Manchester City, the Premier League champion, dispatched another second-tier team in Peterborough in a routine 2-0 victory even if the goals came in the second half through Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish.
Grealish and Phil Foden sat next to each other on the team bus on the way to the game against Peterbrough and scrolled through videos of Lionel Messi to fill the time. Turns out they got some inspiration.
Grealish’s 67th-minute goal, which made it 2-0 and ended any realistic hopes of a shock by Peterborough, was one Messi would have been proud of. Foden collected the ball just inside Peterborough’s half and floated a defense-splitting ball forward to Grealish, who caressed it with his right foot and produced a deft finish with his left.
“After scoring,“ Grealish said, “he (Foden) came up to me and said it was just like we were watching.” Mahrez gave City a 60th-minute lead against the last-place team in the Championship.
Ukraine captain Oleksandr Zinchenko was made captain for the game by City. He and Peterborough’s captain held the Ukrainian flag on the field before kickoff and a message on the big screen inside the stadium read “We Stand With Ukraine” in reference to the invasion by Russia. In the other last-16 match, Palace got past Stoke thanks to Jairo Riedewald’s 82nd-minute winner.