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Manchester City v Port Vale Live Commentary, 04/01/2020

FT
4 - 1
MCI
POV
O. Zinchenko (19)
S. Agüero (42)
T. Harwood-Bellis (58)
P. Foden (76)
T. Pope (35)
Etihad Stadium

Commentary

That's all from us as City beat Port Vale 4-1 in the third round of the FA Cup. Thanks for staying with us and goodbye for now!
City then into the hat for the fourth round and they'll find out their opponents on Monday. Before the next round, though, they're back in EFL Cup action with the first leg of their all-Manchester semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday. As for Port Vale, attention turns back to League Two, with a trip to Salford up next on Tuesday.
City’s defence of their FA Cup is off with a bang as they put four past Port Vale to progress to the fourth round. Zinchenko got them off to a flyer in the 20th minute, but a Pope equaliser 15 minutes later temporarily threatened to spoil the party. But as he so often does, Aguero popped up to put the hosts back in front three minutes after the break. Goals from Harwood-Bellis and Foden - perhaps the standout player today - in the 58th and 76th minute respectively ensured City make it through safely.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 4-1 PORT VALE.
90' + 4' The danger, though, is that they're exposed on the break and they're lucky that Foden doesn't make it 5-1 late on here - he shoots wide from Angelino's cross.
90' + 3' Credit to Vale that even in the 93rd minute they're pressing City high up the pitch and winning the ball back in dangerous areas, trying to launch a counter-attack.
90' + 1' BROWN SAVES! Even late on, Brown is still alert and reads Mahrez well, coming off his line to close the substitute down and make the save.
88' Vale keep coming though to their credit and have a throw in City's half. They've fought hard today, despite the scoreline not looking particularly flattering to them.
86' City have a corner late on and it's Doyle to take, but Brown punches clear. He doesn't get it fully away though and Zinchenko miskicks an attempt from the edge of the box.
84' What a performance from Foden today - the most shots, the most shots on target, a goal and an assist. How long until he's starting regularly in the Premier League?
81' Guardiola has won all four of his home FA Cup matches and that run is going to continue - five home wins now for the Spaniard by an aggregate score of 25-3.
M. Cullen
T. Pope
Port Vale
79' Vale make their final change of the game, taking off Pope - who did manage to grab a goal - to introduce Cullen.
79' Doyle - the 17-year-old - is making just his second appearance of the season, after playing the full game against Southampton in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
T. Doyle
İ. Gündoğan
Manchester City
77' And substitution number two sees Gundogan come off for Doyle.
R. Mahrez
Bernardo Silva
Manchester City
77' Two City changes in the offing, the first of which sees Bernardo make way for Mahrez.
Angeliño
Assist
Manchester City
76' Assist José Ángel Esmoris Tasende
P. Foden
Goal
Manchester City
76' Goal Philip Foden
75' Vale with a half-chance here as they win back possession in a dangerous area, but Pope's throughball is cut out before it can cause any damage.
72' Bernardo's in behind here and crosses to Angelino at the back post. He gets it under control to tee up Silva for the shot, but the Spaniard is on the turn and can't wrap his foot around the ball enough to get it on target.
70' WHAT A CHANCE! Conlon nearly reduces the deficit to one again as he pounces on a mistake from Stones of all players! Stones miscues a clearance, it takes a deflection off Pope - go figure - and Conlon can't get the header on target.
69' CHANCE! Bernardo spots Cancelo at the edge of the box and picks him out, the right-back then helping the ball onto Foden, but he shoots wide.
67' City are firmly in control now. They're just passing their way around their opponents and you can see the toll it's taking on Vale, having to constantly shuffle from one side to the other to keep pace with City's passing.
65' Vale in possession and they win a free-kick in the centre circle. They're eager to get going again and take the set piece quickly, working the ball back to Brown in goal.
63' Port Vale last beat a Premier League side in the FA Cup in February 1996 - a fourth round replay victory against Everton - but it seems what little chance they had of pulling off a shock result at Etihad Stadium has escaped them.
