Chelsea and Manchester City breeze through to FA Cup fifth round
Newcastle were beaten at Stamford Bridge while the Premier League leaders won in Cardiff.
Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester City eased into the fifth-round of the FA Cup with comfortable victories on Sunday.
The pair faced potentially tricky banana skins with Chelsea at home to top-flight rivals Newcastle and City travelling to Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff but both progressed with little difficulty to book their places in Monday’s draw.
Chelsea recovered from their Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by easing past Newcastle with a 3-0 win as Michy Batshuayi struck a brace.
Former Blues boss Rafael Benitez returned to Stamford Bridge once again but could not cause a fourth-round upset as the hosts cruised through.
Batshuayi finished off a good team move to open the scoring in the 31st minute.
The Belgium striker, linked with a January move away from the club, then doubled the lead just before half-time with a deflected effort.
Newcastle had kept Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero busy but could not find a way to get back into the tie before Marcos Alonso sealed victory 18 minutes from time with a fine free-kick.
Premier League leaders Man City, who will face Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final in February, continued their quest to win all four competitions this season with a straightforward 2-0 win over 10-man Cardiff.
Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a clever free-kick, putting the ball under a jumping wall and into the bottom left corner.
Cardiff thought they had levelled from a Junior Hoilett strike but Claudio Bravo recovered after making an error to stop the ball crossing the line.
The lack of a video assistant referee caused controversy moments later as the visitors thought they had scored a second. Bernardo Silva finished brilliantly into the top corner but saw the effort ruled out as Leroy Sane was adjudged to have been interfering with play as his run took him offside and in front of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
Replays were inconclusive as to whether either of those offences was accurate but either way, Silva’s goal was ruled out as a result.
The second goal came in the 37th minute as Silva this time turned provider, crossing in perfectly for the diminutive Sterling to head home unmarked from six yards out.
Cardiff’s Joe Bennett was lucky not to be sent off on the stroke of half-time as he cynically fouled Sane as the Germany international stormed towards goal.
Sterling came close to adding a third early in the second half but Sean Morrison’s last-ditch challenge cleared the ball away from the England winger.
Hoilett was Cardiff’s main attacking threat and curled an effort inches over Bravo’s crossbar as Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds created a rare chance.
But the hosts never really looked like working their way back into the tie and ended the game with 10 men after Bennett was given his marching orders in stoppage time following another bad challenge.