Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

LIVE: Manchester City vs Port Vale

7 min read

48′ Did you know that City have a better win percentage against Port Vale than against any other side they’ve faced at least 20 times in their history? It stands at 78% – 18 wins from 23 games.

46′ Aguero almost makes it 3-1 immediately but he shoots over the bar from an Angelino cutback.

46′ KICK-OFF! City restart the game looking to add to their one-goal lead.

Vale aren’t totally out of this game though, especially with City just one ahead. If they come out of the break aggressively, perhaps there’s another goal in this for them. They’ve faced four shots on target – excluding one Silva effort that hit the bar – but City naturally aren’t playing in their top gear, something the visitors can take advantage of.

Manchester City are 2-1 up at the break courtesy of their key man Aguero three minutes before half-time. Zinchenko put the holders ahead in the 20th minute and the way the momentum was going in the game suggested that we could have seen a big score, but Vale fought valiantly and Pope equalised in the 35th minute with a fantastic stooping header. But Aguero – who had been quiet until this point – popped up seven minutes to get on the end of a well-worked team move.

45′ + 1′ HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 2-1 PORT VALE.

44′ That’s Foden’s first assist in the FA Cup, but his fifth of the season to go with the two goals he’s scored in 20 appearances now.

P. Foden

Assist

Manchester City

42′ As it turns out, great play from Foden to hold his run and stay onside to fizz Silva’s pass across goal into Aguero.

S. Agüero

Goal

Manchester City

42′ GOAL! 2-1 CITY! Aguero hardly celebrates as he puts City back in front. Excellent football to get in behind their opponents here. Silva with the searching pass wide to Foden and he knocks the ball back across goal first-time for Aguero to tap in. It’s being checked for a potential offside by the VAR, but it stands.

41′ Vale have a free-kick inside City’s half and it’s a good chance to get a delivery into the box. The ball comes in towards Adoo at the back post, but City get it clear.

39′ Conceding a goal seems to have woken City up and they’re playing with extra purpose now, but still they resort to shooting from distance – Silva this time, failing to test Brown.

37′ Port Vale haven’t beaten a Premier League side in their last eight attempts in the FA Cup, but they’re holding their own against City and find themselves on equal footing as the first half winds down.

D. Amoo

Assist

Port Vale

35′ Amoo is the architecht of what could be a massive goal for Vale! He does extremely well to fight for that yard of space ahead of Angelino and manages to float a great ball into Pope for the header.

T. Pope

Goal

Port Vale

35′ GOAAAAAL! IT’S POPE FOR 1-1! He’s on his way to 40 goals! What a header, what a moment for the travelling fans! He gets in front of Harwood-Bellis and stoops low to guide the cross beyond Bravo and into the left of the goal.

34′ Just as Vale look to hold onto the ball for a brief spell, a loose pass sends Motano chasing and he ends up giving away a foul as the move breaks down.

32′ Patient football from City as they work that left-hand triangle between Silva, Zinchenko and Angelino, but Vale are retaining their shape well and force their hosts to switch play to the other side of the pitch.

30′ City keep the pressure on and Aguero nearly plays the perfect pass for Foden to run onto, but he ends up sending him to the sideline. Foden does well to rescue the situation though and it results in a blocked Zinchenko shot to win a corner.

28′ This is Silva’s 10th FA Cup campaign since joining City and he’s scored five goals in the competition – his most recent came in the 2019 Final, that 6-0 win over Watford.

26′ OFF THE BAR! City go short from the corner and Gundogan does superbly to get into the box for a cross, but Silva hits the bar from roughly three yards out! Aguero can’t get on the follow-up either and Vale’s lack of focus goes unpunished this time.

24′ Cancelo now feeding Foden on the overlap out on the right, but his cross fizzes unattacked across goal all the way to Angelino on the left to win a corner on that side.

22′ It took 20 minutes for City to get their first, but will it be their only? The last time they played lower league opposition at home in a domestic cup was that unforgettable 9-0 win over Burton in the EFL Cup semi-final last season.

