Man City cruises past Newcastle into FA Cup semis

FA Cup champion Manchester City reached the semifinals with an easy 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday to set up a clash with Arsenal.

Raheem Sterling (Left) celebrates Manchester City's second goal against Newcastle United.   -  ap

Kevin de Bruyne's first-half penalty and a superb strike by Raheem Sterling after the break earned holder Manchester City a comfortable 2-0 win away at Newcastle United in the weekend's last FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.

City's domination of the first half was absolute and the only surprise was it took a penalty for it to lead at halftime, De Bruyne slotting home in the 37th minute.

Newcastle did improve marginally after the break and substitute Dwight Gayle somehow missed a gaping goal.

READ: Liverpool must stay hungry, says James Milner

One minute later Sterling curled home a delightful effort to seal City's progress and set up a semifinal against Arsenal.

All four of this year's Cup quarterfinals, all played behind closed doors, were won by the away team -- the first time that has happened since 1987.

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the other semi-final.

"We are in the semi-finals. It was not easy to attack against a team defending so deep but it was a good performance. I am happy to go back to London, to Wembley," City manager Pep Guardiola told reporters.

After its midweek defeat at Chelsea, a result that confirmed Liverpool as Premier League champions, Guardiola's side was fired-up at an empty St James' Park.

Twenty five minutes into the tie, Newcastle had completed only 15 passes and was camped inside its own penalty area as City toyed with the side.

Riyad Mahrez wasted three chances for City and Sterling was twice denied by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow.

Having somehow survived the City onslaught, Newcastle then gifted City an opening goal when Fabian Schar needlessly shoved Gabriel Jesus and de Bruyne tucked away the penalty.

Newcastle showed more intensity after the interval with striker Andy Carroll throwing his weight around but its absent fans watching at home on TV would have been groaning when Gayle somehow fired over the crossbar from Allan Saint-Maximin's low cross.

That glaring miss looked even more costly a minute later when Sterling, who was inspired throughout, cut in from the left and picked out the bottom corner with a clinical finish.

City may have lost its English crown, but having already bagged the League Cup and still in the Champions League it could still end the most strange of seasons with three cups. 

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