An injury to Kevin de Bruyne took the shine off a convincing win for Manchester City as the Carabao Cup holders eased past Fulham to advance to the quarter-finals.
Spanish teenager Brahim Diaz scored in each half to set up a last-eight meeting with Leicester or Southampton with his first senior goals for City.
But there was concern before the end for De Bruyne, who grimaced as he limped off three minutes from time.
The 27-year-old Belgian midfielder was making only his second start of the season after suffering a ligament injury to his right knee in August.
De Bruyne had put in a typically impressive and energetic performance but went off after going to ground clutching his left knee, and disappeared straight down the tunnel for treatment.
The Premier League leaders had made 10 changes from the team which beat Tottenham on Monday but still outclassed a full-strength Fulham side, managing 27 shots to five from the visitors.
Diaz broke the deadlock after 18 minutes, meeting Vincent Kompany’s knock-down with a first-time shot that took a huge deflection and span past Sergio Rico.
He added his second on 65 minutes after Rico had tipped a Gabriel Jesus shot on to the post, with the 19-year-old following up to hammer his shot into the roof of the net.
City will find out their quarter-final opponents on 27 November, when Leicester take on Southampton.
Their fourth-round tie was originally meant to be played on Tuesday but was postponed after Saturday’s helicopter crash at King Power Stadium that killed Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others.
City continue dominance over Fulham – key stats
- Manchester City have reached the League Cup quarter-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1977-78/1978-79.
- Fulham have lost five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since December 2013 (a run of seven).
- City have won their past seven meetings with Fulham in all competitions, by an aggregate score of 21-3.
- In all competitions, City have scored in each of their past 23 games against Fulham – only against Portsmouth (25 between 1963 and 2006) have they had a longer such run.
- City striker Gabriel Jesus attempted eight shots in this match, twice as many as any other player. However, just one of these efforts was on target.
More to follow.
Source BBC News