Manchester City progressed to the sixth round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 victory against Newport County at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
Despite opening the scoring through Leroy Sane shortly after half time, the Premier League leaders were made to work for their eventually comfortable win.
City struggled to break down their dogged League Two hosts and were almost made to pay for not doubling their advantage until the latter stages of the second period.
Phil Foden did give the favourites a 2-0 lead before Padraig Amond managed to pull a goal back with a minute of normal time remaining.
But in their desperation to pull level, Newport left themselves exposed at the back and conceded a third as the tie ticked into stoppage time.
City even extended the margin to three goals via Riyad Mahrez to really rub it in, but the final scoreline certainly didn’t offer a true reflection of their evening in Wales.
“Well, it was a really tough game,” said Pep Guardiola, per the Guardian.
“They scored a goal - a stupid goal - at the end and Phil’s goal helped the team to not suffer at the end. A big compliment to all the guys who played today. The first 15-20 minutes were difficult.
“The long throw-ins they were much, much better than us. But the last 50 minutes we were good. Winning here - I realise what English football is today - we are not used to these types of games. That is why the Cup is so difficult.”
While it’s fair to say Newport showed little respect to a side 83 places above them in the English football pyramid, that wasn’t the case between the two managers pre-match.
Mike Flynn - currently attempting to guide his team beyond the middle tier of League Two - was more than thrilled to meet his opposite number.
Upon meeting Guardiola in the tunnel before kick-off, he told him:
“It’s a pleasure to see you, you’re an absolute genius. I’m so proud to meet you.”
It’s not often cameras capture such a genuine act of class, so check out the exchange in the video below.
Flynn can be immensely proud of his men for pushing City all the way in a match with all the makings of a classic upset.
It wasn’t Newport's day on this occasion, though their manager no doubt won some respect from a man he greatly admires in Guardiola.News Now - Sport News