Manchester City kicked off their FA Cup title defense with a resounding 5-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, as Kevin De Bruyne made a welcome return from injury in the second half.
The Championship side, currently battling for promotion, surprised the City faithful by holding firm for the first 33 minutes. However, Phil Foden’s clinical strike after Julian Alvarez’s effort was blocked sparked City’s dominance. Alvarez then added his name to the scoresheet with a deft finish after City’s intricate passing tore open the Huddersfield defense.
The second half saw a moment of fortune for City, as Oscar Bobb’s attempted pass for De Bruyne deflected off Ben Jackson and looped into the net for an own goal. Foden then put the game beyond doubt with a powerful second strike, before Jeremy Doku, also returning from injury, sealed the victory with a close-range finish.
While City’s supporters may have dreamed of a repeat of their 1987 10-1 demolition of Huddersfield, the Terriers deserve credit for their spirited display and determined defending against a side with immense firepower.
De Bruyne’s return was a significant boost for City, adding another dimension to their already potent attack. With the Belgian midfielder back in the fold, Pep Guardiola’s side appear unstoppable as they aim to retain the FA Cup and add another trophy to their impressive collection.
Huddersfield, despite the defeat, can take heart from their performance against one of the world’s best teams. They displayed flashes of the quality that could see them achieve promotion in the Championship, and their fighting spirit will serve them well in the remainder of the season.