By 90Min
September 25, 2018

Manchester City kicked off their Carabao Cup defence by beating Oxford 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.

The cup holders took to the Oxford pitch on the back of a comfortable 5-0 win over Cardiff City in Premier League action on the weekend and it took them 36 minutes to get off the mark in this one.

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Pep Guardiola handed backup keeper Arijanet Muric a start, with Danilo, Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Oleksandr Zinchenko also getting nods as he opted to rest some of his star players. However, the likes of Riyad Mahrez, David Silva and Vincent Kompany also featured in the starting XI.

Oxford, meanwhile, came into the match having won just one match - against Fulham's Under-21s in the EFL Trophy - since August and were hoping for a miracle.

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But that wasn't to be as City took the lead in the first half through Gabriel Jesus, who nodded into the ground to score from point-blank range after a teammate's shot was deflected his way. 

Mahrez would add another for the Premier League champions in the 78th minute off a great assist from Foden. And the 18-year-old then scored one himself in stoppage time to make it 3-0 for his side.

See our breakdown of the game below.

Manchester City

Key Talking Point

City were hardly troubled during the match - save an error in the box from Muric that Nicolas Otamendi cleaned up - and should have scored more, yet Oxford deserve credit for their stubborn defending. The visitors were unable to carve out a clear shot on goal until Mahrez's strike late in the second half, despite having scored in the first period.

There was little doubt City would come out on top even after fielding few of their youngsters, who did look very good on the night, with Foden shining brightly.

The youngster both scored and assisted in the match and has done his prospects under Pep Guardiola very little harm.

Diaz was unfortunate to go off with an injury 10 minutes into the second half but showed glimpses of brilliance in his 55 minutes on the pitch.

Player Ratings

Man City Starting XI: Muric (7), Danilo (7.5), Kompany (8), Stones (7), Otamendi (8), Zinchenko (7.5), Silva (7), Diaz (7), Foden (8), Mahrez (9), Jesus (8)

Substitutes: Ederson, Walker, Sterling (7), Gündogan (7), Laporte, Sané, Bernabe (N/A)

Star Man - Phil Foden

Foden was undoubtedly the man for City in this match and has likely impressed his manager a lot, albeit against lower league opposition. 

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The precocious midfielder carved open Oxford's defence with an incredible cross-field pass that put Mahrez on goal for City's second and took the third for himself.

Foden's goal was the first of his senior City career but he will hope it's the first of many and, given his immense talent, that could well be the case.

Worst Player: Very difficult to pick City's worst player as everyone played well up to standard, but considering Muric's error could have led to an equaliser for the home side, we'll have to pin this one on him despite his otherwise great performance.

Looking Ahead


City are looking strong again after their slip against Lyon in the Champions League last week. They bounced back with a convincing win over Cardiff City on the weekend and have just beaten Oxford rather soundly.

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Guardiola's men do have a couple of tough fixtures after their match against Brighton on the weekend, though, with Hoffenheim up next in the Champions League and current Premier League leaders Liverpool set to host them after.

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