 matches in all competitions.
“It was a really tough game and it was lucky that Phil got the third goal,” Guardiola, whose side are still chasing silverware on four fronts, said.
“Newport used their strengths and we are not used to playing against that every week. That’s why the Cup is so special.”
In the day’s other ties Brighton and Hove Albion shrugged off their poor Premier League form to beat Frank Lampard’s Derby County 2-1 thanks to first-half goals by Anthony Knockaert and Juergen Locadia.
Former Chelsea and England left back Ashley Cole grabbed Derby’s consolation — his first FA Cup goal.
Millwall booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over an AFC Wimbledon side who had outclassed top-flight West Ham United in the previous round.