FA CUP

Zinchenko captains Manchester City to cup win amid tensions in Ukraine

Manchester City's Ukranian star Oleksandr Zinchenko captained his teammates in a routine FA Cup win

Oleksandr Zinchenko captained Manchester City in their FA Cup tie against Peterborough

Manchester City defeated Peterborough 2-0 to advance to the next round of this season's FA Cup. Ukrainian Player Oleksandr Zinchenko was given the honour of captaining the side following the escalation of tensions in his home nation.

Speaking before the match, Pep Guardiola told reporters, “Our captain decided to give the armband to him, to show how important the situation is. All the clubs are behind this gesture. He will represent his country.”

Following the kickoff, City was almost handed the lead by Peterborough keeper Steve Benda.

The goalkeeper dropped the ball while clearing upfield, but City striker Gabriel Jesus was unmarked. The Brazilian tried to pounce on Benda's relaxed posture to rob him of the ball, but his block narrowly missed the goal by a whisker.

The first few minutes flew by as both teams tried to break the deadlock. There was a clear desire for Zinchenko to score, as he popped up in good positions only to fire wide- twice!

Both teams went into halftime on equal terms as neither team could create many chances.

The championship side came out of the dressing rooms more confident and nearly scored early in the second half.

A throw from the right fell kindly to Sammie Szmodics in the penalty area, but he could not make a better use of his effort.

That scare seemed to wake the city players up, especially Riyad Mahrez, who struggled with Peterborough's resolute low block.

However, in the 65th minute, the Algerian scored a trademark goal to give City the lead. Mahrez picked up a loose ball on the right flank before making a drive into the box, where the forward then fired a direct shot beyond Steve Benda into the bottom of the net.

Barely seven minutes later, Manchester City doubled their lead through £100 million man Jack Grealish. Foden sent a great pass towards an unmarked Grealish, who controlled it expertly before switching it to his left leg to roll it past the goalkeeper.

The quickfire double seemed to deflate Peterborough as the London side retreated into their shell and allowed City to dominate.

Pep's men were not as clinical as usual, with Jack Grealish particularly failing to add to the scoreline.

The playmaker had a chance to grab a brace when his shot from an awkward angle seemed to have Benda struggling to cope, but the goalkeeper recovered nicely.

With this win, Manchester City will now wait for the quarter-finals draw will hold, on Thursday, March 3.

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