The one thing that is guaranteed is that Man City will be glad to be leaving Rodney Parade without having to go to extra-time.
The first half was one that the country may not have expected after Man City have put 17 goals past the last two lower league teams they have played this season. However, as a City fan and a fan that still believes in the magic of the cup I anticipated a nervous first 45 minutes for City, which is what they were!
Credit to Newport, I think they defended exceptionally well and had Ederson not made the world class save to deny Jamille Matt, the hosts would have gone in front. Man City still looked threatening and Leroy Sané should have scored when he was put through on goal after a clever one-two with David Silva.
Man City started the second-half with the intent that they needed to score first in order to reduce the nerves from the game, that would inevitably build without the away side scoring. This happened with a powerful shot from Sané, I personally think Day should have done better. Phil Foden grew into the game after the goal went in and he showed his exciting talent with a wonderful run from his own half and a clever finish, which again Day probably should have done better!
Padraig Amond capitalised on a Laporte mistake, to which Foden responded by going down the other end with a bit of magic and made the game 3-1! Mahrez killed off the game with a fantastic finish and sadly Newport’s cup run was ended by the English champions.
Here is how we rated the City players…
Ederson - 7
I thought Ederson did very well against a side that pumped in long balls and long throw ins. The save from Matt was unbelievable, he is once more proving that he is more than just a midfielder in goal. He had a slight lapse in concentration that could have led to a goal, but it did not…
Danilo - 6
Danilo did his job effectively, he defended well against the limited threat but it was going forward that he impressed! He had a few shots on goal and one just after City scored, he was denied by an excellent save from Day.
John Stones - 6
He played well and played the right passes into midfield to start the City attacks. He struggled with the battle in the box from the long throw ins but when he came into midfield late into the game he looked comfortable and played a nice ball through to Mahrez to score.
Nicolas Otamendi - 5
It was not his best performance and he did not deal very well the aerial threat of Newport. There was little to note of his performance, and he gave the ball away a few times.
Oleksandar Zinchenko - 6
This was nowhere near the height of Sunday against Chelsea, but that was his best performance for City. He was up against a tricky Amond and did well against him. He did not add as much going forward and did not link as well with Sané as he did Sterling.
Fernandinho - 7
I was surprised he was picked but I am glad that he was. He broke down the Newport threat well in the first half and was a calming figure when the game could have turned against City.
Phil Foden - 9 (MOTM)
He did not have the best first half but then again there were no other stars for City either. Once Leroy Sané scored, the game opened up and Foden started to shine. Both of his goals were clever mazy runs that both ended with excellent finishes, the second better than the first.
David Silva - 6
David Silva has not been the excellent player he was at the start of the season and perhaps his age might be catching up with him. However, he played a lovely through ball to Sané, who should have scored, and made a few excellent touches that showed he was by far the most gifted player on the pitch.
Riyad Mahrez - 8
Riyad Mahrez put in a good performance again for Man City in a game that could have been a no show from the Algerian. As I pointed out in my predictions he has 9 goals and 10 assists in all competitions; he took the goal tally up to 10 with a good strike late on. He was tricky all game and could have had a few more goals and assists to his name, with a run in the side he could be very special once more.
Leroy Sané - 7
I thought he was poor in the first half if I am being really critical; he should have scored when he hit the bar and he could have got onside a bit more. He was unlucky not to win a penalty for a clear handball but he put that behind him when he scored early on in the second half. After the goal he looked a menace and had his final ball been better he could have had a couple more assists after he set up Phil Foden.
Gabriel Jesus - 8
He worked hard both on and off the ball; he did not get much service in the first half so it is unfair to judge him too harshly. However, in the second half his dribbling and link up play were excellent as he got two assists.
Sub: Aymeric Laporte (79) - 5
There was little to judge him on other than the mistake which Newport capitalised on, which could have been disastrous.
Sub: Ilkay Gundogan - N/A
He was tidy in the midfield and came on to wind down the game.
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