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Diaz double sees off drab Fulham

Pin Brahim Diaz was the difference on the night. EFE
Brahim Diaz was the difference on the night. EFE

Diaz double sees off drab Fulham

Simon Green by Simon Green @besoccer_com - 0 2,712

Man City made their way through to the quarter-fiinals of the EFL Cup after two goals from Brahim Diaz gave them an easy 2-0 win over Fulham.

Given the 3-0 defeat Man City had inflicted on Fulham in the Premier League earlier this season, it seemed as there was going to be only one result, despite the 10 changes the defending holders made.

From the first whistle the 'Citizens' took a hold of possession and had a string of chances, with Fulham camped in their own half for much of the match.

Even though they had a lot of the ball, it took the aftermath of a set-piece to provide them with their first goal. A looped ball was brought down by captain Vincent Kompany in the box, where Brahim Diaz was on hand to hit the ball on his weaker right foot in to the goal, via a deflection.

As the first half drew on and the second began, the chances kept coming. Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus in particular were having a frustrating night in front of goal, with both hitting shots just wide when they should have at least hit the target.

However, both young attackers were able to combine well in the lead up to the second goal on 65 minutes. Sane's piercing run enabled him to slide the ball through to Jesus in the Fulham, whose shot was tipped on to the post by Sergio Rico. The ball then fell to Diaz, who couldn't miss the chance to fire in his second of the evening.

The 2017/18 winners never looked like giving up their lead from that point, with Zinchenko and Phil Foden in particular putting in excellent performances in the second period to give Guardiola plenty to think about in terms of selection issues, especially if the injury Kevin De Bruyne sustained late in the match provokes another prolongued period on the sidelines.

Man City's lack of clinical finishing will be a complaint from Guardiola no doubt, with Jesus doing little to push Sergio Aguero out of the starting positions, but overall the Catalan manager could only be pleased with his side's effort.

As far as Slavisa Jokanovic is concerned, there is still plenty to worry about going forward. In the attacking third there were hardly any chances for them to get a goal, apart from a shot from Aleksander Mitrovic that requires Muric to make a rare save. In the defensive areas of the pitch, there was no lack of effort from the side but they were simply not able to deal with Man City's constant barrage on their box.

With confidence among the side obviously still rock bottom, the only solace of the result is that the 'Cottagers' can now concentrate on turning their Premier League season around.

Simon Green

Simon Green

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