De Bruyne and Sterling seal comfortable win for Manchester City over Cardiff City to reach FA Cup fifth round
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I'll be back soon - stay tuned for the match report, and much more to come on VAVEL UK as the football never stops!

I've been Sam Straw, and I hope you enjoyed following tonight's events in the FA Cup. 

17.54. A tough afternoon for Cardiff but they can now focus on trying to achieve promotion to the Premier League and having these sort of occasions every week. 

17.53. A comfortable afternoon for Guardiola's side as they seal their progression into the fifth round of the competition with ease. 


92' RED CARD! Cardiff have been reduced to ten men as Bennett is sent off for a second yellow card offence. 

88' Bernardo Silva has been taken off by Guardiola and replaced by Diaz, one of City's many highly-rated youngsters. 

84' CHANCE! It should have been 3-0 City. Bernardo Silva charges down on goal unchallenged but his tame effort is comfortably held by Etheridge. 

80' Fernandinho is next to be booked by Mason for a challenge on Gruji?. 

77' Agüero is down receiving treatment after a hard challenge. A concern for Guardiola. 

75' A superb pass from De Bruyne sends Sterling through on goal but he is again denied by Etheridge. 

71' The home side have won themselves a corner. Could this be the start of a late comeback? 

68' SO CLOSE! Hoilett comes so close to finding the top corner with a right-footed curler but it goes just over the crossbar. 

66' That will be Zohore's last contribution in this match as he is replaced by Pilkington. 

65' Zohore forces Bravo into making a comfortable save with a scuffed shot from just inside the area. He has looked Cardiff's most dangerous player this afternoon. 

62' Cardiff are struggling now. They are letting City pass it around the back with ease. The home crowd are getting frustrated.  

58' Fernandinho has been superb again for City this afternoon. Dominating this game in midfield. 

56' A long kick from Etheridge is flicked on into the path of Zohore but he blasts his volley over the crossbar. The Bluebirds would still have a slight chance in this match if they can get the next goal. 

51' Sterling rounds Etheridge and looks set to make it 3-0 to City but Morrison denies him with a superb challenge. 

50' De Bruyne catches Jazz Richards with a high foot. The Cardiff man has gone down clutching his face. 

48' Can Agüero continue his fine goalscoring form in the second-half? He should get plenty of chances falling his way as Cardiff look to somehow get themselves back into this match. 

46' We're underway in the second-half. Agüero has come on in place of Sané for City.

16.50. Did you know? That was Sterling's first headed goal since Boxing Day 2015. He is a player in the form of his life this season. Warnock certainly won't be pleased that one of the smallest players on the pitch was allowed to score a header that easily. 

16.49. A superb first-half from Guardiola's side. They have played some sensational football and are unfortunate to find themselves just two goals ahead. Cardiff have created some opportunities but failed to take them and are being exploited by City on the counterattack. 


44' City break at frightening pace from a Cardiff corner through Sané before he is cynically taken out by Bennett who is lucky to escape with just a yellow card. 

39' You have to feel that the second goal is a real blow for Cardiff. They would have always had a chance at 1-0 but to come back from two goals down against this City side is a very tough ask. 

38' Raheem Sterling ends his run of four games without a goal by picking up his 19th of the season so far. Bernardo Silva's cross in from the left-hand side is a good one and Sterling is there to head home and put his side 2-0 up. 'Raheem Sterling, he's top of the league' chant the away supporters. 


36' Kompany is dealing very well with Zohore considering this is his first start since the end of December. Would be huge for City if he can stay fit between now and the end of the season. 

32' City have really taken control of this game in the last few minutes after the disappointment of that disallowed goal. Cardiff need to try and prevent them from scoring again before half-time to keep this tie alive. 

27' Television replays have shown that Sané was in fact not in an offside position anyway. Guardiola is furious on the touchline and will have to be careful here otherwise he could be sent to the stands. 

25' Bernardo Silva thinks he has doubled his sides lead with a superb strike from the edge of the box but it has been disallowed. Sané was in an offside position whilst impeding the goalkeeper's view which is the reason why Mason has disallowed the goal. A lot of confusion around the ground, VAR anyone? 