T. Conlon
S. Burgess
Port Vale
61' And a second change for the visitors as Burgess comes off for Conlon.
W. Atkinson
J. Taylor
Port Vale
61' Vale make their first change of the game, taking off Taylor for Atkinson.
J. Stones
Assist
Manchester City
58' Assist John Stones
T. Harwood-Bellis
Goal
Manchester City
58' Goal Taylor Harwood-Bellis
57' Just to highlight the dominance here - City have had 15 shots, seven of which have found the target, while Vale have had just two attempts, scoring one. But, that's they key - they've scored from 50% of their chances!
55' It goes to show that there will be little half-chances in this for Vale. A loose City pass here or a missed interception there - the holders don't look as focussed as they perhaps should - but it's up to the visitors to make the most of these small opportunities.
53' Here come Vale though and Worrall nearly manages to turn past Harwood-Bellis and get into the box for a shot, but he loses the ball.
51' GREAT SAVE! Brown is on the retreat, but still manages to get his fingertips to a Bernardo header to keep it out of his net! Aguero creates the chance with his hold-up play to dink a ball into Bernardo, but the midfielder couldn't convert.
48' Did you know that City have a better win percentage against Port Vale than against any other side they've faced at least 20 times in their history? It stands at 78% - 18 wins from 23 games.
46' Aguero almost makes it 3-1 immediately but he shoots over the bar from an Angelino cutback.
46' KICK-OFF! City restart the game looking to add to their one-goal lead.
Vale aren't totally out of this game though, especially with City just one ahead. If they come out of the break aggressively, perhaps there's another goal in this for them. They've faced four shots on target - excluding one Silva effort that hit the bar - but City naturally aren't playing in their top gear, something the visitors can take advantage of.
Manchester City are 2-1 up at the break courtesy of their key man Aguero three minutes before half-time. Zinchenko put the holders ahead in the 20th minute and the way the momentum was going in the game suggested that we could have seen a big score, but Vale fought valiantly and Pope equalised in the 35th minute with a fantastic stooping header. But Aguero - who had been quiet until this point - popped up seven minutes to get on the end of a well-worked team move.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 2-1 PORT VALE.
44' That's Foden's first assist in the FA Cup, but his fifth of the season to go with the two goals he's scored in 20 appearances now.
P. Foden
Assist
Manchester City
42' Assist Philip Foden
S. Agüero
Goal
Manchester City
42' Goal Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo
41' Vale have a free-kick inside City's half and it's a good chance to get a delivery into the box. The ball comes in towards Adoo at the back post, but City get it clear.
39' Conceding a goal seems to have woken City up and they're playing with extra purpose now, but still they resort to shooting from distance - Silva this time, failing to test Brown.
37' Port Vale haven’t beaten a Premier League side in their last eight attempts in the FA Cup, but they're holding their own against City and find themselves on equal footing as the first half winds down.
D. Amoo
Assist
Port Vale
35' Assist David Amoo
T. Pope
Goal
Port Vale
35' Goal Tom Pope
34' Just as Vale look to hold onto the ball for a brief spell, a loose pass sends Motano chasing and he ends up giving away a foul as the move breaks down.
32' Patient football from City as they work that left-hand triangle between Silva, Zinchenko and Angelino, but Vale are retaining their shape well and force their hosts to switch play to the other side of the pitch.
30' City keep the pressure on and Aguero nearly plays the perfect pass for Foden to run onto, but he ends up sending him to the sideline. Foden does well to rescue the situation though and it results in a blocked Zinchenko shot to win a corner.
28' This is Silva's 10th FA Cup campaign since joining City and he's scored five goals in the competition - his most recent came in the 2019 Final, that 6-0 win over Watford.
26' OFF THE BAR! City go short from the corner and Gundogan does superbly to get into the box for a cross, but Silva hits the bar from roughly three yards out! Aguero can't get on the follow-up either and Vale's lack of focus goes unpunished this time.