İ. Gündoğan

Assist

Manchester City

20′ Gundogan gets the assist, but there’s no dressing this one up. It’s a pass into Zinchenko, who absolutely does all the rest.

O. Zinchenko

Goal

Manchester City

20′ GOAL! 1-0 CITY! Zinchenko opens the scoring from long range! He sees Brown comes off his line, takes a touch and unleashes a fierce shot from outside the box that finds the bottom-right corner. It may have taken a touch off a Vale defender on the way in, but only a faint one. No matter, they all count! 

17′ CHANCE! Silva combines with Bernardo on the left to create space for a cross and he dinks the ball into Foden – who’s totally unmarked – but his header isn’t strong enough and Brown palms it into the ground.

15′ Zinchenko tries to feed Silva with a threaded throughball, but it’s cut out. Not enough to stop the waves of City attacks though, and the home side come again.

13′ You can see what’s happening here. It’s City dominating possession – as you’d expect – and trying to suffocate their opponents. There’s no rush, they know they’ll get ample opportunity to break them down. It’s a case now of dragging the Vale defenders out of position and tiring them out.

11′ This is actually the first time City and Vale have met since October 1999! They were both in the second tier back then, with City winning 2-1 twice in that month.

9′ GREAT BLOCK! Silva does what he does best and uses his tricky feet and agility to get into the box and cut the ball back for Foden at the edge of the six-yard area, but Smith blocks the shot!

7′ As it goes, Pope will be the weapon for the visitors today. He’s six foot three and could enjoy himself up against the teenage Harwood-Bellis, who doesn’t have much experience against physical opponents from the lower leagues.

5′ It’s refreshing to see Vale come to Etihad Stadium and try and attack City when they’re in possession, but how long can it last? City need just one opportunity to make something happen.

3′ Manchester City show what they’re capable of with a fast break into the Vale box, but Aguero is offside for Angelino’s cross and the visitors have a free-kick.

1′ Early chance for Port Vale as Pope cuts the ball back for Burgess arriving at the edge of the box, but it takes a deflection for a Vale corner.

1′ KICK-OFF! We’re underway in this FA Cup third round tie.

Don’t go anywhere because the teams are out and kick-off is up next!

Pope once tweeted that he’d score 40 goals a season if he was playing against Stones every week – this after the England centre-back gifted the Netherlands a goal in the Nations League semi-final. Well, he’s got his wish today, but it’s just the six goals he’s scored so far in 24 games this season. Can he add another?

Pep Guardiola makes seven changes from the 2-1 win over Everton, with Bravo, Cancelo, Gundogan and Foden the only survivors. It’s still a strong team for City, but keep an eye on Harwood-Bellis, the 17-year-old making his third senior appearance this season. Just one change from the Vale side that drew with Macclesfield as Bennett drops out for Pope.

SUBS: Tom Conlon, Will Atkinson, Mark Cullen, Rhys Browne, Richie Bennett, Sean Brisley, Jonny Maddison.

PORT VALE XI (4-4-2): Scott Brown; James Gibbons, Nathan Smith, Leon Legge, Scott Burgess; David Worrall, Luke Joyce, Jake Taylor, Cristian Montano; Tom Pope, David Amoo.

SUBS: Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Scott Carson Eric Garcia, Tommy Doyle.

MANCHESTER CITY XI (4-3-3): Claudio Bravo; Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Angelino; David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Phil Foden.

Port Vale are unbeaten in five and – here’s a stat for you – twice previously they’ve played the FA Cup holders and eliminated them on both occasions. They’re the only team to have done this twice – first to Blackpool in 1953-54 and then again to Everton in 1995-96.

City won their second FA Cup of the previous decade last season – as part of their historic domestic quadruple – and haven’t lost in the tournament since January 2018, when they were beaten 1-0 by Wigan in the fifth round. But can the Valiants live up to their nickname and slay the Premier League giant today?

Hello and welcome to this FA Cup third round tie between Manchester City and Port Vale.

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