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Key talking points as Man City cruise into the FA Cup semis
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Danny Ryan
Manchester City were simply too strong for Newcastle in the FA Cup
Manchester City were simply too strong for Newcastle in the FA Cup

FA Cup holders Manchester City will make another trip to Wembley next month after beating Newcastle 2-0 in their quarter-final.

A first-half brace from Bernardo Silva secured another comfortable victory and made it 38 home games in a row unbeaten for Pep Guardiola's well-oiled machine.

Read on as we analyse the key talking points from the Etihad Stadium.

Deflections aplenty

It took just over half an hour for Silva to net a double as City punished Newcastle's weak left-hand side, although there was an element of fortune to both goals.

The Portuguese playmaker, 29, opened the scoring in the 13th minute as his shot looped over Martin Dubravka after taking a huge deflection off Dan Burn.

And in the 31st minute it was 2-0 to the hosts, with Sven Botman the second man guilty of helping divert a tame effort past his own goalkeeper.

Unlike the City supporters, Silva refused to celebrate wildly on either occasion, such was the manner of the goals.

Remarkable Rodri

Silva's opener was created by the brilliant Rodri, who again highlighted his ability to shine in attack.

The Spain international — now unbeaten in 62 games for City — is widely regarded as the best defensive midfielder in the world but he is quietly chalking up numbers that some forwards would be proud of.

He now boasts nine assists across all competitions in 2023-24, more than Martin Odegaard and James Maddison (both seven) — and level with Bruno Fernandes.

Rodri has also netted six Premier League goals and the Citizens simply cannot afford to lose him to injury if they hope to retain the Treble.

Questionable selection

Such was Newcastle's lack of impact in all areas of the pitch that Howe opted to make a quadruple substitution in the 62nd minute.

Burn, Joe Willock, Anthony Gordon and Sean Longstaff were replaced by Lewis Hall, Elliot Anderson, Miguel Almiron and Lewis Miley.

The changes initially injected some life into the performance and gave the travelling supporters something minor to cheer.

Burn and Longstaff's places in the starting XI could well be up for grabs after the international break, with both really struggling to compete in the Etihad cauldron.

Joe Willock and Dan Burn looked well off the pace against Manchester City
Joe Willock and Dan Burn looked well off the pace against Manchester City

Magnificent Mateo

While Rodri strutted his stuff again in midfield, the performance from his partner Mateo Kovacic was equally eye-catching.

The Croatian's short cameo against Liverpool last weekend glistened with maturity and quality — and this display oozed class from the get-go.

As well as offering control, Kovacic regularly beat Newcastle's press, affording Erling Haaland and Player of the Match winner Phil Foden more space to charge at the retreating Newcastle back-line.

The 29-year-old looks primed to play a major role for City in the run-in.

Howe about that

After the heights of last term, 2023-24 has so far been a campaign to forget for Newcastle and Howe.

The Magpies finished bottom of their Champions League group and missed out on a spot in the Carabao Cup semi-finals after suffering a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Chelsea.

Newcastle's last hope of partly saving their season is finishing in the European qualification spots, although that will not be an easy task for the injury-depleted Tynesiders.

Confidence is evidently low and they sit 10th in the top-flight table with just 40 points from 28 matches, with matches against Tottenham and Manchester United coming up next month.


FA CupManchester CityNewcastle United
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