Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sterling Effort Adds to De Bruyne's Brilliance

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sterling Effort Adds to De Bruyne's Brilliance

Article excerpt

CARDIFF CITY 0 MANCHESTER CITY 2 MANCHESTER City eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup with victory at Cardiff City yesterday.

Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling scored on the day a new attendance record of 32,339 was set for a club game at the Cardiff City Stadium.

De Bruyne's eighth-minute freekick was a candidate for the cheekiest goal of the season as he sent the ball under the Cardiff wall, while Sterling's header gave City a twogoal cushion before half-time.

Cardiff were committed throughout - too much at times with defender Joe Bennett sent off in stoppage time - but the gap between the top of the Premier League and third in the Championship never looked like being bridged.

Captain Vincent Kompany returned to action for the first time since limping off at Newcastle on December 27 and the Belgian defender completed 90 minutes for only the second time in two months.

Cardiff showed their intent when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing rounded Danilo and a more measured ball into the box might have led to a shooting opportunity.

De Bruyne silenced the feverish home crowd after Ilkay Gundogan had tested Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal and then been crudely upended by Joe Ralls.

The Cardiff wall jumped as one but De Bruyne took the low route and rolled the ball under the blue shirts to reach double figures for the season.

Cardiff remained unbowed from that setback and Junior Hoilett almost equalised when Claudio Bravo made a hash of his 30-yard volley.

Bravo spilled the shot backwards but the Chilean held it at the second attempt just as it was about to cross the goal-line.

Bennett instantly produced a peach of a cross which proved just too high for the unmarked Callum Paterson in the middle. There was a moment of high controversy after 25 minutes when De Bruyne fed Bernardo Silva and the Portuguese's ferocious 25-yard shot flew past Etheridge and in off the crossbar.

Leroy Sane was adjudged to be standing in an offside position and blocking Etheridge's view of the shot. …

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