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Ederson’s save changed course of the gameAdmittedly, the shot-stopper had very little to do over the course of the game, however, a majestic save by the Brazilian halfway through the first-half prevented Tyreeq Bakinson from sending Newport County into a shock lead. While popular opinion would state Manchester City would have found a way to come from behind owing to their superior quality, these things aren’t set in stone, and the FA Cup might just have had its biggest shock in ages if the home side went ahead. However, as it turned out, the Citizens secured a 4-1 victory and they had their goalie to thank for his fine save in the opening half.
Phil Foden came up trumps with brace
After a sub-par performance in the first 45 minutes of the Fifth Round encounter at Rodney Parade, the 18-year-old rose to the occasion in the second-half as his pair of goals helped secure the victory. The timing of both strikes added to its importance as well: the first, as the game entered the final quarter, saw Pep Guardiola’s crew extend their lead to 2-0, while the latter prevented the Exiles from laying siege to the City backline as it came seconds after they’d halved the deficit. It was outstanding from the teenager to take responsibility for his side when his more experienced teammates were slightly off the pace.
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Leroy Sane strike settled CityThe German wideman may have frustrated and enthralled in equal measure for large periods of the game, but his goal minutes after the restart was just what the doctor ordered for the away side. The winger had hit the frame of the goal close to the end of the opening half and it was admirable to see him keep his chin up after missing such a clear scoring opportunity. By firing the visitors in front early into the second half, the quick attacker ended a month-long run without finding the back of the net.
Diverse Gabriel Jesus was provider-in-chief for visitors
Like his other teammates, the frontman recovered from a disappointing start to the game by going through the gears as the game wore on. Usually known for his influence in the six-yard box, the forward seemed to be more interested in playing others in for the entirety of the game and it was no surprise he had a hand in a pair of their four goals. Many assert the Brazil international doesn’t offer much besides goal scoring, but Saturday showed his game is a bit more multi-faceted than critics claim.
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Riyad Mahrez rewarded Guardiola’s faith
Following Guardiola's apology to the peripheral wideman for his recent lack of appearances for the Citizens before the cup game, the Algerian justified his inclusion in the side by putting the icing on the cake with the away side’s fourth. The powerful strike which beat Newport goalie Joe Day at his near post saw the Algeria international break into double figures for the season. It was also his first goal since he netted in a League Cup encounter against Burton Albion over a month ago and the relief was written all over his face.