Manchester City (h) FA Cup Quarter Final
37mins Kyle Walker's cross from the right flank was intended for Gabriel Jesus but by no means a clear scoring chance - until Fabian Schar pushed him in the back, partly connecting once before a second two-handed shove.
Referee Lee Mason immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Kevin de Bruyne sent Karl Darlow the wrong way.Chris Waddle was in the stadium commentating for Radio 5 but we don't know what he called it. 0-1
Half time: United 0 City 1
68 mins Bravo to Laporte, Laporte to Foden, Foden to Sterling, Sterling to the back of the net. Thank you and goodnight - the BBC may as well have cut to the weather forecast and an Open University programme about oxbow lakes at that point. 0-2
Full time: United 0 City 2
Steve Bruce said:
"Everyone has a game plan when they play against
Manchester City. In the first half in particular I thought were were too
Pep Guardiola said:
"It is not easy because Andy Carroll is incredibly strong in the long balls, the headers. I said to them if you want to fight, then try to win but if you lose because they want the position then don’t worry.
"The important thing is to keep him far away from the 18-yard box and we did it.
"It was a fantastic goal from Raheem (Sterling).
"For the penalty, I didn't see the review. Gabriel Jesus could have headed the ball and I think the opponent pushed him.
"De Bruyne is definitely reliable and hopefully he can carry on because we struggled a lot this season with this.
"We miss, I think, five or six (penalties). Kevin now takes responsibility; he has a confident personality and that is important for us.
"Always, the hunger is there. The numbers speak for themselves over the past seasons. We are delighted after the defeat to Chelsea to be going back to London for the semi-final.
""We play to win. We spoke after what happened in Premier League - we need two more victories to qualify for Champions League.
"But we have two competitions we can win. We made the
first step today.
Records will show that a goal in each half ended the home side's
interest in this competition, but the margin of defeat could have
been far greater.
Birthday boy Kevin De Bruyne put City ahead from the penalty spot eight minutes before the interval and Raheem Sterling's unstoppable 68th minute effort kept the visitors on course to retain their trophy.
United reverted to a five man defence in their attempts to frustrate
their opponents, but so deep as to invite Pep Guardiola's side to
camp in their half from the first whistle - wasting any possession
De Bruyne easily netted the spot kick to give City a single goal advantage at the interval that massively flattered Steve Bruce's side.
The black and whites reverted to a back four after the break with Schar pushed forward into midfield and were at least able to string a couple of passes together. That suggestion of fight might just have had a refreshed home crowd roaring, as would a few of Andy Carroll's meaty challenges.
Our sole forward threat, Carroll was replaced by Dwight Gayle just after the hour while the anonymous Miguel Almiron made way for Joelinton.
Gayle's introduction against Aston Villa in midweek had resulted in an immediate goal and he almost had the same effect here, during what was Newcastle's sole moment of danger and creativity.
Saint-Maximin gained possession on the right and craftily laid a pass across the box for Gayle, who looked a certain scorer after a defender slipped to present him with the ball just six yards out.
However a first-ever Cup goal for the club would elude the striker, who blasted his shot high over Bravo's crossbar into the Gallowgate End.
Reality rapidly intervened as a flowing City move from end to end concluded with Sterling ramming the ball home to make it 0-2 while the watching TV audience were still debating how it wasn't 1-1.
The tie then reverted to the exhibition match or elongated training drill
that had resembled for all but about 90 seconds. A series of replacements
for the visitors didn't affect their momentum and only profligacy in front
of goal preventing what a more sizeable home loss.
The ground was of course empty, but the eventual outcome and manner in which it arrived was only too familiar to long-suffering home supporters.
Parking the bus was certainly something in the Rafa Benitez playbook and a "stay in the game" mentality brought about the most unexpected of victories against City here in January 2019.
Bruce then took a point from City here last November in similar style and as recently as January frustrated Chelsea before landing a late sucker punch.
Too much was against them here though: not least a lack of midfielders (Bentaleb suspended, Ritchie injured, both Longstaffs lacking match fitness, Hayden less than 100% and Shelvey consequently too much of a risk).
Carelessness in possession meant that the defence seldom had respite and we never got near enough to the far end of the field to win a single corner.
Carroll ploughed the loneliest of furrows up ahead (as Joelinton has in a fair few games) and neither Almiron or Saint-Maximin were able to get on the ball long enough to draw any fouls and disrupt City's forward flow.
And when our forward did get the benefit of the doubt from Mason, the consequent free kick was whacked straight out of play by Sean Longstaff.
TV cameras caught his manager's response - "for f*cks sake": a sentiment doubtless shared by viewers of a Magpie disposition across the planet.
Ultimately, we lacked the discipline to keep an incredibly talented team
at bay and spurned that one opportunity when it came our way. We would
probably just have made them angry though had it gone in though...
Our cup logic has long been that we'll progress in whatever competition
until we're drawn against a decent side - be it in the round or the final.
You don't get much better than this lot in fairness.
It seems like half a lifetime ago, but there were laughs and scrapes on
the way - and one case of indecent exposure. This was a pretty sobering
finale though, no matter what channel you tuned in on.