24' Cancelo now feeding Foden on the overlap out on the right, but his cross fizzes unattacked across goal all the way to Angelino on the left to win a corner on that side.
22' It took 20 minutes for City to get their first, but will it be their only? The last time they played lower league opposition at home in a domestic cup was that unforgettable 9-0 win over Burton in the EFL Cup semi-final last season.
İ. Gündoğan
Assist
Manchester City
19' Assist İlkay Gündoğan
O. Zinchenko
Goal
Manchester City
19' Goal Oleksandr Zinchenko
17' CHANCE! Silva combines with Bernardo on the left to create space for a cross and he dinks the ball into Foden - who's totally unmarked - but his header isn't strong enough and Brown palms it into the ground.
15' Zinchenko tries to feed Silva with a threaded throughball, but it's cut out. Not enough to stop the waves of City attacks though, and the home side come again.
13' You can see what's happening here. It's City dominating possession - as you'd expect - and trying to suffocate their opponents. There's no rush, they know they'll get ample opportunity to break them down. It's a case now of dragging the Vale defenders out of position and tiring them out.
11' This is actually the first time City and Vale have met since October 1999! They were both in the second tier back then, with City winning 2-1 twice in that month.
9' GREAT BLOCK! Silva does what he does best and uses his tricky feet and agility to get into the box and cut the ball back for Foden at the edge of the six-yard area, but Smith blocks the shot!
7' As it goes, Pope will be the weapon for the visitors today. He's six foot three and could enjoy himself up against the teenage Harwood-Bellis, who doesn't have much experience against physical opponents from the lower leagues.
5' It's refreshing to see Vale come to Etihad Stadium and try and attack City when they're in possession, but how long can it last? City need just one opportunity to make something happen.
3' Manchester City show what they're capable of with a fast break into the Vale box, but Aguero is offside for Angelino's cross and the visitors have a free-kick.
1' Early chance for Port Vale as Pope cuts the ball back for Burgess arriving at the edge of the box, but it takes a deflection for a Vale corner.
1' KICK-OFF! We're underway in this FA Cup third round tie.
Don’t go anywhere because the teams are out and kick-off is up next!
Pope once tweeted that he’d score 40 goals a season if he was playing against Stones every week - this after the England centre-back gifted the Netherlands a goal in the Nations League semi-final. Well, he’s got his wish today, but it’s just the six goals he’s scored so far in 24 games this season. Can he add another?
Pep Guardiola makes seven changes from the 2-1 win over Everton, with Bravo, Cancelo, Gundogan and Foden the only survivors. It’s still a strong team for City, but keep an eye on Harwood-Bellis, the 17-year-old making his third senior appearance this season. Just one change from the Vale side that drew with Macclesfield as Bennett drops out for Pope.
SUBS: Tom Conlon, Will Atkinson, Mark Cullen, Rhys Browne, Richie Bennett, Sean Brisley, Jonny Maddison.
PORT VALE XI (4-4-2): Scott Brown; James Gibbons, Nathan Smith, Leon Legge, Scott Burgess; David Worrall, Luke Joyce, Jake Taylor, Cristian Montano; Tom Pope, David Amoo.
SUBS: Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Scott Carson Eric Garcia, Tommy Doyle.
MANCHESTER CITY XI (4-3-3): Claudio Bravo; Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Angelino; David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Phil Foden.
Port Vale are unbeaten in five and - here’s a stat for you - twice previously they’ve played the FA Cup holders and eliminated them on both occasions. They’re the only team to have done this twice - first to Blackpool in 1953-54 and then again to Everton in 1995-96.
City won their second FA Cup of the previous decade last season - as part of their historic domestic quadruple - and haven’t lost in the tournament since January 2018, when they were beaten 1-0 by Wigan in the fifth round. But can the Valiants live up to their nickname and slay the Premier League giant today?
Hello and welcome to this FA Cup third round tie between Manchester City and Port Vale.