FA Cup 2022/23 | Man City, United stroll into FA Cup quarters, Leicester crash out

Phil Foden struck twice as Manchester City eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win against Bristol City, while 2021 winners Leicester suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against second tier Blackburn on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were never in danger of a giant-killing in the fifth round tie at Ashton Gate thanks to Foden’s brace and a late strike from Kevin De Bruyne.

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Guardiola saluted the impact of England forward Foden, who is starting to recapture his peak form after an inconsistent season.

“His career was always up, up, up. This season he struggled a bit and was a bit down. But now he’s back for the best bit of the season,” Guardiola said.

“His impact has been amazing. Football pays off when you work like he does.”

City will hope for another boost on Wednesday when Premier League leaders Arsenal, two points ahead of the champions, face Everton in their game in hand.

“We’re still alive in three competitions. We’ll see what happens in the future,” Guardiola said.

City took a seventh minute lead when Riyad Mahrez crossed to the far post, where Foden fired into the roof of the net.

Foden doubled City’s lead after 74 minutes as Julian Alvarez flicked towards Foden, who produced another clinical finish past Max O’Leary.

De Bruyne got the visitors’ third from long-range in the 81st minute to ensure the smoothest of nights for the six-time FA Cup winners.

Leicester were booed off after Blackburn ended the Foxes’ bid to reach a second FA Cup final in three seasons.

Brendan Rodgers led Leicester to the club’s first ever FA Cup triumph in 2021, but Rovers punished woeful defending from the Premier League side to shatter their hopes of emulating that run.

With Leicester 14th in the top-flight, just three points above the relegation zone, Rodgers made six changes to the side beaten by Arsenal at the weekend and paid the price for his gamble.

“If there’s anyone to blame it’s me. I made the changes and sadly it didn’t work,” Rodgers said.

“We brought four players into the starting line up who won the FA Cup a couple of seasons ago. But they were better than us and we have to worry about that.”

Rovers, into the last eight for the first time since 2015, took the lead when Tyrhys Dolan curled home from the edge of the area in the 33rd minute.

Sammie Szmodics made it 2-0 seven minutes after the break following good work by Sam Gallagher.

Kelechi Iheanacho netted from Harvey Barnes’ pass in the 67th minute, but Blackburn held on.

Solomon strikes again

Manor Solomon scored for the fourth time in four game as Fulham beat Leeds 2-0 at Craven Cottage to make the last eight for the first time since 2010.

Fulham, who have exceeded all expectations to climb to sixth place in the Premier League this year, took the lead through Joao Palhinha’s superb 25-year curler in the 21st minute.

Israel forward Solomon, on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk, finished off Leeds in the 56th minute, curling in from the edge of the area after playing a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham can still dream of a first FA Cup final appearance since 1975.

But it was a first defeat for new Leeds boss Javi Gracia, whose side won 1-0 against fellow strugglers Southampton in the Premier League last weekend.

Brighton won 1-0 at second tier Stoke to reach the quarter-final for the third time in the last six seasons.

The Seagulls, who beat holders Liverpool in the fourth round, remain in the hunt for a first FA Cup final appearance since 1983.

Brighton landed the decisive blow in the 30th minute when teenage forward Evan Ferguson met Kaoru Mitoma’s pass with a close-range finish.

Among the four remaining fifth-round ties on Wednesday, League Cup winners Manchester United host West Ham, while Tottenham travel to Sheffield United.

As Arsenal pushed further ahead in the race for the Premier League title, Manchester United moved a step closer to a second trophy this season by advancing to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

The biggest celebration of the night, though, was reserved for Grimsby Town’s fans after the fourth-division club produced a famous cup upset to beat top-flight Southampton 2-1 on Wednesday.

Tottenham was also on the receiving end of a cup shock — losing 1-0 to second-tier Sheffield United.

Arsenal’s focus is on the league and its 4-0 win over Everton at Emirates Stadium saw the competition leaders move five points clear of second-place Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta’s team certainly appears to be over the jitters that threatened to derail its title challenge by avenging the 1-0 loss to Everton that began a three-game winless run last month.

That win was a blow to United’s hopes of mounting a challenge at the top — but Erik ten Hag’s team remains in contention on four fronts after rallying to beat West Ham 3-1.

United dreaming of a quadruple

It felt like old times at Old Trafford as United mounted the type of rousing comeback it was famous for under former manager Alex Ferguson.

Fresh from winning the League Cup on Sunday, Ten Hag’s team seemed set to crash out of the FA Cup after Said Benrahma put West Ham in front with a curling shot in the 54th minute.

And as the game edged toward the closing stages, United’s frustration grew when Casemiro had a would-be equalizer ruled out by VAR for offside.

But the home fans were soon cheering when Nayef Aguerd headed into his own net in the 77th.

Alejandro Garnacho swept United in front in the 90th and substitute Fred added a third in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

“The team showed personality, never gave up and turned around the game,” Ten Hag said.

“It is very important, very big, a massive performance from our team in the way of mentality.” CUP SHOCKS Two penalties for Gavan Holohan saw Grimsby stun relegation-threatened Southampton and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1939.

Duje Caleta-Car pulled one back for Saints, who have nothing left to play for this term other than top-flight survival.

Grimsby, the lowest-ranked team remaining in the competition, is now one game away from a Wembley semifinal.

“Playing at this level you can only dream of nights like this,” Holohan said.

It was a nightmare, though, for Tottenham whose wait for a first trophy since 2008 goes on.

Illiman Ndiaye struck in the 79th to secure a famous win for Sheffield United in a game that saw Harry Kane start on the bench.

“I can only apologize to the fans for our performance and they deserve much more than this,” said assistant manager Cristian Stellini, who is still in charge of Tottenham while Antonio Conte recovers from gallbladder surgery.

In the night’s other FA Cup game, second-division leader Burnley beat Fleetwood 1-0 with a 90th-minute goal from Connor Roberts.

Liverpool payback

Less than a month after being humbled in a 3-0 loss to Wolverhampton, Liverpool avenged that defeat to close in on a top-four Champions League qualifying spot.

Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah scored in the 73rd and 77th, respectively, to seal a 2-0 win and move Jurgen Klopp’s team to within six points of fourth-place Tottenham with a game in hand.

Kompany vs. Pep

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany will come up against his former club after being drawn away to Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Kompany, a former City captain, won 10 major trophies in a glittering career at Etihad Stadium.

United will host Fulham, while Grimsby’s reward for victory against Southampton is a trip to Brighton.

There will be at least one second-division team in the semifinals after Sheffield United was drawn at home against Blackburn.

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