BRAHIM DIAZ DOUBLE SENDS BLUES INTO LAST EIGHT
MANCHESTER - Manchester City starlet Brahim Diaz scored his first goals for the club as the holders moved effortlessly into the last eight.
Diaz, a Spain Under-21 star, scored either side of half-time to set up a quarter-final meeting away to Leicester or Southampton for Pep Guardiola's men.
A fifth straight defeat kept the heat on under-pressure Fulham boss Slaviska Jokanovic, although few expected the visitors to emerge victorious, with City so strong.
City's supposed 'second-string' was still a formidable line-up, including Vincent Kompany, John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane, with their bench alone worth £276million.
Diaz may have plundered the goals, but the game's stand-out performer was De Bruyne, who, after a two-month injury lay-off, is getting back to peak form and fitness at just the right time.
With the eagerly-awaited Manchester derby against local rivals United looming large at the Etihad on November 11, De Bruyne could not have timed his return better.
But the Belgium international was forced off with five minutes left after taking a knock to his left knee in a tussle with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, with City hoping the problem is a minor one.
The Carabao Cup may be the trophy lowest on City's priority list, but ahead of the game Guardiola spoke of their desire to retain it by stating his side would “not surrender the title lightly”.
Predictably, City dominated possession from the start, Fulham rarely managing to emerge from their own half, forced into a sustained policy of containment from kick-off. Phil Foden forced a decent save from Rico in the 14 minute, while Fuham's only attempt at the other end was a tame effort from Lucia no Viet to, straight at City keeper Aro Muric.
GOLDEN FOOT: Brahim Diaz celebrates after scoring one of his goals.