Mahrez double as Man City crush Fulham to reach FA Cup fifth round

February 5, 2022 Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez scores their third goal from the penalty spot Action Images via Reuters

Manchester City overcame an early wobble as Riyad Mahrez struck twice to help them ease past second-tier Fulham 4-1 in the FA Cup fourth round at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

A frenetic opening saw the Championship side grab a surprise lead through Fabio Carvalho in the fourth minute before Ilkay Gundogan levelled for the Premier League leaders, firing home from close range after being played in by Mahrez.

The 19-year-old Carvalho, who came close to signing for City's title rivals Liverpool on transfer deadline day, finished off a well-worked move to give the visitors hope but Marco Silva's side failed to make the advantage count.

Fulham's early spark was completely extinguished 13 minutes in when centre back John Stones rose highest to turn in a Kevin De Bruyne corner for his second goal of the season.

A full-strength City ran Fulham ragged after the break as they created chances at will and secured the win through a quickfire double from Mahrez, the first coming from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after Jack Grealish was brought down following a fine solo run.

De Bruyne turned provider again three minutes later when he latched onto a stray pass from Fulham's Harrison Reed to gallop forward and tee up Mahrez whose right-foot shot took a slight deflection off Tim Ream.

"It was a typical FA Cup tie. They started better, scored first. I'm glad we scored quick and then took the lead. Overall it was a good game and we controlled it," said City midfielder Fernandinho.

"The FA Cup is really important for everyone at Man City, especially the players. I hope we can reach the final."

Silva was proud of his team, who sit top of the Championship.

"I think everyone in this stadium felt that Fulham Football Club was here and we showed what we are capable of," the Portuguese, who formerly managed Watford and Everton in the Premier League, told reporters.

City next host 14-placed Brentford in the league on Wednesday.


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