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City warm up for Euro clash with cup win over battling Newport

Sports | Feb 18, 2019
Manchester City powered into the FA Cup quarter-finals as the Premier League leaders survived a battling display from Newport County to beat the fourth-tier minnows 4-1.

Pep Guardiola's side didn't have an easy ride in a full-blooded fifth-round tie against a team 82 places below them in League Two.

Troubled by the rutted Rodney Parade pitch, City were indebted to Brazilian 'keeper Ederson for a superb save to keep them level during a lackluster first-half display.

City hit their stride in the second half and Leroy Sane's powerful finish put them ahead before Phil Foden doubled the lead. Padraig Amond's goal for Newport could have set up a tense finale, only for Foden to net again 79 seconds later before Riyad Mahrez wrapped up the win.

"It was a really tough game," Guardiola said. "We opened the scoring and believed it was done. They showed us how incredible they are. The home crowd was amazing."

With their Champions League last-16 first leg against Schalke to come this week, followed by the League Cup final against Chelsea, Guardiola made seven changes to the side which hammered Chelsea 6-0 last weekend.

"You play League Two then Champions League. You have to adapt and change mentality," Guardiola said. "The big mistake is believing you are better than anyone."

Real Madrid fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Girona with Sergio Ramos sent off in added time, leaving them nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona. Casemiro fired Real ahead but a Cristhian Stuani penalty and a Cristian Portu strike gave Girona victory.

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