Phil Foden was the star of the show as Manchester City began their Carabao Cup title defence with a routine 3-0 victory over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium. City boss Pep Guardiola made ten changes from their drubbing of Cardiff but despite the likes of Vincent Kompany, John Stones and David Silva in the starting XI, it was Foden who caught the eye.
The England Under-19 international was involved in the opening two goals, scored by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, before sealing a 3-0 win with his first senior goal. It did not take long for the game to settle into a familiar routine as the visitors took control of possession and pinned Oxford back. Guardiola’s side thought they had taken the lead but Jesus was flagged for offside as he turned home Silva’s low cross, with Oxford goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell called into action soon after to keep out Oleksandr Zinchenko before Silva shot wide.
The opener came 10 minutes before the break and was started by a raking Foden pass, picking out Brahim Diaz, whose deflected effort was headed in from close-range by Jesus. The same pattern ensued after the break, Danilo coming close with a drive from the edge of the box as Foden continued to be a pivotal player in the middle of the park.
He led a counter-attack that should have resulted in City’s second goal but Diaz and Jesus managed to get in one another’s way in an attempt to convert Silva’s cross following yet another smart ball from Foden. A rare mistake from Foden saw him miss a fine chance to tap home at the back-post, instead hitting the side-netting when it was easier to score.
Another fine long ball over the top from Foden was well-controlled by Mahrez, who raced through on goal to finish well. Foden continued to be the star of the show, drawing a good late save from Mitchell with an effort from inside the box before a controlled, first-time finish followed to wrap up the win for City. City’s rivals Manchester United will not join them in the next round, however, after succumbing to a penalty shootout defeat to Derby County at Old Trafford.
There were eight other games on Tuesday night. Here are all the other results:
Blackpool 2-0 QPR
Bournemouth 3-2 Blackburn
Burton Albion 2-1 Burnley
Millwall 1-3 Fulham
Preston North End 2-2 (3-4 pens) Middlesbrough
Wolves 0-0 (1-3 pens) Leicester City
Wycombe Wanderers 3-4 Norwich City
West Brom 0-3 Crystal Palace