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Cardiff 0-2 Manchester City: - VAR would have been handy

By Jordan Seward For Mailonline

Published: 13:15 EST, 28 January 2018 | Updated: 13:52 EST, 28 January 2018

Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling scored the goals as Manchester City played with the confidence that continues to make them strong contenders for completing a historic quadruple.

De Bruyne got Pep Guardiola's side on their way in style. A clever free-kick, that rolled underneath the Cardiff wall as four players jumped, left goalkeeper Neil Etheridge standing. 

The second goal came shortly before half-time. Silva played the ball into the Cardiff box and Sterling was in position to score with a header. City defended out their lead to the final whistle to seal their spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup. 

Here, Sportsmail runs you through all the things you might have missed from City's victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Raheem Sterling scored Manchester City's second to book their spot in the FA Cup fifth round
Raheem Sterling scored Manchester City's second to book their spot in the FA Cup fifth round

Raheem Sterling scored Manchester City's second to book their spot in the FA Cup fifth round

Germany tweet Cardiff after horror tackle on Sane

Germany tweeted Cardiff midway through the match to ask them not to hurt their players ahead of the World Cup after Joseph Bennett's horror challenge on Leroy Sane.

They wrote: 'Hey, Just letting you know, we have a really important tournament in the summer. Please don't hurt our players. Thanks.'

The German winger seemed all right but was taken off as a precaution shortly into the second-half.

It was a nasty-looking tackle that Bennett luckily escaped with just a yellow card. Cardiff are yet to respond to Germany's tweet.

Bernardo Silva's goal gets wrongly ruled out 

Bernardo Silva dribbled into the Cardiff penalty area, jinked back and superbly smashed the ball into the net off the underside of the bar, what's wrong with that?

Linesman Simon Beck was the only person in the stadium who did find something wrong with it and bizarrely held his flag up with a certain smugness that suggested he had spotted something everyone else had failed to see.

It's important to know at this point, that Beck was incorrect. He believed, much like the incident that happened in Saturday's FA Cup tie between Liverpool and West Brom, that a player, Leroy Sane in this instance, was in an offside position and was blocking the goalkeeper's view as the ball was struck.

Bernardo Silva scored a stunning strike from just inside the penalty area in the first half
Bernardo Silva scored a stunning strike from just inside the penalty area in the first half

Bernardo Silva scored a stunning strike from just inside the penalty area in the first half

After conferring with Beck the referee took his word and Silva was denied a wonderful goal. It was a bitter pill to swallow that will be made tougher to consume when Silva watches the replays later and realises Sane was not offside.

If only VAR was in use for this game. Despite it causing more confusion than clarification at Anfield on Saturday, in this case it would have ultimately done what its designed to do; rectify mistakes simply and quickly. Because, and this is where the system will always prevail, Sane was not offside and that is factual.

But the Portugal international was left distraught after it was wrongly ruled out by the linesman
But the Portugal international was left distraught after it was wrongly ruled out by the linesman

But the Portugal international was left distraught after it was wrongly ruled out by the linesman

VAR would have impacted this game  

Were VAR in use for this FA Cup clash the scoreline and the number of players who took to the pitch in the second half would have been entirely different.

The positive thing is it did not impact the outcome. Despite the controversy it caused in Liverpool's game with West Brom where it was called upon on eight separate occasions, it would have actually come in handy here in Cardiff.

The system has been dividing opinions ever since the Football Association introduced it into English football at the beginning of the month but this game was the perfect example where it could have been so effective. First, the Silva goal, which has already been touched upon.

Joseph Bennett was lucky to just be booked for a nasty challenge on City winger Leroy Sane
Joseph Bennett was lucky to just be booked for a nasty challenge on City winger Leroy Sane

Joseph Bennett was lucky to just be booked for a nasty challenge on City winger Leroy Sane

The second time it would have corrected the referee's decision was when Joseph Bennett brought down Sane in full flow on the stroke of half-time. At first sight it was a professional foul deserving of a yellow card. Referee Lee Mason thought so too and duly brandished the card.

But replays showed the extent of the foul. Bennett's studs, full facing, sunk into the back of Sane's calf. It looked a lot uglier than it did initially and it certainly would have given Mason something to think about.

BBC pundit Alan Shearer, who had the benefit of seeing it on replay, thought it was a red card in review. 

'It was a naughty one wasn't it?' he said. 'Incredible pace and he goes for the space but it is difficult for the official to see that.

'When we see it on the replay it's a naughty one and high. It's a red card for me.'

Bennett got what he deserved in the end and was sent off in the dying moments of the match for a second bookable offence. 

If VAR was being used for this match Bennett could have found himself receiving a straight red
If VAR was being used for this match Bennett could have found himself receiving a straight red

If VAR was being used for this match Bennett could have found himself receiving a straight red

De Bruyne pulls out an old trick

We are running out of superlatives for Kevin De Bruyne. He has been a magician at times this season and pulled another trick out of his hat here in Cardiff.

Manchester City were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area after just eight minutes. It had De Bruyne written all over it.

Everything seemed to freeze for a moment as everyone waited for the Belgian playmaker to send the ball over the wall and into the top corner.

Kevin De Bruyne rolls the ball under the Cardiff wall to give Manchester City the lead
Kevin De Bruyne rolls the ball under the Cardiff wall to give Manchester City the lead
The Belgium international scored an identical free-kick to this one against Bournemouth last season
The Belgium international scored an identical free-kick to this one against Bournemouth last season

Kevin De Bruyne scored a carbon-copy free-kick of the one against Bournemouth last season

But who wants to be predictable? Being the opposite certainly helped De Bruyne beat Neil Etheridge to open the scoring here anyway.

The 26-year-old, anticipating the jump of the wall, simply wrapped his foot around it as if he was stroking a pass across the pitch and rolled it underneath them into the corner.

It completely bamboozled Etheridge, who was rooted to the spot and could do nothing about it. 

He clearly had not been watching when De Bruyne done exactly the same thing against Bournemouth last season. 

Cardiff fans sing "you're just a s*** Neil Warnock" to Guardiola

Cardiff fans found solace in defeat as they mocked Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with a tongue-in-cheek song.

As soon as City went 2-0 up the home supporters knew full well it was unlikely now that their side would be in the hat for the fifth-round draw.

The din of the home crowd grew nonetheless as they sat back and just soaked up the occasion.

They even came up with a hilarious chant at the expense of Guardiola. On multiple times throughout the match they were heard singing "you're just a s*** Neil Warnock".

The Cardiff boss, who recently admitted: 'I don't want a minute's silence when I die... I'd like a full minute of chanting "Warnock is a w*****"' would have been in his element.

Cardiff supporters taunted City boss Pep Guardiola by calling him just a 's*** Neil Warnock"
Cardiff supporters taunted City boss Pep Guardiola by calling him just a 's*** Neil Warnock"

Cardiff supporters taunted City boss Pep Guardiola by calling him just a 's*** Neil Warnock"

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