The Warmdown: Carvalho shines as Manchester City progress in the FA Cup
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Fabio Carvalho of Fulham runs with the ball from John Stones of Manchester City during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester City and Fulham at Goodison Park on February 05, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Manchester City survived an early scare to book their place in the FA Cup Fifth Round with a convincing victory over Championship leaders Fulham.

Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones and Riyad Mahrez were amongst the goals on what was a fairly routine afternoon for the Premier League leaders, who put on a show for a capacity crowd at the Etihad Stadium.

Here are the key takeaways from an entertaining FA Cup clash.

Fabio Carvalho Continues To Impress

In different circumstances, Fabio Carvalho could have been turning out at the Etihad when Liverpool visit in April, but the Premier League hopefuls fell short in their pursuit for the highly-rated Portuguese youngster in the January window.

But it is clear that the 19-year-old hasn't been distracted by talk of his long-term future, as he showed exactly why the likes of Liverpool are keen on his signature.

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Carvalho timed his run to perfection to fire home from inside the six-yard box and give the visitors a surprise lead inside the opening five minutes, but his performance was much more than just a tap in.

Carvalho's versatility across the forward line was evident across the game, with the youngster starting in a number 10 role but often found out on the left-hand side as well as dropping deep to collect the ball in midfield before running at the Manchester City backline with a confidence way beyond his years.

His immediate focus will be on securing Fulham's return to the Premier League, but whether with Fulham or elsewhere, there is little doubt that Fabio Carvalho will be playing Premier League football next season.

Manchester City Eliminate Penalty Woes

Despite being one of the most attractive attacking outfits in world football, there has been a serious issue at Manchester City when it came to converting from 12 yards.

Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne were amongst those to miss from the penalty spot in the 2020/21 campaign, with holding midfielder Rodri tasked with taking penalties at one point in the season.

But it is Riyad Mahrez - who famously skied a penalty at Anfield in 2018 - who stepped up to take what was a crucial penalty in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Borussia Dortmund in April. The Algerian made no mistake, and he hasn't looked back since.

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Despite missing a penalty in Algeria's disappointing African Cup of Nations campaign, Mahrez has converted all nine of his Manchester penalties since that miss at Anfield.

The fear from the penalty spot is no more for Manchester City and their fans.

The Future Is Bright At The Etihad

Late cameos for Liam Delap and James McAtee put the cherry on the cake of what has been a tremendous week for those inside the Etihad.

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McAtee was one of three Manchester City players to commit their long term future to the reigning Premier League champions, signing an extension that will see him remain at the club until the summer of 2026.

His deal came 24 hours after Joao Cancelo extended his stay at the club until 2027, whilst highly-rated youngsters Josh Wilson-Esbrand and Oscar Bobb have both penned new, long-term deals with the club.

Bernardo Silva is also said to be in talks of a new deal with the Citizens, which comes as a little bit of a shock considering his known desire for a move away from the club last summer.

There is growing hope amongst the Manchester City fanbase that the recent renewals point towards an extension for Pep Guardiola - whose current contract comes to an end in 2023. 

Whether that proves to be the case remains to be seen but one thing that is for sure, Guardiola or not, the future is bright at the Etihad.

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