Football: Manchester City, Liverpool progress to FA Cup fourth round, Blackpool deny Nottingham Forest

Holders Manchester City and English Premier League leaders Liverpool are into the next stage of the knockout FA Cup draw, but All Whites skipper Chris Wood has narrowly missed a chance to edge Notthingham Forest past upstarts Blackpool.

Phil Foden scored twice as holders Manchester City cruised into the fourth round with a 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town, with playmaker Kevin De Bruyne making a welcome return, after four months out with a hamstring injury.

Fielding a strong side, City suffered a setback, when they lost defender Manuel Akanji to injury early in the first half, but Foden's superb finishing and De Bruyne's comeback gave coach Pep Guardiola plenty to be happy about.

Phil Foden celebrates a goal against Huddersfield.
Phil Foden celebrates a goal against Huddersfield. Photo credit: Getty Images

Huddersfield, who are hovering just above the relegation zone in England's second-tier Championship, fell behind in the 33rd minute, when Foden rifled the ball into the net from a tight angle and striker Julian Alvarez poked home a second four minutes later.

De Bruyne entered the fray in the 57th minute and City added their third a minute later, as Norwegian winger Oscar Bobb tried to pick out the Belgian at the far post, but his deflected cross looped into the net to make it 3-0.

Foden added his second with a precise shot from the edge of the area in the 65th minute and nine minutes later, De Bruyne teed up fellow substitute Jeremy Doku to complete the rout.

"We are incredibly delighted to have him back, because Kevin helps to win games," Guardiola told the BBC. "It is so important to have him back after a long injury. 

"He will help us with his talent, but I don't want to put all the pressure on Kevin's shoulders, because it is not fair to him. He had a really good assist for the Jeremy Doku goal."

Goalscorer Foden gave credit to Huddersfield for making it difficult, but ultimately City's class told.

"We seem to come against a low block quite often," he said. "We know what to expect, we just need to be patient, find the spaces and keep switching, and hopefully they'll open up and get tired."

Arsenal's dismal form

An own goal by Jakub Kiwior and a thumping late strike by Luis Diaz have sealed a 2-0 victory for Liverpool at Arsenal in the weekend's headline tie, as the hosts' dismal form extended into the New Year.

Arsenal wasted a sackful of chances in the first half and were made to pay, as Liverpool skipper Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick glanced off the head of Kiwior in the 80th minute.

Diaz then made sure of eight-time winners Liverpool's place in the fourth round draw, as he lashed home in stoppage time.

Arsenal have now lost three games in a row in all competitions and their wayward finishing was evident again, as they squandered a flurry of first-half chances.

Reiss Nelson latched on to a punt forward by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale in the fourth minute, but could only shoot into the side netting, and captain Martin Odegaard then rattled the crossbar with a fierce drive, after a mistake by Joe Gomez.

Kai Havertz could not capitalise on two good chances, as Arsenal failed to punish a lacklustre Liverpool, although Alexander-Arnold did hit the crossbar for the visitors.

Arsenal continued to make chances in the second half, with Bukayo Saka volleying clumsily over from Declan Rice's cross.

Liverpool then woke up, with Ramsdale saving from Diaz and Diogo Jota heading against the crossbar, before the unfortunate Kiwior inadvertently glanced in Alexander-Arnold's free-kick.

Backed by 7000 visiting fans, Liverpool then wrapped it up, as Diaz slammed an unstoppable shot past Ramsdale.

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates victory over Arsenal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates victory over Arsenal. Photo credit: Getty Images

"We changed things around at halftime internally, and we came out and played football, and created chances," said Alexander-Arnold. "There were times in the first half that we were a little bit naive.

"We hit the woodwork a couple of times, so we've had our chances, and towards the end, we put them away."

Meanwhile, City's league rivals struggled, as the lower-tier clubs made their presence felt in the cup competition to force some potentially lucrative replays.

Luton Town played out a scoreless draw at home against Bolton Wanderers, and Nottingham Forest were held to a 2-2 draw at the City Ground by Blackpool, with West Ham United and Bristol City ending in a 1-1 stalemate.

Forest fell 2-0 behind early, but had a royal chance to snatch victory in the dying seconds of added time, when Wood narrowly failed to connect with a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Leeds United had no such problems, as striker Patrick Bamford netted a brilliant volley in a 3-0 hammering of Peterborough United, and West Bromwich Albion cruised to a 4-1 win at home to Aldershot Town.