22' City just keeping possession and trying to slow the game down a bit after a period of strong Cardiff pressure. 

17' CLOSE! Both Paterson and Mendez-Laing were inches away from getting on the end of a superb cross. If either of them had made contact then it surely would have been 1-1. 

16' Cardiff slowly getting themselves back into this game. Bravo almost makes a howler shortly before Callum Paterson's long throw causes City's defence all sorts of problems before they manage to scramble it away. 

12' De Bruyne is again involved as he finds Kyle Walker down the right-hand side but he fails to deliver as his cross is blocked and cleared by the Cardiff defence. Poor from the right-back. 

9' It has not taken long for City to take the lead here in Cardiff. Kevin De Bruyne slots his free-kick under the wall to put his side 1-0 up. A very clever free-kick from City's influential midfielder and Cardiff already face an huge uphill battle in this one. 


5' Play has just been interrupted by a inflatable ball entering the field of play. Claudio Bravo comes to the rescue...

3' Nathaniel Mendez-Laing beats Danilo far too easily down the right-hand side but his cross is behind Hoilett. The sell-out crowd is certainly up for this.

1' We're underway here in Cardiff. Lee Mason is the referee for this afternoon's match. 

15.48. Just over ten minutes to go until kick-off...

15.33. The scene is set at the Cardiff City Stadium. Can the Bluebirds pull off what would be the shock of the fourth round?

(picture: Getty Images / Paul Jenkins)
(picture: Getty Images / Paul Jenkins)

15.23. The big teams news for Cardiff is that Sol Bamba has not been named in the squad. This is a huge blow for the Bluebirds as the 33-year-old has been a rock at the back for them so far this season. They will be hoping that his injury does not rule him out for a significant amount of time. 

15.06. Both sides are clearly taking this match very seriously as they have both named very strong starting line-ups. The big news for City is that Vincent Kompany returns to their starting line-up having not started a match since the 1-0 win over Newcastle United in December. Raheem Sterling looks set to lead the line as Guardiola has opted not to play a recognised striker. 

15.05. Manchester City Substitutes: Ederson, Stones, Agüero, Mangala, Adarabioyo, Zinchenko, Diaz. 

15.03. Manchester City's Starting Line-Up: Bravo, Walker, Danilo, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Sané, Sterling. 

15.02. Cardiff City Substitutes: Murphy, Tomlin, Feeney, Pilkington, Halford, Damour, Bogle. 

15.02. Cardiff City's Starting Line-Up: Etheridge, Richards, Morrison (C), Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Paterson, Ralls, Gruji?, Hoilett, Mendez-Laing, Zohore.

So just over an hour to go until kick-off, and we've got some team news coming right your way...

Did you know? Despite the fact they are sat third in the Championship, only Preston North End and Middlesbrough have scored fewer goals than the Bluebirds in the top half of the Championship. Their success has largely been built on their ability to keep clean sheets with only Wolves and Derby having kept more than them so far this season. Judging by these statistics, they will be looking to frustrate Guardiola's side this afternoon and if they do manage to get the first goal, they have a good chance of progressing.

As for Cardiff, Warnock will be unable to name Danny Ward in his starting line-up as he continues to struggle with a knee injury. 23-year-old forward Rhys Healey once had a trial at City and will be desperate for an opportunity to play against them this afternoon. However, Warnock could opt to name the same forward line of Yanic Wildschut, Kenneth Zohore and Hoilett who all featured against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. 

Team news, then. Who's fit and who isn't? City will be without the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Benjamin Mendy but Guardiola still has a relatively healthy squad to select a starting line-up from. He is expected to make a number of changes to his side for this one and he may be tempted to hand youngster Brahim Díaz just his second start for the club. He made his full debut for the club in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Carabao Cup in December which City eventually won on penalties. 

One player to watch out for in today's match is Cardiff midfielder Marko Gruji?. The 21-year-old recently joined the Bluebirds on loan until the end of the season from Premier League side Liverpool. He made his debut last weekend against Sheffield Wednesday and will be keen to impress again in this match after completing his first full week of training at the club. 

