Manchester City continued their hunt for a quadruple as they broke Newport County’s resistance yesterday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals and end the League Two side’s memorable run in this season’s competition.
Newport, fresh from beating Leicester City and Middlesbrough, produced another strong display in the competition to hold Pep Guardiola’s men at the interval.
But two Phil Foden goals and strikes from Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez ended Newport’s hopes and denied them the chance to become the first side from the fourth tier to reach the last eight since 1990.
The Welsh side even missed the best chance of the first half, when Ederson produced a diving save to deny Tyreeq Bakinson’s close-range header.
The second half belonged to the visitors as Sane broke the deadlock from close range six minutes after half time.
Foden doubled the advantage with an excellent dribble and finish, before Padraig Amond scored a late goal that gave the hosts brief hope of a fightback – and maintained his record of scoring in every round of the competition.
However, Foden ensured there was no grandstand finish with his second goal moments later and Mahrez scored a fourth in injury time.
Newport County’s fans gave their side a standing ovation at full time as their weary players did a lap of honour.
There was no overstating the gulf between these two clubs – Newport, with a squad value totalling £70,000, against Manchester City, the world’s most richly-assembled squad at around £450m.
When Sergio Aguero was scoring the most famous goal in the history of the Premier League to fire Manchester City to their first Premier League title in 2012, Newport were still floundering in non-league.
They have been the story of this season’s competition, having stunned Premier League Leicester City and Championship Middlesbrough in rounds three and four.
And, against all the odds, there seemed a chance that run might continue when Mickey Demetriou’s long throw was flicked on in the 15th minute, only for Ederson to superbly claw away Bakinson’s point-blank header from six yards.
They did, however, give their fans a moment to savour when a long ball in the 88th minute caught City cold and allowed Amond to clip home and raise the roof in Newport.
City’s consistency this term means they are still fighting for trophies on four fronts, with the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea to come next week for the Premier League leaders, who are still in the Champions League and who have been in fine form throughout 2019.