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Iheanacho, Ighalo dazzle with goals in English FA Cup

By News Express on 31/01/2016

Views: 2,243

Nigerian internationals Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo yesterday evening were at their lethal best, sending their sides through to the fifth round of the English FA Cup.

The evening, however, truly belong to Iheanacho, who hit a hat-trick as Manchester City ruthlessly crushed homers Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Manuel Pellegrini named the youngster in his starting line-up and was rewarded almost instantly with Iheanacho breaking the deadlock after just four minutes, slotting home from close range.

The 19-year-old then added his second from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was brought down by Leandro Bacuna before sliding home his third on the counter in the second half.

Iheanacho then had a hand in the fourth just minutes later, Sterling slotting home City’s fourth at the far post with Remi Garde’s side well-beaten.

With Sergio Aguero dropping to the bench for City as both sides made four changes, Iheanacho took full advantage of his opportunity up-front with an excellent individual display.

Villa came into the match unbeaten in five games and held City to a goalless draw at Villa Park in November, but they offered little resistance in a dreadful performance.

The visitors were ahead inside four minutes when a corner from Fabian Delph, who was given a frosty reception against his former club, was diverted across goal by Bacary Sagna. It looked like Fernando was poised to score, but his close-range header was blocked, allowing Iheanacho to stab home from two yards out.

Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair were off-target with efforts as the hosts looked for a route back into the game, but City swiftly went two up.

Referee Mike Jones instantly pointed to the spot after ruling Bacuna had fouled Sterling as he attempted to get on the end of Jesus Navas’ cross. Sterling wanted to take the resulting penalty himself, but it was Iheanacho who coolly stepped up to send Guzan the wrong way.

Iheanacho put the result beyond doubt on 74 minutes when a disastrous backpass allowed him to run clean through on goal and hold his nerve to score.

It was four just two minutes later when another loose pass allowed City in again. Fernandinho had a shot saved by Guzan and Iheanacho could not covert from the rebound inside the six-yard box but his acrobatic effort fell into the path of Sterling, who finished from close range.

As for Ighalo, the striker’s dream debut season in England continued as his late goal saw off a stubborn Nottingham Forest 1-0 on Saturday.

Having beaten Newcastle United 1-0 in the third round, Quique Sanchez Flores' men struggled to break down their Championship opponents. But Ighalo capitalised on a defensive mistake from Kelvin Wilson in the 89th minute to ensure Watford’s progress into the next stage.

The visitors had been frustrated by Dorus de Vries for much of the encounter at the City Ground but Ighalo settled the encounter with his late strike.

•Photo shows Iheanacho celebrating one of his goals against Aston Villa . . . yesterday evening at Villa Park.

Source News Express

Posted 31/01/2016 05:27:58 AM





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