Manchester City continues its fantastic run with 12 points clear at the summit of English football perfectly on course for an unprecedented quadruple dream this year.
Kevin De Bruyne starred as Manchester City moves into the last 16 of the FA Cup after winning 2-0 at Cardiff on Sunday to maintain its Premier League leadership position.
Manchester City players are in the run to bring the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League titles to the Etihad.
They made short work of second-tier Cardiff, with Belgian star De Bruyne putting them ahead in just eight minutes when he deceived the home side with a brilliant free-kick that he struck under, rather than over, the defensive wall.
Bernardo Silva appeared to have doubled the visitors’ lead with a thunderous 26th-minute shot but his goal was ruled out because the officials deemed Leroy Sane to be off-side and interfering with play.
It appeared a harsh call but, with the controversial video assistant referee system that is being trailed in some English cup ties this season not in use for this match, there was no way of reviewing the decision.
But the second goal Pep Guardiola’s men had threatened arrived in the 37th minute when Silva’s superb curling cross from the left was glanced in by Raheem Sterling.
Sane was the victim of a bad tackle by Joe Bennett in first-half stoppage time and was replaced at the break by Sergio Aguero.
Cardiff defender Bennett was sent off in injury time at the end of the match when he received a second yellow card for another poor challenge, on Brahim Diaz.
De Bruyne said there had been nothing complicated regarding his goal, telling the BBC: “The wall was not nine metres away from me and so they were very close and it was easy to put it under.”
But he was slightly bemused by the tactics employed by a Cardiff side pushing for promotion to the Premier League.
“They played man against man all over the pitch — it was a little bit weird,” De Bruyne said. “It left a lot of space.”