Dubai: Manchester City continued their resurgent form with a clinical performance against Birmingham in the FA Cup third round.
The match was over as a contest inside 30 minutes as Bernardo Silva struck twice — the first being a brilliant instinctive finish — and Phil Foden added a third to book the home side’s place in the hat for the fourth round.
Joining them on Sunday were last season’s finalists Chelsea, who saw off fourth-tier Morecambe 4-0, thanks to goals from birthday boy Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz.
SHOCK OF THE DAY
The biggest shock of the day was at League Two Crawley Town as they delivered a massive upset by upending Marcelo Bielsa’s Premier League side Leeds United.
Three goals after the break meant they joined Chorley as unlikely sides in the fourth round after the latter defeated Wayne Rooney’s Championship side Derby County on Saturday. In a list of unknown footballers, Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe bagged the goals, and it could and should have been more against a shameful Leeds that just did not turn up.
Despite Bielsa making seven changes to his side, they still had more than six first-team regulars who will have questions asked after an insipid performance.
Back at the Etihad, it was a simple job of Pep Guardiola’s men getting the job done as quick as possible on a freezing day in Manchester. With a spring back in their step, they did not disappoint.
City strolled to a 3-0 lead within 26 minutes and then just eased off to avoid injury and expending energy in what will be a hectic period for the Premier League title hopefuls. Portuguese midfielder Silva scored his first goal at the Etihad in over a year when he exquisitely fired into the top corner in the eighth minute after Birmingham defender George Friend failed to clear.
Silva doubled City’s lead seven minutes later, finishing off a brilliant team move with a simple tap-in and Foden made it 3-0 before the break with a low strike from outside the box.
Riyad Mahrez thought he had added City’s fourth around the hour-mark when he slotted in at the back post, but the goal was disallowed after the Algerian was ruled to have been offside.
In London, Mount scored on his 22nd birthday as Frank Lampard’s Chelsea eased to a 4-0 victory over Morecambe.
Mount gave Chelsea an early lead at Stamford Bridge with a fierce shot from 25 yards, leaving Morecambe goalkeeper Mark Halstead with no chance.
Werner tapped in for a simple second before Hudson-Odoi and Havertz also got in on the act during the second half.
It was a different story for Leeds as they suffered a humiliating FA Cup third round exit to League Two Crawley Town, who outclassed and outplayed them in every department to win 3-0.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have made an impressive start to life back in the top-flight after a 16-year absence with the Argentine’s attacking brand of football winning plenty of admirers. But Bielsa is still yet to win a FA Cup tie in his three seasons in charge and this humbling, added to their slide down the Premier League standings, questions will be asked from top to bottom.
Tottenham ensured they did not fall foul to the biggest FA Cup shock in history as Carlos Vinicius scored a first-half hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of eighth-tier Marine on Sunday.
Marine, of the Northern Premier League Division One North West, were trying to bridge the biggest gap - 161 places - between opponents in FA Cup history.
Marine's squad is comprised of teachers, NHS staff, bin men and factory workers, with their tiny stadium in the Merseyside town of Crosby providing a surreal setting for the visit of Jose Mourinho's stars.
Appropriately for a match against a team named after a local pub, virus restrictions meant Tottenham had to change in a stadium function room with a bar.
Marine's ground is lined on one side by houses, so a few lucky locals were able to watch for free as Neil Kengni almost gave Marine the lead when his 30-yard drive cannoned off the bar.
Mourinho had made nine changes, with Harry Kane absent and Son Heung-min on the bench.
But Tottenham took control in the 24th minute when Vinicius finished off Dele Alli's pass.
Vinicius, on loan from Benfica, was on target again after 30 minutes.
Lucas Moura struck with a fine free-kick in the 32nd minute and Vinicius completed his treble five minutes later.
Alfie Devine enjoyed a debut to remember when the substitute fired home in the 60th minute, making him Tottenham's youngest ever scorer at 16 years and 163 days.