Bristol: Phil Foden’s brace eased Manchester City to a 3-0 victory over second-tier Bristol City as they moved into the FA Cup sixth round but Leicester City’s hopes of repeating their 2021 triumph were dashed on Tuesday.
Foden struck in the seventh minute but it was not an entirely comfortable night for Pep Guardiola’s side until the England forward’s deflected effort made it 2-0 late on.
Kevin De Bruyne then gave the scoreline an emphatic look with a sublime finish from 25 metres although it was harsh on Bristol City who had been on a 12-match unbeaten run and pushed the Premier League champions hard.
Leicester were booed off after a 2-1 home defeat by second-tier Blackburn Rovers for whom Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics were on target before a Kelechi Iheanacho reply.
Fulham reached the sixth round for the first time in 13 years with superb goals by Joao Palhinha and Manor Solomon earning them a 2-0 win over fellow top-flight side Leeds United.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s hopes of a first ever major trophy remained intact as Evan Ferguson’s first-half goal sealed a 1-0 win over second-tier Stoke City.
Guardiola named a strong side, as he invariably does in domestic cup competitions, and City began the game in dynamic style with Kalvin Phillips hitting the crossbar.
City did not have to wait long to take the lead though with Foden firing high into the roof of the net from Riyad Mahrez’s pass across the face of goal.
The hosts did not buckle though and had a good shout for a penalty declined when Mark Sykes went down under a challenge from Rico Lewis in the area while Alex Scott forced a decent save from City keeper Stefan Ortega.
Bristol City, who were spared having to deal with rested Erling Haaland, were still very much in the game until De Bruyne split their defence with a ball to Nathan Ake whose pass eventually fell to Foden whose shot deflected into the net off of Zak Vyner.
“It was really tough. Bristol showed us how good they can be. I was impressed by some players, I didn’t know them. The second half was much better,” Guardiola said.
Promotion-chasing Blackburn thoroughly deserved their win at Leicester whose form remains wildly unpredictable.
“It’s just consistency and mentality and ambition to succeed. That’s been too up and down for us,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said.
“I’m really disappointed for the supporters. It’s been a real challenge for them this season. The FA Cup was an opportunity to get to a quarter-final, against a Championship team at home, but they were a lot better than us, and we have to be worried about that.”
Fulham’s magnificent season continues under Marco Silva with the Cottagers still chasing a European qualification spot on two fronts. They were not at their best against Leeds who had a host of chances and a goal disallowed but still showed their quality.
Palhinha struck a superb curled effort after winning the ball after 21 minutes and Israeli Solomon’s 56th-minute goal was almost as impressive.
“It is great for us to go to the quarter-final,” Silva, whose side are sixth in the Premier League, said.
“We know our story with the FA Cup is not great and we are here to try and change it.” The remaining four fifth-round ties are on Wednesday with League Cup winners Manchester United at home to West Ham United.