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16th Feb 2019

Pep Guardiola seeks out Irish striker Padraig Amond after Newport’s gallant defeat

Patrick McCarry

If ever a player did not deserve to be on the end of a 4-1 defeat, it was the Irish forward.

The remarkable FA Cup journey of Newport County came to an end, but they gave Manchester City a right rattle. Padraig Amond scored a goal that briefly gave his side hope before the Premier League champions killed off the tie in injury time.

But for Ederson, Newport would have been in front inside 20 minutes against Man City. Though they fielded a weakened side against their League Two opponents, City’s starting XI wasn’t exactly weak – the likes of David Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus all beginning the game at Rodney Parade.

Fresh from their hammering of Chelsea in a 6-0 win in the Premier League last weekend, many might have expected City to blow Newport away in the early stages, but this wasn’t the case at all. In fact, were it not for an incredible intervention from their goalkeeper, Pep Guardiola’s side would have fallen behind inside the first 20 minutes.

A long throw into the City box was flicked on by Jamille Matt at the front post, leaving Tyreeq Bakinson with what seemed like a relatively straightforward chance to nod home from inside the six-yard box.

Ederson, however, had other ideas. Throwing himself across the goal line to claw the ball away from danger with his right hand before one of his teammates was able to carry it away from danger.

Lero Sane and Phil Foden then struck for Guardiola’s side to make it 2-0.

In between those two goals, Amond was still causing trouble and making Newport tick. With just over an hour gone, the 30-year-old flicked the ball over David Silva’s head and sought to find strike partner Jamille Matt with a pass but John Stones intercepted to clear. It was an impressive piece of skill against the Spaniard and the pair would later catch up again.

With 88 minutes gone, the jig looked up for the League Two side until a punt up the pitch saw Amond get in between his markers to flick the ball past Ederson in the City goal.

That sent Rodney Parade wild but the home fans’ giddy joy was short-lived. City responded quickly through Foden before Riayd Mahrez sealed his side’s 4-1 victory.

As the final whistle sounded, Silva made a beeline to Amond to thank him for the game. They shared a few words and on wonders if Amond’s nifty chip was mentioned at all.

The World Cup winner was not the only one that sought the Carlow native out after the game.

Pep Guardiola paid him close attention and wished him well as he stood out in the centre of the pitch. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss stopped a few Newport players but he made sure to get hold of Amond before he left the pitch.

Game respect game.

Back to League Two duties for Amond and Newport now. They are 10 points off the playoff places but have a couple of games in hand.

The game goes on.

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