We are happy to be in the next round, says City coach - GulfToday

We are happy to be in the next round, says City coach


Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero misses a chance to score a goal against Port Vale during their FA Cup match on Saturday. Reuters

Holders Manchester City began their assault on the FA Cup with a 4-1 victory over fourth-tier Port Vale on Saturday. At the Etihad Stadium, City boss Pep Guardiola made seven changes, but Oleksandr Zinchenko got the scoring started against fourth-tier Vale after 20 minutes.

Port Vale striker Tom Pope had memorably mocked John Stones last year, claiming he would love to play against him after being underwhelmed by the City defender’s performance during an England match.

And with Stones returning for City after a month out with a hamstring injury, the 34-year-old Pope backed up his social media taunts by equalising with a glancing header in the 35th minute.

Sergio Aguero restored order when he fired City back in front with his 15th goal of the season three minutes before half-time.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis sealed the win from Stones’ flick in the 58th minute and Phil Foden got the fourth in the 76th minute.

Guardiola was happy with the performance of his players against Port Vale after a fourth game in nine days.

“We are in the next round after an incredible amount of games. We played seriously. First half we struggled a bit but second half was better,” Guardiola said. Winning through to the next round, however, was the main objective for the Catalan on this occasion.

 “We played seriously. In the first half we struggled a bit, but the second half was better. I think in general the team did okay.

“Our game was there all the time. In the Premier League we are far away, we have to focus on taking second position. In the other comps we go game by game.”

Harwood-Bellis got more vital minutes under his belt against Vale and the manager was pleased with the teenager’s contribution.

“Taylor, when he’s played this season, he’s played really well.”


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