The FA Cup - Fourth Round
Aston VillaAston Villa0Man CityManchester City4

Aston Villa 0-4 Manchester City

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport

Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hat-trick as Manchester City eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup by thrashing beleaguered Aston Villa.

City went ahead within the first four minutes as the home side failed to clear a corner and Iheanacho swept in a finish from close range.

The visitors doubled their lead from Iheanacho's cool penalty after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box.

Iheanacho ran clear for his third goal and Sterling poked in a fourth.

Striker Iheanacho could even have had four but failed to connect with a shot after making a run into the opposition box and Fernandinho's long-range drive was pushed over by goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Slick City stay on course for quadruple

This was potentially a tricky tie for City, against a Villa side who were unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions. But the away side took control by scoring twice within the first 24 minutes.

City's progress into the fifth round keeps alive their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple as they lie second in the Premier League, in the knockout stages of the Champions League and face Liverpool in the final of the League Cup.

Ahead of the match, boss Manuel Pellegrini played down talk of winning all four trophies this season, but on this form City will take some stopping, even with the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne missing.

And having left Sergio Aguero on the bench, 19-year-old Nigerian Iheanacho stepped up to show his potential with a calmly taken treble and has now scored eight times in his debut campaign.

Have Villa shown they can stay up?

No. Bottom of the league and the lowest scorers in the division, Villa were outclassed and rarely threatened to make a breakthrough in the match.

Idrissa Gana forced Willy Caballero into a sprawling save from long range and Carles Gil's free-kick was well saved by the City goalkeeper, but that was the closest they came. Striker Jordan Ayew was anonymous in the match.

Jordan Ayew
Villa striker Jordan Ayew touched the ball just once inside the opposition area and didn't manage any shots at goal. In fact, five of his touches came on the centre spot, four to take the kick off after conceding, and one to start the match in the second half

Swathes of empty seats were visible inside Villa Park, with thousands of home supporters deciding not to attend the match. Only 23,636 turned up for the competition in which their team reached the final last year.

Have they accepted their fate of relegation to the Championship? Villa have won more cup matches this season (3) than league (2), and they are 10 points off safety with 15 games to go. They will need a huge turnaround to preserve their status in the top flight. On this dismal showing, it looks highly unlikely.

Man of the match - Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho
Three goals from three shots on target, clinical Iheanacho took the match ball home

What they said:

Hat-trick hero Kelechi Iheanacho: "I am so happy to score today. It is my first hat-trick and I am hopeful of more to come. I took my time to score the third goal. I waited for the goalkeeper to see where he went. It is a great feeling when the fans chant my name and I am grateful they came to support us."

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "I'm very happy. Kelechi is a very good young player. We let Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko go because I see Kelechi every day and know what he can do.

"Bacary Sagna played well at centre-back, he didn't make any mistakes, and Willy Caballero was solid in goal."

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde: "When you start the game so poorly, it is difficult. After the first two goals, they played quietly and we did not have much danger to cope with.

"The penalty was a bit harsh but it is done. I don't want to blame the team too much and we have important games coming up."

What next?

Villa travel to West Ham in the Premier League on Tuesday, while City go to Sunderland on the same day. Both matches kick-off at 19:45 GMT.

The stats you need to know:

  • Kelechi Iheanacho became the third Manchester City player to score a hat-trick this season, after Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling
  • Aston Villa's last two FA Cup matches against Premier League sides have ended in 4-0 defeats.

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 7BacunaBooked at 27mins
  • 4Richards
  • 6Clark
  • 43Cissokho
  • 17Veretout
  • 8Gueye
  • 15WestwoodBooked at 45minsSubstituted forOkoreat 45'minutes
  • 25GilSubstituted forGrealishat 80'minutes
  • 19J Ayew
  • 9SinclairSubstituted forAgbonlahorat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Okore
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 16Lescott
  • 21Hutton
  • 31Bunn
  • 38Lyden
  • 40Grealish

Man City

  • 13Caballero
  • 5ZabaletaBooked at 69mins
  • 3Sagna
  • 30OtamendiSubstituted forHumphreys-Grantat 88'minutes
  • 22ClichySubstituted forAngelinoat 81'minutes
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forCelinaat 78'minutes
  • 6Reges
  • 18Delph
  • 15Navas
  • 72Iheanacho
  • 7SterlingBooked at 27mins

Substitutes

  • 1Hart
  • 10Agüero
  • 21Silva
  • 59Celina
  • 62Barker
  • 69Angelino
  • 77Humphreys-Grant
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
23,636

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home8
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away10
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home6
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 4.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Cameron Humphreys-Grant replaces Nicolás Otamendi.

  4. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Bersant Celina (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Idrissa Gueye tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Nicolás Otamendi.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Angelino replaces Gaël Clichy.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Jack Grealish replaces Carles Gil.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Carles Gil (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leandro Bacuna.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Bersant Celina replaces Fernandinho.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 4. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 3. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Raheem Sterling.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Fabian Delph tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Veretout (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Carles Gil.

  19. Booking

    Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Post update

    Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.