Phil Foden struck twice as Manchester City eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win against Bristol City, while 2021 winners Leicester suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against second tier Blackburn on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side were never in danger of a giant-killing in the fifth round tie at Ashton Gate thanks to Foden’s brace and a late strike from Kevin De Bruyne.
Guardiola saluted the impact of England forward Foden, who is starting to recapture his peak form after an inconsistent season.
“His career was always up, up, up. This season he struggled a bit and was a bit down. But now he’s back for the best bit of the season,” Guardiola said.
“His impact has been amazing. Football pays off when you work like he does.”
City will hope for another boost on Wednesday when Premier League leaders Arsenal, two points ahead of the champions, face Everton in their game in hand.
“We’re still alive in three competitions. We’ll see what happens in the future,” Guardiola said.
City took a seventh minute lead when Riyad Mahrez crossed to the far post, where Foden fired into the roof of the net.
Foden doubled City’s lead after 74 minutes as Julian Alvarez flicked towards Foden, who produced another clinical finish past Max O’Leary.
De Bruyne got the visitors’ third from long-range in the 81st minute to ensure the smoothest of nights for the six-time FA Cup winners.
Leicester were booed off after Blackburn ended the Foxes’ bid to reach a second FA Cup final in three seasons.
Brendan Rodgers led Leicester to the club’s first ever FA Cup triumph in 2021, but Rovers punished woeful defending from the Premier League side to shatter their hopes of emulating that run.
With Leicester 14th in the top-flight, just three points above the relegation zone, Rodgers made six changes to the side beaten by Arsenal at the weekend and paid the price for his gamble.
“If there’s anyone to blame it’s me. I made the changes and sadly it didn’t work,” Rodgers said.
“We brought four players into the starting line up who won the FA Cup a couple of seasons ago. But they were better than us and we have to worry about that.”
Rovers, into the last eight for the first time since 2015, took the lead when Tyrhys Dolan curled home from the edge of the area in the 33rd minute.
Sammie Szmodics made it 2-0 seven minutes after the break following good work by Sam Gallagher.
Kelechi Iheanacho netted from Harvey Barnes’ pass in the 67th minute, but Blackburn held on.
Solomon strikes again
Manor Solomon scored for the fourth time in four game as Fulham beat Leeds 2-0 at Craven Cottage to make the last eight for the first time since 2010.
Fulham, who have exceeded all expectations to climb to sixth place in the Premier League this year, took the lead through Joao Palhinha’s superb 25-year curler in the 21st minute.
Israel forward Solomon, on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk, finished off Leeds in the 56th minute, curling in from the edge of the area after playing a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Fulham can still dream of a first FA Cup final appearance since 1975.
But it was a first defeat for new Leeds boss Javi Gracia, whose side won 1-0 against fellow strugglers Southampton in the Premier League last weekend.
Brighton won 1-0 at second tier Stoke to reach the quarter-final for the third time in the last six seasons.
The Seagulls, who beat holders Liverpool in the fourth round, remain in the hunt for a first FA Cup final appearance since 1983.
Brighton landed the decisive blow in the 30th minute when teenage forward Evan Ferguson met Kaoru Mitoma’s pass with a close-range finish.
Among the four remaining fifth-round ties on Wednesday, League Cup winners Manchester United host West Ham, while Tottenham travel to Sheffield United.