As for Cardiff, their form has also improved of late after suffering four consecutive defeats over the festive period. Their 4-0 win against Sunderland two weeks ago stopped the rot and they have since gone on to win their replay against Mansfield and also secure a credible point in a 0-0 draw away at Sheffield Wednesday. It was not an easy fixture for Warnock's side due to the fact that the Owls had recently appointed Jos Luhukay as their new manager and both sides came away from it feeling that they had enough opportunities to claim all three points. 

There is no doubt that City come into this match as strong favourites to progress into the fifth round of the competition. However, Liverpool did end City's unbeaten run in the Premier League two weeks ago as they claimed a 4-3 win at Anfield in a thrilling encounter. It proved that City are far from unbeatable, although it must be said that Warnock does not have the attacking talent of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané at his disposal. City have responded well to this defeat with a 3-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League and by securing their place in February's Carabao Cup Final with a 3-2 win in their second leg against Bristol City at Ashton Gate

As for City, VAVEL UK reporter Daniel Orme watched on from the press box as Guardiola's side came from a goal down to beat Premier League rivals Burnley 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Ashley Barnes had given the Clarets the lead in the first-half but second-half goals from Agüero, Leroy Sané and Bernardo Silva were enough to ensure Guardiola's side safely progressed into the fourth round of the competition. 

(picture: Getty Image / Gareth Copley)
(picture: Getty Image / Gareth Copley)

City manager Pep Guardiola was spotted in the stands at the replay casting an eye over his side's potential fourth round opponents. He reportedly said after the match that he felt Mansfield were unlucky not to progress, with key moments in the game going against them. 

It took Cardiff two games in order to overcome League Two side Mansfield Town in the third round. The Championship side were held to a goalless draw in the first match and were perhaps lucky not to be knocked out on the day as Steve Evans' side had a number of good opportunities. However, Warnock took no risks in the replay at Field Mill as he named a very strong starting line-up. This resulted in the Bluebirds securing a comfortable 4-1 win courtesy of goals from Bruno Manga, Anthony Pilkington and a brace from Junior Hoilett

The draw could not have made it much more difficult for Warnock's side this afternoon but how did both sides reach the fourth round of the competition? Let's take a look...

It is fair to say at lot has changed at Cardiff since their relegation from the Premier League. However, under the management of Neil Warnock, they currently look well placed to finally challenge for a return to the top flight. They are currently sat third in the Championship, just two points off Gary Rowett's Derby County who occupy the second automatic promotion place. Considering the amount of money that Cardiff have spent in comparison to the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby and Aston Villa, the job that Warnock has done in Wales should not be underestimated.

However, City did managed to get revenge on the Bluebirds in the reverse fixture in January 2014 as they claimed a 4-2 win at the Etihad Stadium. Goals from Edin Dzeko, Jesús Navas, Yaya Touré and Sergio Agüero ensured that Cardiff left Manchester with nothing to show for their efforts. Pellegrini's side then went on to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title at the end of the season. 

(picture: Getty Images / Stu Forster)
(picture: Getty Images / Stu Forster)

Today's match will be the first time that the Bluebirds have faced City since their one-year stint in the Premier League in the 2013/14 campaign. Cardiff beat Manuel Pellegrini's side 3-2 in August 2013 to secure their first win of the season since securing their return to the top flight in a dramatic encounter. A brace from Fraizer Campbell and a strike from Aron Gunnarsson was enough to secure the Bluebirds all three points and a very famous victory under the management of Malky Mackay

The arena for today's match is the Cardiff City Stadium, which has a capacity of 33,280 spectators. As well as being the relatively new home of the Bluebirds, it is also of course the home of the Wales national football team who have recently appointed Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs as their new manager. 

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute match coverage and commentary. Today, Sunday 28th January 2018, sees Cardiff City host Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup. This afternoon's game kicks off at 16:00 GMT, but until then - we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up and analysis from me, Sam Straw. Make sure you stay following.