Manchester - Sergio Aguero scored twice, ending a run of six
domestic games without a goal, as Manchester City advanced to the FA Cup
quarter-finals with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Championship side
Leroy Sane, Pablo Zabaleta and Kelechi Iheanacho also scored
for Pep Guardiola's side who booked a place in the last eight of the
competition, where they will travel to take on Premier League rivals
However, City were forced to respond to an early scare after
the visitors, who made nine changes with an eye on their efforts to win
promotion to the Premier League, took the lead through Harry Bunn.
City finally gained a foothold with Sane's equaliser on the
half hour, took the lead four minutes later from Aguero's penalty and made it
three goals in eight minutes via Zabaleta.
Despite making nine changes from their last league
performance, Huddersfield took a surprise lead with just seven minutes gone
after year another disastrous example of City's defending and goalkeeping.
Philip Billing was allowed to make a long run deep into the
home half before his pass was touched by Collin Quaner into the path of Bunn
whose drive went through the legs of recalled keeper Claudio Bravo.
City had already struck the post, after Sane cut in from the
left and struck a thunderous effort against the right-hand upright.
And after falling behind, the only surprise was that it took
until the 30th minute for the Premier League side to equalise.
Joel Coleman gathered Kevin De Bruyne's powerful free-kick
at the second attempt and City felt they should have had a penalty when Jon
Stankovic appeared to handle a De Bruyne effort soon after.
There was yet another penalty appeal, again for a Stankovic
hand, after Raheem Sterling's cross struck the defender.
But, on the half hour, the appeals did not matter after De
Bruyne's cross found Sterling on the right and the England forward's low centre
handed Sane the simple task of tapping the ball over the line from point-blank
Four minutes later, City finally received the penalty
decision they wanted when Zabaleta chipped the ball into the area, Stankovic
wrestled Nicolas Otamendi to the ground and Aguero nonchalantly stroked in his
21st goal of the season from the spot.
Aguero hit the post three minutes later having been played
clean through on goal but it took only until the 38th minute for the replay to
be all but settled.
Aguero's near-post shot was well parried by goalkeeper
Coleman but the Argentinian had the presence of mind to react and centre for
Zabaleta to finish easily.
There were still problems at the back for City and Bravo
made an unconvincing stop to deny Jack Payne's shot before the interval at the
expense of a corner, leading to sarcastic applause from the home support.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner, watching from the stands
as he served the first of a two-match FA ban, clearly had more interest in his
team's Championship meeting with leaders Newcastle on Saturday.
And the tie could have turned even uglier for him soon after
the restart when Aguero launched a devastating counter-attack the length of the
field and played through Sane whose first touch for once let him down.
Huddersfield responded with Quaner robbing the ball from De
Bruyne just inside the City half and advancing before having a shot deflected
behind, Joe Lolley headed over from a well-worked short corner and Quaner
appealed for a penalty after a challenge from John Stones.
But City were coasting towards the finishing line and always
looked capable of adding to their tally, something they did through Aguero in
the 73rd minute after Zabaleta sent Sterling sprinting down the right.
The forward's cross was met by Aguero, six yards out, whose
lethal, first-time finish gave Coleman no chance in the Huddersfield goal.
Substitute Iheanacho wrapped up the scoring in injury-time
with a similar goal as Zabaleta's pass to Jesus Navas was crossed for the
Nigerian to score from six yards.